Vegetation Classification and Survey (VCS), the new journal of the Int’l Association for Vegetation Science

The journal is to launch with a big editorial and several diverse, high-quality papers over the next months

In summer 2019 IAVS decided to start a new, third association-owned journal, Vegetation Classification and Survey (VCS), next to Journal of Vegetation Science (JVS) and Applied Vegetation Science (AVS).

Vegetation Classification and Survey (VCS) is an international, peer-reviewed journal of plant community ecology published on behalf of the International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS) together with its sister journals, Journal of Vegetation Science (JVS) and Applied Vegetation Science (AVS). It is devoted to vegetation survey and classification at any organizational and spatial scale and without restriction to certain methodological approaches.

The journal publishes original papers that develop new vegetation typologies as well as applied studies that use such typologies, for example, in vegetation mapping, ecosystem modelling, nature conservation, land use management or monitoring. Particularly encouraged are methodological studies that design and compare tools for vegetation classification and mapping, such as algorithms, databases and nomenclatural principles. Papers dealing with conceptual and theoretical bases of vegetation survey and classification are also welcome. While large-scale studies are preferred, regional studies will be considered when filling important knowledge gaps or presenting new methods. VCS also contains Permanent Collections on “Ecoinformatics” and “Phytosociological Nomenclature”.

VCS is published by the innovative publisher Pensoft as a gold open access journal. Thanks to support from IAVS, we can offer particularly attractive article processing charges (APCs) for submissions during the first two years. Moreover, there are significant reductions for IAVS members, members of the Editorial Team and authors from low-income countries or with other financial constraints (learn more about APCs here).

Article submissions are welcomed at: https://vcs.pensoft.net/

Post by Jürgen Dengler, Idoia Biurrun, Florian Jansen & Wolfgang Willner, originally published on Vegetation Science Blog: Official blog ot the IAVS journals.

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Upcoming Special Issue of Biodiversity Data Journal to feature data papers on European Russia

Partners GBIF, FinBIF and Pensoft to support publication of data papers that describe datasets from Russia west of the Ural Mountains

Original post via GBIF

GBIF—the Global Biodiversity Information Facility—in collaboration with the Finnish Biodiversity Information Facility (FinBIF) and Pensoft Publishers, are happy to issue a call for authors to submit and publish data papers on European Russia (west of the Urals) in an upcoming special issue of Biodiversity Data Journal (BDJ).

Between now and 31 August 2020, the article processing fee (normally €450) will be waived for the first 20 papers, provided that the publications are accepted and meet the following criteria that the data paper describes a dataset:

The manuscript must be prepared in English and is submitted in accordance with BDJ’s instructions to authors by 31 August 2020. Late submissions will not be eligible for APC waivers.

Sponsorship is limited to the first 20 accepted submissions meeting these criteria on a first-come, first-served basis. The call for submissions can therefore close prior to the stated deadline of 31 August. Authors may contribute to more than one manuscript, but artificial division of the logically uniform data and data stories, or “salami publishing”, is not allowed.

BDJ will publish a special issue including the selected papers by the end of 2020. The journal is indexed by Web of Science (Impact Factor 1.029), Scopus (CiteScore: 1.24) and listed in РИНЦ / eLibrary.ru

For non-native speakers, please ensure that your English is checked either by native speakers or by professional English-language editors prior to submission. You may credit these individuals as a “Contributor” through the AWT interface. Contributors are not listed as co-authors but can help you improve your manuscripts.

In addition to the BDJ instruction to authors, it is required that datasets referenced from the data paper a) cite the dataset’s DOI and b) appear in the paper’s list of references.

Authors should explore the GBIF.org section on data papers and Strategies and guidelines for scholarly publishing of biodiversity data. Manuscripts and datasets will go through a standard peer-review process.

To see an example, view this dataset on GBIF.org and the corresponding data paper published by BDJ.

Questions may be directed either to Dmitry Schigel, GBIF scientific officer, or Yasen Mutafchiev, managing editor of Biodiversity Data Journal.

Definition of terms

Datasets with more than 5,000 records that are new to GBIF.org

Datasets should contain at a minimum 5,000 new records that are new to GBIF.org. While the focus is on additional records for the region, records already published in GBIF may meet the criteria of ‘new’ if they are substantially improved, particularly through the addition of georeferenced locations.

Justification for publishing datasets with fewer records (e.g. sampling-event datasets, sequence-based data, checklists with endemics etc.) will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Datasets with high-quality data and metadata

Authors should start by publishing a dataset comprised of data and metadata that meets GBIF’s stated data quality requirement. This effort will involve work on an installation of the GBIF Integrated Publishing Toolkit.

Only when the dataset is prepared should authors then turn to working on the manuscript text. The extended metadata you enter in the IPT while describing your dataset can be converted into manuscript with a single-click of a button in the ARPHA Writing Tool (see also Creation and Publication of Data Papers from Ecological Metadata Language (EML) Metadata. Authors can then complete, edit and submit manuscripts to BDJ for review.

Datasets with geographic coverage in European Russia west of the Ural mountains

In correspondence with the funding priorities of this programme, at least 80% of the records in a dataset should have coordinates that fall within the priority area of European Russia west of the Ural mountains. However, authors of the paper may be affiliated with institutions anywhere in the world.

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Data audit at Pensoft’s biodiversity journals

Data papers submitted to Biodiversity Data Journal, as well as all relevant biodiversity-themed journals in Pensoft’s portfolio, undergo a mandatory data auditing workflow before being passed down to a subject editor.

Learn more about the workflow here:
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-10/pp-aif101819.php.

Official EASE journal European Science Editing goes diamond OA with ARPHA

Starting from 2020, European Science Editing (ESE), the official journal of the European Association of Science Editors (EASE), has been relaunched as a fully Open Access journal with all content freely available and published as soon as accepted, on a new journal website hosted on ARPHA Platform.

This move is part of a strategic relaunch of the journal to provide greater focus on research and expert commentary that will inform and support editors working in the scholarly environment. The relaunch comes after several months of planning by a small working group of EASE Council members and ESE editors. Much of the non-research content previously published in the journal will now be published in the newly-created member magazine, the EASE Digest; for example, News notes, The editor’s bookshelf, Resources, and interviews.

The journal is being relaunched with a new editorial board, but retaining the same Chief Editor, Ksenija Bazdaric, managing editor Dado Cakalo and associate editor associate editors Hrvoje Jakovac, Tom Lang and Joan Marsh. An introductory editorial published in the journal explains the changes.

Introductory editorial by ESE’s Chief Editor, Ksenija Bazdaric. Openly available from https://doi.org/10.3897/ese.2020.e50566.

The new editorial board comprises distinguished members from all over the world: Eva Baranyiova (Czech Republic), Lisa Colledge (UK), Moira Hudson (UK), Olga Kirillova (Russia), Zafer Kocak (Turkey), Rachael Lammey (UK), Vladimir S Lazarev (Belarus), John Loadman (Australia), Herve Maisonneuve (France), Ana Marusic (Croatia), Arjan Polderman (The Netherlands), Maria del Carmen Ruiz Alcocer (Mexico), Karen Shashok (Spain), Cem Uzun (Turkey), and Quan Hoang Vuong (Vietnam).

Ever dedicated to be a source of peer-reviewed information on all aspects of scholarly editing and publishing (i.e. research integrity, peer review, scientometrics, open science, predatory publishing, statistics), writing, translation and ethics, ESE welcomes editorials, original research articles, reviews, viewpoints and correspondence items.

ESE has moved to its new website, provided by the open-access scholarly publishing platform ARPHA (developed by scientific publisher and technology provider Pensoft), for all new articles, although the archive content will remain on the old website. This new website provides better delivery of the journal content and will help to make the journal easier to discover.

“I am happy to be working with the ARPHA team and that ESE has moved to a completely new platform which will raise the profile of editorial research and topics,”

Ksenija Bazdaric, ESE’s Chief Editor.

“At EASE we are delighted to be working with ARPHA and Pensoft to publish the journal in its new format. There has been considerable work invested in relaunching the journal with a new focus so that we can raise the profile of research about editing and the value that editors provide in the scholarly environment. An important part of the relaunch was ensuring greater visibility of the journal content and we are confident that ARPHA can help us achieve this,”

Pippa Smart, President, EASE.

“It could only make us proud at ARPHA that such a pillar in the world of scholarly communication has chosen our publishing platform to make the crucial step towards Open Access. I am certain that by opening up and digitalising its content right away, EASE will greatly facilitate and expedite the improvement of quality and integrity of science on the global scene,”

ARPHA’s and Pensoft’s founder and CEO Prof. Lyubomir Penev. “

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Viticulture Data Journal: Non-conventional papers foster Open Science & sustainability

Non-conventional, yet pivotal research results: data, models, methods, software, data analytics pipelines and visualisation methods, related to the field of viticulture, find a place in a newly launched, open-access and peer-reviewed Viticulture Data Journal (VDJ). The journal went live with the publication of an introductory editorial and a data paper.

The publishing venue is one of the fruits borne during the collaboration between scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoft, its self-developed ARPHA Platform and the EU project AGINFRA+, whose mission is to provide a sustainable channel and data infrastructure for the use of cooperating, but not fully connected user communities working within the agricultural and food sciences. 

The novel journal brings together a wide range of topics related to the field of viticulture: from genetic research, food safety of viticultural products to climate change adaptation of grapevine varieties through grape specific research. Amongst these are:

  • Phenotyping and genotyping
  • Vine growth and development
  • Vine ecophysiology
  • Berry yield and composition
  • Genetic resources and breeding
  • Vine adaptation to climate change, abiotic and biotic stress
  • Vine propagation
  • Rootstock and clonal evaluation
  • Effects of field practices (pruning, fertilization etc.) on vine growth and quality
  • Sustainable viticulture and environmental impact
  • Ampelography
  • Plant pathology, diseases and pests of grapevine
  • Microbiology and microbiological risk assessment
  • Food safety related to table grapes, raisins, wine, etc.

With the help of the ARPHA Platform’s signature writing tool, authors are able to use a set of pre-defined, yet flexible manuscript templates: Data Paper, Methods, Emerging Techniques, Applied Study, Software Description, R Package and Commentary. Furthermore, thanks to the advanced collaborative virtual environment provided by the tool, authors, but also reviewers, editors and other invited contributors enjoy the convenience of working within the same consolidated online file all the way from the authoring and peer review stages to copy editing and publication.

“The Viticulture Data Journal was created to respond to the major technological and sociological changes that have influenced the entire process of scholarly communication towards Open Science,”

explain the editors.

“The act of scientific publishing is actually the moment when the long effort of researchers comes to light and can be assessed and used by other researchers and the wider public. Therefore, it is little wonder that the main arena of transition from Open Access to Open Science was actually the field of academic publishing,”

they add.

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The first research publication made available in VDJ is a data paper by the research team from Agricultural University of Athens: Dr Katerina Biniari, Ioannis Daskalakis, Despoina Bouza and Dr Maritina Stavrakaki. In their study, they assess and compare both the qualitative and quantitative characters of the grape cultivars ‘Mavrodafni’ and ‘Renio’, grown in different regions of the Protected Designation of Origin Mavrodafni Patras (Greece). The associated dataset, containing the mechanical properties, the polyphenolic content and the antioxidant capacity of skin extracts and must of berries of the two cultivars, is available to download as supplementary material from the article.  

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During the AGINFRA+ project, ARPHA has been extended to be used from the AGINFRA+ Virtual Research Environment (VRE), which would allow the authors to use the VRE as an additional gate to the AWT and the journal, as well as to benefit from the integration of AWT with several other services offered by the AGINFRA+ platform. The AGINFRA+ platform has been designed as a Gateway providing online access through a one-stop endpoint to services, aiming at the integration of the traditional narrative of research articles with their underlying data, software code and workflows.

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Viticulture Data Journal is indexed by Altmetric, CrossRef, Dimensions, EBSCOhost, Google Scholar, Mendeley, Microsoft Academic, Naviga (Suweco), OCLC WorldCat, OpenAIRE, OpenCitations, ReadCube, Ulrichsweb™, Unpaywall; and archived at CLOCKSS and Zenodo

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Food Modelling Journal: New open-access venue provides a platform for food scientists

An introductory editorial and an article of a unique publication type are already made available in the next-generation journal

The open-access Food Modelling Journal (FMJ) was launched by the AGINFRA+ community and Pensoft with the aim to encourage food science specialists, agronomists and computer scientists to come together and work on assuring and improving food supply, quality and safety in our globalised and rapidly changing world.

The Food Modelling Journal will be focusing on the publication of information objects and digital resources in the food science field, related (but not limited) to: food safety, food quality, food control, food defence and food design, documenting experimental or observational data and mathematical models.

By providing a platform and tools for describing scientific records and crediting for dedicated models, data, data analytics workflows and software, FMJ fosters the overall reproducibility and reusability of research.

FMJ also aims to shed light on what we refer to as research objects – data, software scripts, visualisation routines or models. Usually, they would stay undervalued, underused and uncredited, despite their importance for the scientific progress.

The focus and scope of the journal are supported by a number of specific key features:

  • Quality but not quantity
  • Cross-disciplinary approach
  • Open data and software code policy
  • Rapid turnaround time
  • Advanced open access and machine-readability.

It should be noted that the Open Science movement and the barrier-free access to research, is at the heart of the FMJ project.

To support its authors, the AGINFRA+ community, Pensoft and Food Modelling Journal have provided them access to the ARPHA Writing Tool, where researchers are able to work together with their co-authors, colleagues and peers on manuscripts from the drafting stage to publication.

A FSKX model run using the executable paper feature available in Food Modelling Journal.

A particularly appealing feature, meant to promote reproducibility, collaboration and openness in science, is the executable papers, where users can reproduce research findings using the published model and running it either with default or new parameters. By clicking an “Execute” button within the body of the article, users are taken to an external virtual environment where they will be able to execute the computation. By ‘encapsulating’ all the details needed to perform the action within the paper, this feature ensures that the published findings will remain testifiable in the future.

“While the long-lasting tradition in science used to focus on crediting researchers’ work through conventional research articles and especially by counting their citations, many exciting, useful and often invaluable products of the research cycle, such as data, software scripts, visualisation routines or models (usually called “research objects”) normally stay undervalued, underused and uncredited, despite their importance for scientific progress,” note the editorial board in the introductory editorial.

“The consequences of this neglect of the initial and intermediate steps of the research cycle in favour of the research articles or research books are obvious: scientists often repeat efforts done by others instead of using these as a stepping stone for further analyses and generating new knowledge, let alone the impossible or restricted reproducibility and reusability of research results,” they add.

The first paper of a unique publication type: FSKX (Food Safety Knowledge), is already publicly accessible in the journal. Classified as an early research outcome, the article presents a new generic model for assessing the risk of salmonellosis associated with the consumption of table eggs. To ensure the reusability of the model, the research team of Virginie Desvignes (ANSES – French Food Safety Agency) have made it available in the Food Safety Knowledge Markup Language (FSK-ML) format alongside the executable model script, visualisation script and simulation settings.

FSK-ML is an open information exchange format that is based on harmonised terms, metadata and controlled vocabulary to harmonise annotations of risk assessment models and that was significantly improved and extended during the AGINFRA+ project.

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Food Modelling Journal is indexed by BASE, CNKI, CrossRef, Dimensions, Google Scholar, J-Gate, Mendeley, Microsoft Academic, Naviga (Softweco), OCLC WorldCat, OpenAIRE, OpenCitations, ReadCube, Transpose, Ulrichsweb™ and Unpaywall; and archived at CLOCKSS, Zenodo and Portico.

Seven journals moving to ARPHA in early 2020 showcase the versatility of the publishing platform

A full-featured, open access publishing platform for journals, books and data, which comes with an extensive list of services and features – both automated and human-provided – to adapt to the individual needs of any client journal. But how does that translate into practice? 

The latest scholarly titles to join the ranks of ARPHA might just provide a perfect example of the capabilities of the platform to accommodate the specificity of scholarly journal across sciences, audiences, geographies and languages.

Amsterdam University Press strengthens partnership with ARPHA by launching two brand new journals

Journal of European Landscapes (JEL) and Heritage, Memory and Conflict Journal (HMC) add up to the partnership between ARPHA and Amsterdam University Press (AUP), which started in early 2018 with the transfer of the only Dutch-language open-access journal focussing on accountancy, business economics and related areas: Accountancy and Business Economics, or Maandblad voor Accountancy en Bedrijfseconomi (MAB).

Homepage of Amsterdam University’s journal Accountancy and Business Economics (Maandblad voor Accountancy en Bedrijfseconomi), using the white-label publishing solution of ARPHA Platform.

Not only was MAB the first journal on the platform that publishes articles exclusively in a language other than English, but also became an impressive precedent with its nearly 100-year content that got successfully dusted off and fitted into the user-friendly digital environment of today. All papers ever issued in MAB since its launch in 1923, were re-published, so that each could be assigned with a DOI; have its metadata registered on CrossRef; and its article content fully searchable within the PDF copy.

All three make use of ARPHA’s white-label publishing solution, which allows for AUP to carry its recognisable logo through a unified banner across the websites of the journals. Unlike MAB, however, JEL and HMC are to have their articles published exclusively in English to further promote their international scope and focus.

Heritage, Memory and Conflict Journal (HMC)

Homepage of the new Heritage, Memory and Conflict Journal published by Amsterdam University Press via ARPHA Platform.

Heritage, Memory and Conflict Journal is a brand new journal launched to trace back the remnants of the past – be it physical or anecdotal – back to their roots in the days of old. How do memory sites and discourses operate as vehicles at local, national and transnational levels and what indeed is the ‘cargo’ they carry? This is the type of questions authors from across disciplines – academic, artistic and industrial – will be trying to answer when preparing their manuscripts for HMC

Journal of European Landscapes (JEL) 

Homepage of the new Journal of European Landscapes published by Amsterdam University Press via ARPHA Platform.

Similarly, the second newly launched Journal of European Landscapes is to turn to history and cultural heritage, in order to understand the present use of the past when it comes to landscape. JEL’s founders point out that while Europe’s landscapes have so far enjoyed quite a lot of scientific attention, there isn’t a journal to address its indisputable and critical connection to heritage, even though the latter is what connects historical research with modern planning and management.

Vegetation Classification and Survey (VCS)

Homepage of the new Vegetation Classification and Survey journal published by the International Association for Vegetation Science via ARPHA Platform.

Adding up to the landscape topic is the Vegetation Classification and Survey (VCS) journal. This is the latest outlet launched by the International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS): a worldwide union of scientists and other aficionados of theory and practice concerning the study of vegetation. 

With its transfer to ARPHA, VCS fulfils the mission of the union to move to Open Access. Interestingly, the journal supports two permanent sections: Ecoinformatics and Phytosociological Nomenclature. There, authors can submit certain unique article types: Review and Synthesis and Short/Long Database Reports. 

Devoted to plant community ecology, VCS publishes original research that works toward the development of novel vegetation classifications, as well as applied studies that use such typologies. Particularly encouraged are methodological studies that design and compare tools for vegetation classification and mapping. 

Plant Sociology 

Homepage of the new Plant Sociology journal published by Società Italiana di Scienza della Vegetazionevia ARPHA Platform.

Another modern botany journal still awaiting its first issue since its transfer to ARPHA, is Plant Sociology, brought to life by the “Società Italiana di Scienza della Vegetazione” (SISV) with the aim to succeed the historical journals of the society: Fitosociologia (1990-2011) and Notiziario della Società Italiana di Fitosociologia (1964-1989).

The editorial management opted to have the journal co-published with Pensoft: the academic publisher and technology provider standing behind ARPHA. Thus, by default, the journal receives some extra perks as a result of Pensoft’s partnerships with leading innovators in the scholarly communication domain.  An excellent example would be the indexing and addition of each Plant Sociology article by the research discovery platform ScienceOpen in the “Pensoft Biodiversity” collection, following a recent strategic collaboration between the two Open Science champions.

With a wide scope covering vegetation studies from plant community to landscape level, Plant Sociology puts a special focus on topics such as plant sociology and vegetation survey for developing ecological models, as well as plant classification, monitoring, assessment, management and conservation, as long as the studies are based on rigorous and quantitative measures of physical and biological components.

Caucasiana

Adding up to the well-pronounced biodiversity theme in ARPHA’s and Pensoft’s journal portfolios, as well as the “Pensoft Biodiversity” collection on ScienceOpen, is the first Georgian journal to join the lines of the publishing platform. Caucasiana is to be co-published by the top biodiversity research centre in the region: Ilia State University in Tbilisi and Pensoft.

The scholarly outlet that we’ll soon see on ARPHA Platform is in fact a successor of an earlier journal launched by the Institute of Zoology of the Georgian Academy of Science that has been revamped top-to-bottom. Transformed into a technologically advanced publishing venue, Caucasiana’s task is to handle the growing research interest in the incredible, yet surprisingly overlooked animal, plant and fungal life of Caucasus and adjacent regions. 

Research published in Caucasiana will be well-positioned to bring this hotspot of biodiversity and endemism into focus for the global conservation movement.

The EASE Journal: European Science Editing (ESE)

The quarterly journal of the European Association of Science Editors (EASE): European Science Editing (ESE) is a key news source for all actors involved in scholarly publishing.

For the first time, ESE will open up its content to the public from day one of its publication, thanks to its move to ARPHA. While digital and print subscriptions used to be included as part of the association’s membership packages, other readers would have had to wait six months after print publication to receive free access.

Launched in 2003, ESE’s aim has been to keep editors posted about everything they need to know concerning scholarly communication. To do so, the journal publishes research articles, meeting reports, essays and viewpoints, as well as book and website reviews. Especially for members of the association, ESE takes care to highlight upcoming events and provide resources and publications, considered to be of their interest. 

Bulgarian Journal of Cardiology

In 2020, ARPHA will also welcome the third Bulgarian-born academic journal and the fourth covering the field of Medical Sciences to its open-access portfolio: the journal of Bulgaria’s National Cardiac Society, which is part of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

For the first time, the Bulgarian Journal of Cardiology will make use of the soon-to-be-released English-Bulgarian bilingual publishing solution from ARPHA. Similarly to the English-Russian approach to journal publishing, which was presented in Moscow in early December, ARPHA will allow for users of the Bulgarian Journal of Cardiology to not only publish papers in both English and Bulgarian, but also enjoy a top-to-bottom Bulgarian user interface.

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Learn more about ARPHA’s key features and achievements from 2019 in our yearly recap.

Russia’s nuclear industry set to fight the climate crisis by exporting education

Challenges and perspectives for Russia’s nuclear industry on its way to assuming a key role in the fight against the climate crisis on a global level, while also ensuring future growth and building on 65 years of prodigious legacy, dating back to the launch of the world’s first nuclear power plant in Obninsk in 1954, are brought together in a paper recently published in the open-access journal Nuclear Energy and Technology.

The authors are three prominent nuclear physicists and key figures at Russia’s National Research Nuclear University MEPhI: Prof. Mikhail N. Strikhanov (Rector of MEPhI), Dr. Alexandr V. Putilov (Dean of the Faculty of Business Informatics and Integrated Systems Management), and Dr. Georgy V. Tikhomirov (Deputy Director of the Institute of Nuclear Physics and Engineering MEPhI). MEPhI is also the basic university of the Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) and alone provides education to 25,000 students from over fifty countries.

In their article, the team pays special attention to the urgent need for a new “educational paradigm” to secure the smooth transfer of Russia’s nuclear industry and knowledge to a global digital economy where industries blend together in new and even unexpected alliances with the ultimate promise of joining knowledge and skills for the common good of humanity. The approach is described as “front-line education” that encompasses training personnel for the specificity of the novel digital economy along the entire “front”: from youth yet to enter university to production personnel.

To do so, the Consortium, supported by 18 specialised universities and led by ROSATOM, is to not only provide first-class educational formats, material and technical resources in addition to the high professionalism of the teaching staff to on-site domestic students, but also export nuclear education on a large scale, in order to pave the way for a subsequent international technological expansion by preparing “personnel of a new type, using a kind of symbiosis of engineering, information and economic training”. According to the scientists behind the paper, students should persist throughout their whole education in their mission “to master new opportunities arising from end-to-end digital technologies, search for and create new technological solutions or production schemes, and develop fundamentally new product lines and business models for implementing new manufacturing technologies.”

An excellent exemplary training format of the new age is the Multy-D system: a 3D digital model of the future nuclear power plants and additional dimensions in the format of terms, resources, etc. Developed over the last few years by MEPhI and Atomstroyexport, it allows for foreign specialists to acquire Russian-born competence. However, latest technological advances, including the transition to a closed nuclear fuel cycle with fast neutron reactors, requires changes in modelling systems.

This is an electronic simulator of a nuclear power plant for education.
Photo by Anastasia Barei / Country of Rosatom.

All of these efforts and transitions are of top priority, given the urgent global need for affordable, environmentally friendly electricity on the background of depleting fossil resources and worrying levels of greenhouse gas emissions, point out the scientists. Meanwhile, the nuclear power industry has claimed its own ecological niche by providing the necessary amount of energy without leaving behind any carbon footprint.

“The improvement of existing and the development of new innovative technologies is a prerequisite for the development of a nuclear energy system that meets the principles of safety and sustainable development,” conclude the authors. “All solutions to these problems are in the hands of the young people who are being trained throughout the country.”

Today, the Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation is developing more than 30 projects of new nuclear power plants (NPP) in Russia and 12 other countries.

Original source:

Putilov AV, Strikhanov MN, Tikhomirov GV (2019) Personnel training for the developing nuclear power industry. Nuclear Energy and Technology 5(3): 201-206. https://doi.org/10.3897/nucet.5.39239

Recap time: ARPHA’s top features & achievements in 2019

Already bracing ourselves for another goodbye in a few weeks, it’s time to look back at 12 months of ceaseless efforts to further advance the user experience for authors, reviewers, editors and readers alike. 

What’s in it for ARPHA that keeps us motivated all year round? Well, it’s a win-win: we get to stay at the top of our game within the scholarly publishing and technological landscape, while honouring our word to client journals, publishers and platforms to provide a state-of-the-art publishing solution sewn with the genuine understanding of a fellow scholar. 

Frankly speaking, having observed a rapid expansion in our journal portfolio – which currently counts over 50 peer-reviewed and exclusively open-access scholarly titles – over the past few years we’ve never been so enthusiastic to draw the line of another “most successful year” and set sights on our 2020 targets.

Without further ado, here are the key innovations and milestones achieved by ARPHA in 2019.

ORCID integration to connect researchers to research

Would a researcher trust a journal with his/her manuscript if it said the research paper will not be assigned with a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) upon publication? 

Likewise, thanks to ORCID, researchers are also provided with a unique digital identifier to provide a persistent link between their identity and their work across platforms. Apart from papers, the latter includes various professional activities such as grant applications as well as links to external profiles, for example, Web of Science ResearcherID or LinkedIn.

To ensure that their work published in an ARPHA-hosted journal is automatically logged on their ORCID account, the platform allows users to sign in using their ORCID credentials. Alternatively, they can add them to their existing profile and merge the two to avoid potential duplicate records and confusion. 

Look out for the exclamation mark next to your user name: it reminds you that you haven’t taken full advantage of the ARPHA-ORCID integration just yet.

Visit ORCID’s website to learn more about their mission to connect researchers to research.

Now on display: ORCID ID, Web of Science ResearcherID and Scopus Author ID

In addition to their ORCID IDs, users at any ARPHA-hosted journal can add their Web of Science ResearcherID and SCOPUS ID to their user profiles to ensure further seamless connectivity between their identity and professional activities. Once they do so, the corresponding icon(s) will show up next to their names every time they appear in an authors list across ARPHA-associated journals.

While ORCID IDs automatically link users to their work published on ORCID-integrated platforms (records can also be added manually), a Web of Science ResearcherID – which of recently is managed by Publons – creates a link between a researcher’s peer review and editorial contributions and their Web of Science Core Collection-indexed publications. Similarly, Scopus Author IDs connect Scopus-indexed publications with their authors’ profiles, including references, citations, h-index and subject areas.

Pending tasks visualised for each reviewer and Subject editor to facilitate and speed up the editorial process

Even though the high-tech and user-friendly infrastructure available from ARPHA Platform substantially reduces the time between a manuscript’s acceptance, publication, dissemination, archiving and indexing, we do realise that, technology-wise, there is little to be done in order to expedite the manual labour performed by overburdened editors and reviewers. 

This is why we’ve made it possible for an editor to see how many tasks any Subject editor or reviewer is currently handling whenever he/she gets to assign a manuscript.

Multilingualism on a journal AND platform level

Despite the ceaseless globalisation in the scholarly landscape, we can’t fail to recognise that there are, and perhaps will always be, academic journals whose specific scope and readership would do best if the content is also available in additional languages apart from English.

When we welcomed Population and Economics in April, the renowned Moscow State University’s journal became the first ARPHA-hosted scholarly title to accommodate our bilingual approach allowing for the reader to download a PDF copy of an article in Russian straight from its webpage. To avoid potential confusion in references, citations etc., both the Russian- and the English-language articles are using the same DOI.

Happy with the positive feedback from our clients and motivated by the soaring number of similar requests coming from potential client journals, we continued investing in the full transformation of ARPHA into a multilingual platform.

As a result, clients of ARPHA can now opt for our bilingual solution, where it is entirely up to the individual user to toggle between the English and Russian interface of the journal.

We’ve already started working on adding more languages to make sure that ARPHA is truly multilingual and international-friendly!

ARPHA-Proceedings inaugural issue

Recently, we also saw the publication of the inaugural issue of conference proceedings submitted to our self-titled innovative platform.

A total of 150 papers (1,496 pages) were made available in PDF format, in order to demonstrate a snapshot of the latest research on personal and professional development of teachers from around the world, as presented at the V International Forum on Teacher Education (29-31 May 2019, Kazan Federal University, Russia).

Aimed at conference organisers from across all scientific fields, ARPHA Proceedings allows for the publication of dedicated issues, where conference papers are published along associated data, figures and citations. Additionally, video recordings, posters and presentations can be uploaded in bulk once the conference is over. 

Individual conference papers as well as complete volumes are assigned with their own DOIs, which are registered by ARPHA in full compliance with CrossRef’s metadata requirements for conference materials.

Historical issues of Dutch journal of Accountancy & Business Economics (MAB) republished by modern standards

Backlist volumes of the Dutch Journal of Accountancy & Business Economics (Maandblad voor Accountancy en Bedrijfseconomie (MAB)) dating back to 1924 were re-issued, in order to cover the whole existence of the renowned scholarly outlet. 

As a result, not only are all papers published in MAB in the last 95 years openly accessible from a single online source, but they also take full advantage of the technology normally available to modern research outputs. These include a DOI assignment and CrossRef registration of metadata for each individual study. A full-text search of an article’s content is available with the PDF copy. 

MAB, a journal by Amsterdam University Press, moved to our platform using ARPHA’s white label publishing solution last year. ARPHA’s white label publishing is targeted primarily to university presses, independent publishers and societies seeking to retain their identity in an increasingly competitive high-tech environment.

A whole new batch of web integrations available to clients

Most recently, Pensoft and ARPHA signed a strategic collaboration agreement with the research discovery platform ScienceOpen, which means that content from all ARPHA-hosted journals will be indexed in the ScienceOpen’s research and discovery environment and added within the thematic context of over 60 million articles and books.

Earlier in 2019, ARPHA was integrated with several other research databases, including Portico, EBSCO and Transpose, so that content published across the journals is even easier to discover and access and ultimately facilitating the citability, reusability and reproducibility of scientific research.

A list of all web-service integrations available to ARPHA-hosted journals is available on our website.


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ARPHA Platform’s content integrated into ScienceOpen to take advantage of novel streams of science communication

The research discovery platform ScienceOpen and Pensoft Publishers have entered into a strategic collaboration with the aim of strengthening the companies’ identities as the leaders of innovative content dissemination. The new cooperation will focus on the unified indexation, the integration of Pensoft’s ARPHA Platform content into ScienceOpen and the utilization of novel streams of scientific communication for the published materials.

Pensoft is an independent academic publishing company, well known worldwide for bringing novelty through its cutting-edge publishing tools and for its commitment to open access practices. In 2013, Pensoft launched the first ever, end-to-end, XML-based, authoring, reviewing and publishing workflow, now upgraded to the ARPHA Publishing Platform. As of today, ARPHA hosts over 50 open access, peer-reviewed scholarly journals: the whole Pensoft portfolio in addition to titles owned by learned societies, university presses and research institutions.

As part of the strategic collaboration, all Pensoft content and journals hosted on ARPHA are indexed in the ScienceOpen’s research and discovery environment, which puts them into thematic context of over 60 million articles and books. In addition, thousands of articles across more than 20 journals were integrated into a “Pensoft Biodiversity” Collection. Combined this way, the content benefits from the special infrastructure of ScienceOpen Collections, which supports thematic groups of articles and books equipped with a unique landing page, a built-in search engine and an overview of the featured content. The Collections can be reviewed, recommended and shared by users, which facilitates academic debate and increases the discoverability of the research.

The Pensoft Biodiversity collection on ScienceOpen.

“It is certainly great news and a much-anticipated milestone for Pensoft, ARPHA and our long-year partners and supporters from ScienceOpen to have brought our collaboration to a new level by indexing the whole ARPHA-hosted content at ScienceOpen,” comments Pensoft’s and ARPHA’s CEO and founder Prof. Lyubomir Penev. “Most of all, the integration between ARPHA and ScienceOpen at an infrastructural level means that we will be able to offer this incredible service and increased visibility to newcoming journals right away. On the other hand, by streaming fresh and valuable publicly accessible content to the ScienceOpen database, these journals will be further adding to the growth of science in the open.”

Stephanie Dawson, CEO of ScienceOpen says, “I am particularly excited to add new high-quality, open access biodiversity content from Pensoft Publishers to the ScienceOpen discovery environment as we have a very active community of researchers on ScienceOpen creating and sharing Collections in this field. We are looking forward to working with Pensoft’s innovative journals to support their open science goals.”

The collaboration reflects not only the commitment of both Pensoft and ScienceOpen to new methods of knowledge dissemination, but also the joint mission to champion open science through innovation. The two companies will cooperate at a strategic level in order to increase the international outreach of their content and services, and to make them even more accessible to the broad community.

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About ScienceOpen:

From promotional collections to Open Access hosting and full publishing packages, ScienceOpen provides next-generation services to academic publishers embedded in an interactive discovery platform. ScienceOpen was founded in 2013 in Berlin and Boston by Alexander Grossmann and Tibor Tscheke to accelerate research communication.

Nuclear reactors with a newly proposed barrier could’ve withstood Chernobyl and Fukushima

In the aftermath of the notorious accidents in the history of nuclear energy at Three Mile Island (1979), Chernobyl (1986) and Fukushima (2011), where all three have turned into devastating disasters due to meltdown in the core of a reactor, leading in turn to the release of radiation into the environment, many countries around the world have already pledged to a nuclear power phase-out.

However, while actions towards the closure of all nuclear power plants in only a few decades’ time are already well underway, the alternative energy sources currently in operation have some major drawbacks: they rely mainly on non-renewable resources, produce significantly less energy compared with nuclear power plants and, most importantly, are considered to be amongst the main contributors of carbon emissions and, thereby, the climate crisis which humanity is now set to battle.

Nevertheless, a future powered by nuclear energy might be neither a lost cause, nor a game of “Russian roulette”, according to the research team of Francesco D’Auria (University of Pisa, Italy), Nenad Debrecin (University of Zagreb, Croatia) and Horst Glaeser (Global Research for Safety, Germany). In a recent paper, published in the open-access peer-reviewed journal Nuclear Energy and Technology and the result of 30-40 years of collaboration, they propose a new safety barrier to be implemented in large Light Water Reactors around the world. Coming at a fraction of the cost of the already obsolete one that it is about to replace, this barrier is expected to reduce the probability of core melt to that of a large meteorite hitting the site.

With their new technological solution, these scientists aim to bring together research findings from the last few decades, mostly in relation to accident analysis capabilities and nuclear fuel material performance, as well as the concepts of the very pioneers who developed the nuclear technology in the past century. The proposal is based on studies and discussions from the 11th Scientific and Technical Conference “Safety Assurance of NPP with VVER” (Russia, May 2019) and the International Conference on Nuclear Power Plants, Structures, Risk & Decommissioning, NUPP2019 (United Kingdom, June 2019). As a result, they hope to regain public confidence in nuclear power – an efficient and sustainable source of renewable energy, as well as bridging the gaping chasm between what we have learnt over the years about nuclear energy and technology and what is being implemented in practice.

Amongst the up-to-date research findings and knowledge to be implemented in the novel technological solution are the recently discovered nuclear fuel structural weakness, as well as a more elaborate Extended Safety Margin Detection (E-SMD), which allows for an emergency shutdown of a reactor, following even low and very low probability events. It also provides advance information to the operators about the actions needed to prevent or mitigate possible damage. The recruitment of an Emergency Rescue Team (ERT) is also proposed to consist of a group of highly trained and specialised rescuers who will be in possession of suitable machinery and equipment, as well as access to each nuclear reactor installed within an assigned geographic region and who will be able to reach any of the sites within an hour or execute a remote shutdown of the reactor.

In their study, the researchers go on to explain how and why exactly these features would have prevented core melt and the eventual nuclear disasters at each of the three notorious nuclear power stations.

In the case of the Three Mile Island accident: the most devastating accident in US commercial nuclear power plant history, considered to be the result of a rather typical combined failure, an alarm from E-SMD detectors would have triggered the emergency shutdown of the unit well before the event.

In December 2017, the ‘Chernobyl liquidators’ monument by Andrei Kovalchuk was ceremonially unveiled on Poklonnaya Hill in Moscow’s Victory Park to pay tribute to the people who took part in the clean-up operations after the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on April 26, 1986.
Photo by Country of Rosatom.

In Chernobyl, where critical human errors are found to have led to the accident, an intervention from the ERT: a remotely controlled shutdown and perhaps the deployment of the military would have prevented the consequent catastrophe.

Extended core damage at the Fukushima Units 1 to 3 would have also been prevented thanks to the combination of emergency alerts and prompt action by the ERT.

The researchers also note that, in spite of the notoriety of the three nuclear disasters, there have been about 500 safely operated nuclear power plant units since the demonstration of the capability to control the fission reaction in 1942 and the connection of nuclear fission driven electricity generator to the electrical grid in 1954. On top of that, there have been a few thousand accident-free reactors used for purposes different from electricity production, including research, production and marine propulsion.

“The industry and/or the Government of responsible Countries where applicable, become the main players for the possible implementation of the ideas in this paper. A strategy is needed in this connection: academia and research institutes willing to be engaged into practical applications of the nuclear technology should become actors,” the scientists write in conclusion.


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Original source:

D’Auria F, Debrecin N, Glaeser H (2019) The technological challenge for current generation nuclear reactors. Nuclear Energy and Technology 5(3): 183-199. https://doi.org/10.3897/nucet.5.38117