Open2C authorship policy
What does Open2C hope to maximize as a community? An incentive to contribute to projects and maintain them in the long term.
Why do we publish software?
Why are publishing and authorship important in this context? One could argue that github/documentation/forums/twitter/etc are better avenues for promoting software than an article. Journal articles, however, remain the principal currency in the academic system and are how we can document our scientific productivity and utility to the broader community. Authorship is also important for supporting a project’s long-term upkeep; without recognizing levels of contribution, major contributors may feel unable to spend their time in this critical role.
Open2C papers use an alphabetical author list for manuscripts, because linear ordering does not adequately reflect the variety of contributions to Open2C projects. Sufficiently broad projects often have multiple modules developed/maintained by different people. When possible, we list Open Chromosome Collective as the first author. To encourage contributions, Open2C strives to be generous with authorship. Being active on the Open2C slack is not required, but potential authors should answer an email saying they would like to be an author and are willing to read and approve the paper. Otherwise, they can be noted along with one-off contributors in the acknowledgments.
Corresponding authors / core maintainers
To support the overall goals of Open2C software, core maintainers are designated as corresponding authors on manuscripts. A core maintainer can be designated for a module and not necessarily for a whole library. Core maintainers are discussed and declared at the time of manuscript submission, and will be revisited with each manuscript version. Two criteria define a core maintainer:
- a substantial and sustained contribution at some point of a project. We aim to stimulate participation and be inclusive: if you suspect that your contribution was significant, it most likely was! (if you’re not on the Open2C Slack, it’s very unlikely that you are a core maintainer. :))
- a commitment to maintaining the project over the long-term: bug fixes, critical (but minor in size) feature requests, review of contributions, potentially, answers to well-researched questions, but definitely not answers to every single question (e.g. poorly researched questions).
To help users, the “Author contributions” section lists the parts of the library each core maintainer is responsible for and invites relevant queries. All other authors are put together in one entry that describes the general types of contributions sufficient to become an Open2C author.