A year at JOSS in review

It’s already been a year since I announced I was starting as an editor at JOSS! 🤯 I am still smug about being on their about page:

In all seriousness though, I’ve learned a lot since I started editing. I’d never been an editor at a journal, and I explained why I joined JOSS last year (I also never was invited to edit elsewhere, nor did I apply).

You can see all the open reviews I’ve managed on GitHub. I’ve had the privilege of editing 5 papers, and I ended up accepting all of them. The software review process sometimes takes a while but usually the reviewers and the authors create something of note. The Editors in Chief already do a great job at making sure things are within scope prior to me jumping on as editor.

In total, 13 reviewers helped out in the process, although I know I’ve had to invite many many more. I think that’s been the biggest lesson of all in the past year - how hard it is to find reviewers. I knew it was going to be tough, because I’ve heard so many more experienced people talk about it over the years.

I didn’t expect it to be this tough to find reviewers! It felt like 1 out of 10 people responded, instead of accepted to review. However, I know feelings can be deceptive so I’ll start tracking this a bit more over the next year. I already feel bad when it takes me a few days to respond to review requests (even if I end up saying yes) but now I imagine it’s nice to get a response to begin with!

The papers that I helped edit and are now published are:

In the last few months, I’ve been also championing JOSS' PubMed Central application, which is quite the endeavor. Hopefully in my second year I can get JOSS indexed so you all can find it more easily! The lessons there are definitely worthwhile - I might write a blog about that later.

JOSS is really quite unique, because not only is all peer review in the open, I even was able to suggest textual changes to the journal policies. Now what journals can you propose changes in a pull request? We've already made improvements to the (financial) conflicts of interest policy and other policies mandated by PMC.

I’m excited to be an editor over at JOSS and if you’re interested too - please keep an eye on the JOSS blog! There tend to be calls for new editors every now and then - currently there is a call for for astronomy and astrophysics editors.