[SciPy-dev] Online SciPy Journal

Travis Oliphant oliphant at ee.byu.edu
Fri Sep 29 19:28:29 CDT 2006

As most of you know, I'm at an academic institution and have a strong 
belief that open source should mesh better with the academic world then 
it currently does.  One of the problems, is that it is not easy to just 
point to open source software as a "publication" which is one of the 
areas that most tenure-granting boards look at when deciding on a 

To help with that a little-bit,  I'd really like to get a peer-reviewed 
on-line journal for code contributed to SciPy started.  Not to implicate 
him if he no longer thinks it's a good idea, but I first started 
thinking seriously about this at SciPy 2006 when Fernando Perez 
mentioned he had seen this model with a math-related software package 
and thought we could try something similar.

Exactly what form that will take is worth some discussion.  Most 
"publications" are viewed highly because they are "peer-reviewed".   It 
seems to me, that we have all the makings of a community that could 
peer-review code contributed to SciPy.  I'd like to see two parts to 
"the journal" (maybe they are separate).  One is the code itself.  Not 
all of the code currently in SciPy is "journal" quality (I look no 
further than many of my own contributions...)

We would need a way to specify what is "published" SciPy and what is not 
(besides the sandbox mechansim).    The other aspect to the SciPy 
Journal is an "article" that goes into detail about some particular code 
contributed to SciPy.  Not all code will need this, but many 
contributions will.  This is where the design decisions are discussed 
and recorded. 

Such a project needs many associate editors who would help find 
reviewers and make decisions about publication.  If this project works, 
it is one means that would allow me to spend more time on SciPy and 
"have it count" toward academic rank and status.   I have not thought it 
through well enough to have the details ironed out, but I'm soliciting 
feedback from you who would likely be involved.

Besides your comments, I would like a response on at least two 
questions:  +1, -1, +0, -0  voting.

1) Do you like the idea ?

2) Could you help (i.e. as an editor, reviewer, etc.)? 

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