Are the CODECHECK principles not a quite low bar?


  • A little bit is more than nothing.
  • The lower the bar, the earlier in the process a CODECHECK can occure (e.g. pre-review)
  • Exposure to reproducibility practices is key.
  • Nudging works.
  • Better get a certificate for small parts of the workflow than not doing any codechecking - not everything needs to be checked.

Why use make in the CODECHECK community workflow?

  • It’s old, works, and is available everywhere.
  • Useful caching mechanism.

How should I best package my code and data?

So that the codechecker can make sense of it. Beyond that, follow community practices or create a research compendium.

Is it not better to write a software paper and get make a software review?

Software papers, such as published in JOSS, and software peer reviews, such as conducted by ROpenSci or PyOpenSci, are a great way to increase visibility and quality of research software. CODECHECK does not intend to replace these, but focusses on scripts and workflows that are specific to a manuscript at hand. If you write a large article about a specific tool or software, e.g., as published in JORS, it is debatable if an additional CODECHECK makes sense. A software review greatly increases the quality of the tools used in research, and thereby make CODECHECKs much easier.

What if I used proprietary software X?

The codechecker must be able to conduct the CODECHECK. If they have access to he software, there is no problem.

Can’t researchers cheat by manipulating the files from the manifest within their code?


But I work with huge/privacy data!

Use one of these approaches:

  • data enclaves
  • synthetic data
  • subsets

Why does an author have to provide licensing information?

In this first implementation of the CODECHECK principles, we imagine an open process, and there is no openness without proper handling of copyright.

Why don’t you require use of reproducibility technology X?

The codechecker puts their name under the CODECHECK. That is more important than technical details, which will vary on a case by case basis. Codecheckers are encouraged to apply commonly used tools to assisst reproducibility, such as notebooks or containerisation, but are not required to do so.

What if Docker/make/software X is not available anymore?

Software stacks are volatile, and CODECHECK acknowledges this by focussing on the idea that a workflow was once reproducible by a person other than the author. This is a huge step forward, and we are excited for the times when even more will be commonplace. The CODECHECK largely increases the chances that the checked code works for third parties and is accessible, e.g. using text-based file formats, and portable, e.g. using containers. The files and archives (a Docker image is a tarball of a directory system) will be readable much longer than tools will be there to easily work with them.

What’s the correct way of writing CODECHECK?

  • CODECHECK process.
  • A codechecker codechecks an article and creates the CODECHECK bundle.
  • Codecheckers write CODECHECK reports.
  • The CODECHECK report is created by the codechecker during the codechecking process.