Open JournalsNumFOCUS is pleased to welcome the Open Journals as a fiscally sponsored project.

Open Journals is a collection of open source, open access journals.

The team behind Open Journals believes that code review and high-quality, reusable software are a critical–but often overlooked–part of academic research. The primary goal of Open Journals is to provide venues for people who are creating educational and research software or educational learning content (particularly in science) to receive career credit in the form of academic papers.

The flagship Journal of Open Source Software (JOSS) is a developer friendly journal for research software packages. With a formal peer review process that is designed to improve the quality of the software submitted, JOSS is designed to help researchers developing open source software to receive career credit for their work. JOSS is also an affiliate of the Open Source Initiative.

Other publications under Open Journals include: the Journal of Open Source Education (JOSE), the Open Journal of Astrophysics, and the Journal of Brief Ideas.

JOSS is an academic journal (ISSN 2475-9066) with a formal peer review process that is designed to improve the quality of the software submitted. Upon acceptance into JOSS, a Crossref DOI is minted and the paper is listed on the JOSS website. The JOSS “paper” is deliberately extremely short and only allowed to include:

  • A short abstract describing the high-level functionality of the software (and perhaps a figure)
  • A list of the authors of the software (together with their affiliations)
  • A list of key references including a link to the software archive
  • Paper are not allowed to include other things such as descriptions of API functionality, as this should be included in the software documentation. You can see an example of a paper here.

For software that is already well documented, paper preparation should take no more than an hour. The JOSS review process is based upon the tried-and-tested approach taken by the rOpenSci collaboration (also a NumFOCUS sponsored project) and happens openly on GitHub. For an extended explanation of the motivations for the JOSS project, read Editor-in-Chief Arfon Smith’s blog post on the subject.

The Journal of Open Source Education (JOSE, pronounced [hoe-zay]) is an educator-friendly journal for publishing computational learning modules and educational software. JOSE is a sibling journal to and relies on the journal management infrastructure and tools developed for JOSS.

JOSE publishes two types of articles that describe:

  • Open educational software tools (e.g. open source alternatives to learning management systems, autograders, cloud systems for lesson delivery, student collaboration tools)
  • Open-source educational materials (e.g. Jupyter notebooks or plaintext/markup language documents like LaTeX, R Markdown, and ReST for course/lesson content and associated notes, with embedded or associated code snippets/programs)

The Editor-in-Chief of JOSE is Lorena Barba (also a NumFOCUS Board Member).

The Executive Editor of the Open Journals is Arfon Smith.

To get involved, please submit to JOSS and/or volunteer as a reviewer. You can also make a donation to Open Journals or any of NumFOCUS’s other projects.

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