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I am a contributor to an R package, and we are preparing a submission to the Journal of Open Source Software (JOSS). Submissions are peer reviewed (guidelines available here), and articles are typically ~5 pages in length.

However, I am a social scientist, and the JOSS peer review process is vastly different from that of journals in my field. Peer review is conducted publicly on GitHub via an issue thread, and the journal does not outright reject submissions as stated in their review criteria:

We ask that reviewers grade submissions in one of three categories: 1) Accept 2) Minor Revisions 3) Major Revisions. Unlike some journals we do not reject outright submissions requiring major revisions - we’re more than happy to give the author as long as they need to make these modifications/improvements.

Given these differences, I am hesitant to include a JOSS article in the peer reviewed publications section of my CV if this article eventually ends up being published by JOSS. These are the options I've considered so far:

  • Include a link as part of the entry for the package in the software section of my CV
  • As an entry in the non-peer reviewed publications section of my CV
  • Don't include it in my CV at all

What is the best practice here?

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I don't think this should be treated any differently from any other peer-reviewed publication on your CV. There is still some standard of quality that's applied before a manuscript will be published in JOSS. In practice, there isn't a huge gulf between "major revisions" and "rejection" - both indicate that the manuscript needs to be changed significantly before it can be published. The category of "rejection" just indicates that the journal editor does not want to be involved in that process. Even though you can't be "rejected" from JOSS, that doesn't alone indicate that the papers which are accepted are of lower quality. A low quality paper could receive a label of "major revisions" every time it's revised and submitted if it's still low quality - it never gets outright rejected, but it never gets published either. The fact that it's not rejected speaks more to the patience of the editors than to the quality of papers they choose to publish.

  • Did not realize the role of "major revisions" in practice, and I feel better about (potentially) including a JOSS article in the peer-reviewed section of a CV now. Thanks. – jayrobwilliams Sep 4 at 3:07

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