Review checklist

JOSE reviews are checklist-driven. That is, there is a checklist for each JOSE reviewer to work through when completing their review. A JOSE review is generally considered incomplete until the reviewer has checked off all of their checkboxes.

Below is an example of the review checklist.


Note this section of our documentation only describes the JOSE review checklist. Authors and reviewers should consult the review criteria to better understand how these checklist items should be interpreted.

Conflict of interest

Code of Conduct

General checks

  • Repository: Is the source code for this learning module available at the repository url?
  • License: Does the repository contain a plain-text LICENSE file with the contents of a standard license? (OSI-approved for code, Creative Commons for content)
  • Version: Does the release version given match the GitHub release (v1.0)?
  • Authorship: Has the submitting author made visible contributions to the module? Does the full list of authors seem appropriate and complete?


  • A statement of need: Do the authors clearly state the need for this module and who the target audience is?
  • Installation instructions: Is there a clearly stated list of dependencies?
  • Usage: Does the documentation explain how someone would adopt the module, and include examples of how to use it?
  • Community guidelines: Are there clear guidelines for third parties wishing to 1) Contribute to the module 2) Report issues or problems with the module 3) Seek support?

Pedagogy / Instructional design (Work-in-progress: reviewers, please comment!)

  • Learning objectives: Does the module make the learning objectives plainly clear? (We don’t require explicitly written learning objectives; only that they be evident from content and design.)
  • Content scope and length: Is the content substantial for learning a given topic? Is the length of the module appropriate?
  • Pedagogy: Does the module seem easy to follow? Does it observe guidance on cognitive load? (working memory limits of 7 +/- 2 chunks of information)
  • Content quality: Is the writing of good quality, concise, engaging? Are the code components well crafted? Does the module seem complete?
  • Instructional design: Is the instructional design deliberate and apparent? For example, exploit worked-example effects; effective multi-media use; low extraneous cognitive load.

JOSE paper

  • Authors: Does the file include a list of authors with their affiliations?
  • A statement of need: Does the paper clearly state the need for this module and who the target audience is?
  • Description: Does the paper describe the learning materials and sequence?
  • Does it describe how it has been used in the classroom or other settings, and how someone might adopt it?
  • Could someone else teach with this module, given the right expertise?
  • Does the paper tell the “story” of how the authors came to develop it, or what their expertise is?
  • References: Do all archival references that should have a DOI list one (e.g., papers, datasets, software)?