rOpenSci receives Sloan Foundation award to expand software peer review

July 15, 2019

BIDS Senior Researcher and rOpenSci Co-founder and Project Lead Karthik Ram; along with collaborator Noam Ross, an Associate editor of rOpenSci Software Peer Review and a senior scientist at EcoHealth Alliance; have received a new grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to expand rOpenSci efforts in software peer review.

Software peer review has become a core part of rOpenSci, helping improve scientific software quality, drive best engineering practices into scientific communities, and building community and collaboration through open, constructive reviews. This grant will be used to expand this important work, including:

  • New tools to manage the software peer-review editorial process: rOpenSci's software peer review system (which is built on top of GitHub’s issue system) will be expanded with additional automation to make the process simpler for authors, reviewers, and editors. There will also be more tools to test and measure code quality, and to flag areas for reviewers and authors to focus on.
  • Better training, documentation, and tools for adoption: To help other groups use peer-review, more documentation and training will be provided on how to set up peer-review communities, including setting up chatbot-based systems and automated reports of software quality customized to their own standards.
  • New focus on statistical software: rOpenSci’s software ecosystem, which has always focused on reproducibility and managing scientists’ data lifecycle, will be expanded into the critical area of statistical software. Over the next year, a new review board will be created, with expertise in statistical and computational issues in implementing packages that fit models and estimate statistical quantities. rOpenSci will be working with the new board and the broader statistical software community to develop consensus around standards for statistical package implementation and testing, and then launching a new peer-review process and testing tools. 

For full details, read rOpenSci's official announcement, here:
rOpenSci Announces $678K Award from the Sloan Foundation to Expand Software Peer Review
July 15, 2019  |  Karthik Ram and Noam Ross  |   rOpenSci Blog

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Karthik Ram

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