[SciPy-dev] Online SciPy Journal

Robert Kern robert.kern at gmail.com
Sun Oct 1 22:24:45 CDT 2006


Prabhu Ramachandran wrote:
>>>>>> "Travis" == Travis Oliphant <oliphant at ee.byu.edu> writes:
> 
>     Travis> 1) Do you like the idea ?
> 
> I think this is a very good idea.  Some people are likely to claim
> "nothing new in the particular implementation".  However, you could
> insist that code contributed here should be unit tested and reasonably
> integration tested (how often do we see anything close to that in
> other papers?).  It might be a good idea to have two kinds of
> contributions, "original/new ideas/algorithms/applications" and "new
> implementations".  Most papers, it would appear, are read by a handful
> and used by an even smaller subset of the audience.  The advantage of
> something contributed to SciPy is that it has (on the average) far
> greater utility to the whole community.  Besides, I think it is
> reasonable to argue that good code usually takes as long as (if not
> longer than) writing a paper.

For comparison, here are excerpts from the JStatSoft submission instructions.

   http://www.jstatsoft.org/instructions.php

"""JSS will publish

    1. Manuals, user's guides, and other forms of description of statistical 
software, together with the actual software in human-readable form (peer-reviewed)
    2. Code snippets -- small code projects, any language (section editors 
Hornik and Koenker, peer-reviewed).
    3. Special issues on topics in statistical computing (guest editors, 
peer-reviewed, by invitation only, suggestions welcome).
    4. A yearly special issue documenting progress of major statistical software 
projects (section editor Rossini, by invitation only, suggestions welcome) .
    5. Reviews of Books on statistical computing and software. (section editor 
Gentleman, by invitation only, suggestions welcome) .
    6. Reviews and comparisons of statistical software (section editors Unwin 
and Hartman, by invitation only, suggestions welcome).

The typical JSS paper will have a section explaining the statistical technique, 
a section explaining the code, a section with the actual code, and a section 
with examples. All sections will be made browsable as well as downloadable. The 
papers and code should be accessible to a broad community of practitioners, 
teachers, and researchers in the field of statistics.
"""

However:

"""If code does something standard (for instance compute an incomplete beta in 
Fortran) it is only acceptable if it is better than the alternatives. On the 
other hand, if it does an incomplete non-central beta in Xlisp-Stat, then it 
merely has to show that it works well.
"""

-- 
Robert Kern

"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma
  that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had
  an underlying truth."
   -- Umberto Eco


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