Our Software Peer Review is Open#

Our reviewing threads are public. Authors, reviewers, and editors all know each other’s identities. The broader community can view or even participate in the conversation as it happens. This provides an incentive to be thorough and provide non-adversarial, constructive reviews.

It also has the benefit of building a community. Participants have the opportunity to meaningfully network with new peers, and new collaborations have emerged via ideas spawned during the review process.

We are aware that open systems can have drawbacks. For instance, in traditional academic review, double-blind peer review can increase representation of female authors, suggesting bias in non-blind reviews.

It is also possible reviewers are less critical in open review. However, we believe that the openness of the review conversation provides a check on review quality and bias; it’s harder to inject unsupported or subjective comments in public and without the cover of anonymity.

Ultimately, we believe that having direct and public communication between authors and reviewers improves quality and fairness of reviews.