This article describes the motivation, design, and progress of the Journal of Open Source Software (JOSS). JOSS is a free and open-access journal that publishes articles describing research software. It has the dual goals of improving the quality of the software submitted and providing a mechanism for research software developers to receive credit. While designed to work within the current merit system of science, JOSS addresses the dearth of rewards for key contributions to science made in the form of software. JOSS publishes articles that encapsulate scholarship contained in the software itself, and its rigorous peer review targets the software components: functionality, documentation, tests, continuous integration, and the license. A JOSS article contains an abstract describing the purpose and functionality of the software, references, and a link to the software archive. The article is the entry point of a JOSS submission, which encompasses the full set of software artifacts. Submission and review proceed in the open, on GitHub. Editors, reviewers, and authors work collaboratively and openly. Unlike other journals, JOSS does not reject articles requiring major revision; while not yet accepted, articles remain visible and under review until the authors make adequate changes (or withdraw, if unable to meet requirements). Once an article is accepted, JOSS gives it a digital object identifier (DOI), deposits its metadata in Crossref, and the article can begin collecting citations on indexers like Google Scholar and other services. Authors retain copyright of their JOSS article, releasing it under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. In its first year, starting in May 2016, JOSS published 111 articles, with more than 40 additional articles under review. JOSS is a sponsored project of the nonprofit organization NumFOCUS and is an affiliate of the Open Source Initiative (OSI).


  • Modern scientific research produces many outputs beyond traditional articles and books

  • A 2017 survey of members of the US National Postdoctoral Association found that 95% used research software, and 63% said their research would be impractical without it (Nangia & Katz, 2017)

  • Any code snippets included in Journal of Open Source Software (JOSS) articles are subject to the MIT license (Open Source Initiative, 2016) regardless of the license of the submitted software package under review, which itself must be licensed under an OSI-approved license

Read more



Modern scientific research produces many outputs beyond traditional articles and books. The Journal of Open Source Software (JOSS) was founded in May 2016 to offer a solution within the existing publishing mechanisms of science. It is a developer-friendly, free and open-access, peer-reviewed journal for research software packages. The JOSS editors are firm supporters of open-source software for research, with extensive knowledge of the practices and ethics of open source This knowledge is reflected in the JOSS submission system, peer-review process, and infrastructure. JOSS supports the broader open-science movement by encouraging researchers to share their software openly and follow best practices in its development


Full Text

Published Version
Open DOI Link

Get access to 115M+ research papers

Discover from 40M+ Open access, 2M+ Pre-prints, 9.5M Topics and 32K+ Journals.

Sign Up Now! It's FREE

Talk to us

Join us for a 30 min session where you can share your feedback and ask us any queries you have

Schedule a call