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Description

SciPost Physics Codebases is a new-generation journal for computer codes and algorithms of relevance to research in Physics.

It aims to offer a high-profile venue in which research-level numerical algorithms, protocols and software packages can be disseminated as fully-featured publications.

Contributors to research-level software development can thus obtain proper recognition and find their rightful place within the modern scientific literature.

As per other SciPost Journals, SciPost Physics Codebases implements all of our Genuine Open Access principles. Submissions are evaluated according to our stringent peer-witnessed refereeing protocol. Publications in SciPost Physics Codebases benefit from the same professional treatment given to those in our other Journals, including metadata handling, citable DOI, citations listing, funding information handling, permanent archiving and many others.

Scope

SciPost Physics Codebases publishes outstanding-quality Codebases relevant to all specializations in Computational, Experimental and Theoretical Physics.

Examples of publishable Codebases include:

  • Novel algorithms
  • Significant and original reimplementations of well-known algorithms
  • Ports of existing codebases to new languages and platforms
  • Libraries providing new or significantly improved components or interfaces which enhance the capability, performance, or productivity of scientific software.


Specialties covered by this Journal

  • Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics - Experiment
  • Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics - Theory
  • Biophysics
  • Condensed Matter Physics - Experiment
  • Condensed Matter Physics - Theory
  • Condensed Matter Physics - Computational
  • Fluid Dynamics
  • Gravitation, Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
  • High-Energy Physics - Experiment
  • High-Energy Physics - Theory
  • High-Energy Physics - Phenomenology
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Nuclear Physics - Experiment
  • Nuclear Physics - Theory
  • Quantum Physics
  • Statistical and Soft Matter Physics

Content

A Codebase by definition consists of the following two elements:

  • A detailed userguide consisting of:

    • An introduction with background information on the field of applicability of the software

    • A description of the generic workings of the algorithm, its novelty and added value

    • A guide to using the software

    • Worked-out examples

  • The source code, including

    • Detailed installation instructions

    • Code documentation

    • Tests for benchmarking

The source code itself is expected to be self-contained.

Licensing

The submitted software must be released under a license which is compliant with the Open Source Definition of the Open Source Initiative. There are many acceptable licenses, among which:

  • Apache License 2.0 (Apache-2.0)

  • BSD 3-Clause "New" or "Revised" license (BSD-3-Clause)

  • BSD 2-Clause "Simplified" or "FreeBSD" license (BSD-2-Clause)

  • GNU General Public License (GPL)

  • GNU Library or "Lesser" General Public License (LGPL)

  • MIT license (MIT)

  • Mozilla Public License 2.0 (MPL-2.0)

  • Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL-1.0)

  • Eclipse Public License (EPL-1.0)

We also accept

Other licenses can be considered upon request (please contact our Editorial Administration).

Publication format

Upon acceptance of the codebase for publication, two items will be published in SciPost Physics Codebases:

  • the detailed userguide (published with a CC BY 4.0 license)

  • the accepted release version of the source code (published according to the chosen license).

Both objects will be citable (DOI registration via Crossref), and will benefit from full post-acceptance editorial handling as per all other SciPost Journals.

Citations to SciPost Physics Codebases publications are thus always "two-headed", including both the userguide DOI and the code release DOI.

Hosting

The userguide will be openly hosted on scipost.org while the source code release will be openly hosted on SciPost's git repository platform at scipost-codebases.org. SciPost will ensure perpetual hosting and archiving of the published items; since they maintain copyright, authors remain free to also host copies of the published items on their own preferred platforms.

Updates

Any software inevitably needs maintenance: besides the inevitable bug fixes, issues handling and dependency upgrades, it might become desirable to add new features to a given package.

SciPost Physics Codebases, by splitting the published objects in two pieces (userguide and source code release) provides a flexible framework for keeping the published versions of record in sync with the evolving software, while maintaining the citable versions of record for as long as significantly possible. Three general cases can be distinguished:

Small updates (no new source code release): bug fixes, issue handling or routine maintenance which do not represent a new release of the code, can be done directly in the source code hosting repository. These actions do not require updating any of the published objects (userguide and source code) DOIs. Any update will be made clearly visible to readers through our implementation of the Crossmark service.

Bigger updates requiring a new release version of the code but for which the userguide does not require upgrade, call for a slightly more elaborate procedure whereby a short refereeing cycle is implemented, during which external referees assess the new release candidate. Upon acceptance, a new DOI will be issued for the new release of the source code, but the userguide's DOI will be preserved (small updates which do not substantially change the content can be implemented, and (as above) will be made visible to readers via Crossmark).

Major upgrade with new source code release and new userguide: in this case, a new full refereeing cycle is performed on both the userguide and the source code release candidate. Upon acceptance, new versions of record will be produced and thus new DOIs will be minted for both objects. This would be an appropriate option if the list of contributors has changed substantially, or if the new codebase substantially deviates from the previous one.

Acceptance criteria

To be accepted for publication in SciPost Physics Codebases, a submission must fulfil all the following criteria:

  • The software must address a demonstrable need for the scientific community
  • The userguide must properly contextualize the software, describe the logic of its workings and highlight its added value as compared to existing software
  • At least one example application must be presented in detail
  • High-level programming standards must be followed throughout the source code
  • The documentation must be complete, including detailed instructions on downloading, installing and running the software
  • Benchmarking tests must be provided.

Submission and Editorial Process

Authors should follow the authoring guidelines to ensure seamless processing of their manuscript. The SciPost Journals Terms and Conditions apply to all Submissions to SciPost Physics Codebases.

All incoming Submissions are thoroughly checked for plagiarism, and follow the peer-witnessed refereeing procedures outlined in Submission and Refereeing procedure.

Minimal number of reports: at least 1 substantial report must have been received; all points raised must have been addressed either in resubmissions or in author replies before a recommendation for publication can be formulated.

All publication decisions are taken by the Editorial College (Physics), following the rules set out in the Editorial College by-laws.

Accepted submissions benefit from our top-quality production process, and from our industry-leading metadata handling facilities.

Genuine Open Access

Publications in SciPost Physics Codebases are Genuine Open Access. Take the time to understand what this means, and how we compare to other publishers. We do not profiteer from you or your contributions in any way. We are truly run by and for the academic community, entirely not-for-profit and without any competing interests.

As authors, you retain your copyright: all articles are published in your name under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, allowing freedom to use, reproduce and distribute the articles and related content (unless otherwise noted), for commercial and noncommercial purposes, subject to the citation of the original source.

There are no subscription fees, nor are there Article Processing Charges (APCs). By publishing with us, you are contributing to implementing a healthier business model for academic publishing.