We intend to change the way new packages are submitted and reviewed before being added to the Bioconductor repository.
Currently, package authors submit their package to a private 'tracker'. A member of the Bioconductor community, typically a core team member, provides a 'technical review' to ensure that the package meets Bioconductor standards. Authors revise their package, and it is added to the Bioconductor subversion version control repository and to the 'devel' repository for nightly cross-platform builds and distribution to the general public. The review process means that the package is previewed by a single person, often with limited expertise in the scientific area the package addresses.
We intend to change the submission and review process, effective immediately after our next release (typically at the end of April, although no date for the release has been set). The specific details of the updated process will be established over the coming months. Broadly, new package submissions will be to a public rather than private issue tracker. Packages will continue to be subject to technical review by an assigned reviewer. In addition, members of the broader Bioconductor community will be invited to provide commentary on the technical and scientific merits of the package. The window for review will remain short, in the 2- to 4-week time frame. The package author will be required, as now, to revise their package or otherwise respond to the concerns of the assigned reviewer, and will be expected but not required to take community commentary into consideration. The decision to accept the package to Bioconductor will remain in the hands of the technical reviewer. We anticipate that the review process will remain constructive, and that the added opportunity for discussion and assessment will help maintain the high quality standards associated with Bioconductor packages.
Package authors occasionally request that the public release of their package be coordinated with a publication or other event; we will not be able to accommodate this under the revised system.