Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

Regular submissions to the Archive of Numerical Software are programs together with an accompanying article describing the functionality as well as the scientific background of the code. Given the Archive's premise of promoting the use and re-use of scientific software, programs submitted as part of articles must either extend or be based on widely used scientific computing libraries. We expect that these base libraries follow high implementation standards, have a tested software design and provide extensive documentation.

In order to guarantee an objective review process and reproducibility of results, as well as to enable interesting applications solved in short programs, ANS only accepts code based on publicly available high level open source libraries. Examples for such libraries are the following (in alphabetical order, without completeness): Alberta, deal.II, Dune, FEniCS, FreeFEM, FLAME, libMesh, PETSc, and Trilinos. We will be delighted to augment this list whence software based on a different library is submitted. Software libraries on this list are also represented on the editorial board by their maintainers. ANS is interested in appointing additional members to the editorial board that provide expertise with other libraries, in particular outside the area of finite element and/or partial differential equations. We encourage nominations of base libraries and possible editors to this end. See the section on Library Introductions in the submission guidelines for details and requirements.


Section Policies

Regular Articles

In this section, we publish well-structured pieces of application software together with an accompanying article describing the functionality, mathematical foundation, and providing example results. They are based on one of the libraries listed in the section on editorial policies. They have been tested to run and produce at least part of the results in the article.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Short Communications

Short communications provide information about updates to codes that were described in a previous article. These could be for instance adaptations to new library versions, or the use of a more advanced component in part of the code. These submissions should contain the complete and self-contained updated revision of the code they refer to, accompanied by an article outlining the changes and their purpose. Technical requirements are the same as for regular submissions, but novelty requirements are not as strict. Nevertheless, the update must be a significant improvement. Depending on the nature of the update, the editor might abbreviate the peer review process.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Library Introductions

These are short communications or regular articles introducing a new software library for public use. Articles in the Archive of Numerical Software can be based on such a library, and an introduction or an introduction of the features of a new version will help authors referencing the library. In order to be added, a software library must meet the following criteria:

  1. Quality manifested in a well-documented user interface, correctness of implementation, and the use of modern software practices such as regular testing. Object-oriented code is welcome, but not necessary.
  2. Availability under an OSI approved Open Source license.
  3. Accessibility in the sense that the library does not require excessively many or unusual software to be installed and that configuration and installation can be performed in few and easy steps.
  4. Utility such that the scope of the library is sufficiently wide and its use results in considerably shorter or better structured application programs.
  5. An existing user base that extends beyond the institution that created the software.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Peer Review Process

Each submission is forwarded to an associate editor who is acquainted with the software environment employed in the project (referred to as the software base below). After a brief review for scope and adherence to the journal's standards, the associate editor solicits peer reviews by typically two reviewers.

One of the reviewers should qualify as an expert on the software base, and the review should clearly address issues related to coding standards and quality. This reviewer should also verify that the software can be installed according to the instructions and produces the reported results.

The other reviewer should be an expert on the mathematical problem solved by the program. In order to maintain high standards and avoid isolated development of subcultures, the second reviewer ideally should not have too much expertise with the software base.

The peer review process normally takes 12 weeks and the associate editor independently solicits a revised version if applicable. Otherwise, the associate editor submits a recommendation for acceptance or rejection to the editorial board, which comes up with a final decision within 4 weeks after the reviews have been received.