Enhancing Software Peer Review with GitHub Automation



Summary from rOpenSci website: Software peer-review involves coordinating and tracking many moving parts: software submissions, testing and diagnostics, assignment of editors and reviewers, and logging the progression of submissions through revisions and acceptance.

On this call we will discuss how rOpenSci has worked with The Journal of Open Source Software to extend JOSS’s approach of chatops-driven publishing into a new GitHub chat-bot that manages our editorial process: assigning tasks, tagging issues, running tests on software submissions, and returning reports to reviewers and editors, logging reviews in an external (Airtable) database, all from the comfort of a GitHub issue comment. Chat-ops automation has been critical to JOSS’s success, and shows huge promise for automating even more tedious tasks like frequent software checks and compliance with best practices.

We will show how our new review bot improves the author and editor experience, demonstrate how other teams can use and customize the bot, and discuss how this approach can be extended to tackle other automation, code review, and reproducibility challenges.