Reviewer Resources#

Where to Look for Reviewers?#

As a (guest) editor, you can find reviewers through:

  • Suggestions made by the submitter(s) (although submitters may have a narrow view of the types of expertise needed. We suggest not using more than one of the suggested reviewers).

  • Authors of existing pyOpenSci packages.

  • Other contributors to pyOpenSci.

When these sources of information are not enough:

  • Ping other editors for ideas.

  • Look for users of the package or the data source/upstream service the package connects to (via their opening issues in the repository, starring it, citing it in papers, talking about it on Twitter).

  • You can also search for authors/maintainers of related packages on PyPI.

  • Post on Twitter and ensure pyOpenSci retweets your post.

Criteria for Choosing Reviewers#

Here are criteria to keep in mind when choosing a reviewer. You might need to piece this information together by searching PyPI, Conda / Conda-forge and the potential reviewer’s GitHub page and general online presence (personal website, Twitter).

  • Has not reviewed a package for us within the last 6 months.

  • Some package development / contribution experience.

  • Some domain experience in the field of the package or data source.

  • No conflicts of interest.

Reviewer diversity should be prioritized#

Try to balance your sense of the potential reviewer’s experience against the complexity of the package.

  • Diversity - if you have two reviewers, both shouldn’t be cis white males.

  • Openness - reviewers should also have demonstrated interest in open source or Python community activities, although blind emailing is fine.

Each submission should be reviewed by two package reviewers. Although it is fine for one of them to have less package development experience and more domain knowledge, the review should not be split into two parts. Both reviewers need to review the package comprehensively, from their particular perspectives. In general, at least one reviewer should have prior reviewing experience, and of course inviting one new reviewer expands our pool of reviewers.

Reviewers should ideally have some subject matter expertise associated with the package functionality. It is ok and even welcome if one reviewer has more technical expertise and the other focuses on usability and is less technical. Read through the Guidelines for Reviewers Section to learn more about finding and selecting reviewers.


PyOpenSci has been piloting a new reviewer mentorship program where we pair a new reviewer with someone in the community with previous review experience. If a new reviewer is interested in this, get in touch with the editor in chief.