Why ARPHA?

Ten most distinctive features of ARPHA

(1) End-to-end software platform + human-provided services

Browse the full range of services offered by ARPHA on: https://arphahub.com/about/services

ARPHA is a full-featured publishing platform providing: an authoring tool, peer review, production, publishing, hosting, indexing, archiving and dissemination of content. 

This means that journals or publishers moving to ARPHA will avoid the burden of dealing with various software or service vendors (e.g. one for submission and peer review, another for production and a third for publishing and hosting). 

The benefits from this seamlessly integrated workflow is that all team members (editors, reviewers, authors, layout managers and linguistic editors) can work within a single environment, where they can benefit from: 

  • one-stop entry and unified interface from the start to the end of the publishing process;
  • reduced manuscript turnaround times;
  • in-built tools for monitoring and control at all stages of the publishing process; 
  • data security and GDPR compliance;
  • reduced costs and optimised cost/quality ratio.

Complementary to the integrated and user-friendly software platform, ARPHA offers a full range of services provided by our team or external vendors. This gives journal editors the flexibility and freedom to outsource some processes to ARPHA’s team or continue using its own staff or vendors.Additionally, we offer advanced journal performance reporting services designed to assist the Editors-in-Chief and managing editors in keeping an eye on the journal’s development and management.

(2) White-label and (co-)publishing

ARPHA can be used as a white-label solution, meaning the platform will operate under a journal/publisher’s own logo and imprint. 

In other cases, especially for starting journals, a (co-)publishing solution together with ARPHA’s developer Pensoft Publishers may bring additional benefits in terms of recognition, promotion, development and goodwill.

Home page of the Journal of European Landscapes‘ s website demonstrates white-label journal publishing on ARPHA Platform.
Visit at: https://journalofeuropeanlandscapes.eu/ .

Use case I: Being an internationally recognised publisher, the Amsterdam University Press (AUP) opted for the white-label solution of ARPHA. To date, the publisher has moved three of its journals to the new platform (Maandblad voor Accountancy en Bedrijfseconomie, Journal of European Landscapes and Heritage, Memory and Conflict Journal), all of them benefiting from an individual design that fully honours their identity as part of the AUP’s journal portfolio, while at the same time, featuring the modern look and feel that comes with ARPHA. 

Home page of the Zoosystematics and Evolution‘s website demonstrates the (co-)publishing solution available from ARPHA Platform and Pensoft.
Visit at: https://zse.pensoft.net/ .

Use case II: Alternatively, the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum), Berlin, took a decision to flip to open access and modernise their historical journals Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift (since 1859) and (since 1890, journal name changed) on ARPHA under the strong publishing brand of the platform’s mother company, Pensoft Publishers.

(3) Operational flexibility

The software modules or human-provided services can be selected on choice, so that they align with the journal’s existing workflows, future needs and budgetary requirements.

Use case I: Where journals already maintain their own editorial and/or production staff, they can opt to use ARPHA’s software platform in part and keep some of the work (e.g. editorial management and production) in-house. For example, the Plant Sociology journal of the Italian Society for Vegetation Science (SISV) decided to go for ARPHA’s ADVANCED pricing model, while continuing to use their own copy editing and typesetting services, leaving to ARPHA the building and maintenance of the entire editorial management and publishing platform, along with the highly specialised work on XML tagging and semantically-enhanced publishing. As a result, the journal achieved a quick technological modernisation, while significantly optimising its operational costs, allowing authors to publish with APC as low as €350 (€250 for society members).

Use case II: When the European Science Editing (ESE) journal, published by the European Association for Science Editing (EASE), enquired about ARPHA for possible use of its software and services, we decided to provide the platform for free, given the importance of the Society’s activities for increasing the quality and integrity of science publishing in Europe. During the negotiation phase, it appeared that the Society found its own way to typeset the articles to PDF, while the XML services had to be provided by ARPHA. At the very end, ARPHA and EASE decided to publish the journal as PDF only and move to HTML/XML later on, possibly after the second or third year. The result of this was an entirely free publishing in the ESE journal, while the transition to HTML/XML can happen at any point selected  by the Society.

(4) Affordable and flexible pricing models

ARPHA publicly offers a transparent cost structure for its services. Each pricing plan contains a detailed account of the software modules and human-provided services. A journal can select from four pricing models that, depending on the publication volume, may amount to the following exemplary yearly costs: 

EXAMPLES OF APPROXIMATE YEARLY COSTS  (€)

Exemplar journal LITE BASIC ADVANCED PREMIUM
2 issues
20 articles / year
€1,600 €3,500 €7,500 €11,500
4 issues
40 articles / year
€2,200 €5,500
€13,500 €21,500

Use case I: Check List is a large international journal operating mostly in the Global South, which sought an inexpensive publishing venue for its authors, while providing them with a modernised and technologically-advanced platform. ARPHA elaborated a custom business model for Check List based on PDF-only publishing, but providing distribution of metadata in XML and HTML, thus allowing the Article Processing Charges (APCs) for authors to be reduced to €120-€150.

Use case II: The journal Evolutionary Systematics of the University of Hamburg is published on ARPHA under the conditions of a fixed yearly budget which does not need to be calculated on the basis of the number of articles published per year. ARPHA customised a business model, based on a fixed number of pages published each year, which allowed for flexibility in publication of articles of different size within the yearly limit, while keeping the costs in accordance with the planned budget.

Use case III: The journal Alpine Entomology inherited the historical journal Mitteilungen der Schweizerischen Entomologischen Gesellschaft, which has been published by the Swiss Entomological Society since the middle of the 19th Century in black-and-white printed format only. In an open discussion with the journal’s editorial board, ARPHA was able to offer a model that allowed the building of a new website, publishing of the journal at the highest possible technological standards in semantic XML, HTML and PDF, printing 300 full-colour copies for distribution to society members and still allowed the saving of a small part of the journal pre-ARPHA budget!

(5) Various business models

A journal can operate on ARPHA using a wide variety of business models, for example:

  1. Diamond open access – all costs are covered by an institution, society or third parties and the authors publish for free. The benefit of using ARPHA is that the costs of maintaining diamond open access for the journal owner will be FAIR, LOW and TRANSPARENT.
  2. Mixed model – part of the costs can be covered by an institution, society or third parties and part from author’s APCs. The benefit of using ARPHA is that, with this model, the APCs for the authors can be kept as low as to be considered symbolic, in comparison even to average market standards.
  3. APC-based income model – a society or institution may set APC that cover the production costs or add a surplus on the top of ARPHA’s prices. The benefit would be financial sustainability through generation and sharing of income.
  4. Differentiated groups model – some authors can publish for free (e.g. staff or society members), others can benefit from discounts or waivers (e.g. from low-income countries) and a third group of authors can pay full APCs. The benefit of using ARPHA is that its accounting and online payment modules can be tuned to cater for administration of fees for different user groups.
  5. Custom-fit models that can be elaborated together by the journal and ARPHA.
Vegetation Classification and Survey operates a quite complex and highly-automated APCs model, thanks to ARPHA’s supporting a wide range of business models.
Visit at: https://vcs.pensoft.net/about#ArticleProcessingCharges.

Use case: The International Association for Vegetation Science (IASV) decided to add a new journal Vegetation Classification and Survey to their portfolio, aiming at not-for-profit financial sustainability of the journal achieved over a period of three years. ARPHA supported a quite complex and highly-automated APCs model, ranging from free publication during the first year, low APCs during the second and below market average APCs during the third year and beyond, with different levels of discounts and waivers for society members, journal editors and authors from different groups of low-income countries, based on the World Bank classification. As a result, the journal is expected to become cost-neutral for the Society or even to bring in a small income for it, while offering APCs that are two to three times lower than those charged by large commercial publishers.

(6) Language flexibility

The majority of journals on ARPHA are published exclusively in English. Still, some  journals prefer to operate in other languages, depending on their audience of authors and readers. ARPHA supports bilingual solutions at interface, metadata and content levels.

Maandblad voor Accountancy en Bedrijfseconomie supports publication in Dutch, while the metadata and the website interface remains in English.
Additionally, on the journal’s website (visit at: https://mab-online.nl/), you can also find MAB’s historical content, which dates back to 1924.

Use case I: The journal Maandblad voor Accountancy en Bedrijfseconomie of the Amsterdam University Press transitioned to open access and XML publishing on ARPHA in 2017. The journal wanted to keep the metadata and website interface exclusively in English, so that it is generally understandable to the international audience, but at the same time, the main content and journal’s news announcements to be published exclusively in Dutch. The result was more than satisfactory for the editors, authors and readers, especially after ARPHA uploaded the journal’s historical content (since 1924) and made it searchable and discoverable at article level on MAB’s new website. 

For Population and Economics, ARPHA developed a special solution that supports bilingual publications, 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.

Use case II: The journal Population and Economics, published by the Moscow State University, was established as an international journal publishing exclusively in English, while also offering its content in Russian to the vast community of Russian economists and population geographers. ARPHA created a special solution for formatting and publication of a Russian version of all articles, identical to the primary English text and formatted according to the journal’s design standards. The Russian version is published as PDF under the same DOI as the English version and under English Language metadata only; a special statement is included in the Russian version to be cited with its original English metadata to avoid splitting the citation counts between the two language communities.

(7) Multi-purpose platform

Browse ARPHA’s wide range of multi-purpose services at: https://arphahub.com/about/platform.

ARPHA can be used for publication of journals, books, conference abstracts or full-text papers, preprints and institutional documents

For all these different products, ARPHA can create multifunctional platforms for institutions and societies operating under the customer’s logo and branding.

For Bulgarian Cardiology, ARPHA came up with the publishing solution of a billingual interface, where authors can also publish in both Bulgarian and English.
Visit at: https://journal.bgcardio.org/?lang=en.

Use case: The Bulgarian Society of Cardiology transferred its 25-years old journal  Bulgarian Cardiology on ARPHA in 2019. The journal is multilingual and publishes articles in English, Bulgarian and occasionally in other European languages. The new ARPHA-designed website of Bulgarian Cardiology provides a bilingual interface and the possibility to publish both English and Bulgarian language metadata and articles in either of the two languages. Shortly after the journal’s launch, the Society commissioned a new society website following the journal’s corporate design, yet providing a wide variety of other features to present the Society’s activities, publication of various documents, news items and so on. Both websites are available through a platform built on the Society’s domain address bgcardio.org.

(8) Technological innovation and relevance

Advanced semantics publishing, which allows tagging and enhancement of content and the development of multiple interactive tools linked to the article’s content, is one of the high-tech innovations available from ARPHA.

ARPHA provides the highest technological publishing and dissemination standards, including several innovations, for example:

  • Amongst the most prominent technological innovations of the platform is the advanced semantics publishing module, which allows tagging and enhancement of content and the development of multiple interactive tools linked to the article’s content. This module is now fully operational for the domain of Biology, but can be developed for any field on demand of the client.
  • Another useful feature of the platform is the fully-automated indexing and archiving module. All content is instantaneously distributed on the day of its publication via web services, saving valuable time and effort in the editorial office.

Use case I: One of the most remarkable and well-known innovations of ARPHA was the 2013 launch of the first ever entirely XML-based and fully-integrated authoring, peer review and publishing workflow, exemplified by the highly successful Biodiversity Data Journal (BDJ). The ARPHA-XML workflow offered a number of globally-unique features, most of which are still unrivalled by other platforms, for example, import of data from data aggregators directly into the manuscripts via web services or the automated conversion and submission of metadata from data repositories into data paper manuscripts.

Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO Journal) is the first open science journal aiming at publication of all outputs from the research cycle. It was established thanks to the ARPHA-XML journal publishing workflow.

Use case II: In 2015, the ARPHA-XML workflow was used to establish the Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO Journal) as the first open science journal aiming at publication of all outputs from the research cycle: from research ideas and grant proposals to methods, data, software, project reports, research articles and many more. The unique features of RIO resulted in the winning of the SPARC Innovator AWARD for 2016.

(9) High-level integration via web services & data exchange

ARPHA is fully integrated with more than 60 industry leading indexing and archiving services. Our partners include CrossRef, DOAJ, Clarivate Analytics, Scopus, Zenodo, OpenAIRE and PubMed Central, to name just a few.

The full automation of processes within ARPHA means that all content is directly exported upon publication without any extra human effort. This means that publishers and Editors-in-Chief can sit back and relax after pressing the “publish-an-article button”, while ARPHA makes sure that all their content is safely archived and successfully disseminated.

Since its move to ARPHA, Neotropical Biology and Conservation has been enjoying dissemination of its published content to over 50 indexers and archivers.
Visit at: https://neotropical.pensoft.net/.

Use case: The journal Neotropical Biology and Conservation (NBC) was established and published by the University of Rio dos Sinos (UNISINOS), Brazil, by a team of motivated scientists. The journal was quite well-known and was indexed in Scopus and several other resources. At some point the editors realised that modern journal publishing requires much more than good scientific expertise and motivation, due to the rapidly evolving and highly competing science publishing market. In 2019, NBC was transferred to Pensoft and hosted on ARPHA. Particularly useful in the whole process proved to be the automated indexing and archiving functionality that is in-built with each plan of ARPHA. Previously submitted “by hand” by the Editor-in-Chief following each indexer’s specific requirements, this task used to be burdensome for the editorial office and results were prone to errors. After the move, all metadata was not only submitted automatically to all services previously used by the journal, but NBC could take advantage of disseminating their content to a package of more than 50 indexers and archivers (listed on the journal’s homepage)  that automatically comes with the platform.

(10) Personal approach in technical support and consultancy

Journals joining ARPHA will enjoy a personal, reply-within-a-business-day, approach from a designated team member and benefit from operational training and technical support included in all pricing plans. 

The platform also offers consultancy and support  in journal development, indexing and archiving and marketing and promotion. All these services are elaborated in fully transparent and flexible plans, so that editorial boards can opt for services they really need, in order to improve the journal’s performance.

Use case I: ARPHA is built on the principle of transparency and openness and the platform even offers options for open peer review and annotations. However, when the newly-established journal Rethinking Ecology expressed a strong case for the need of a double-blind peer review functionality for the specifics of their work, the feature was developed and introduced on the platform and it is now available as an option for all users on ARPHA.

Use case II: When the journals Russian Journal of Economics and Population and Economics moved to ARPHA, the editorial boards wanted to make the most of the new platform and its features, with the shortest possible uptake time for their in-house staff. As a result, a two-day training was organised for the editorial teams in their Moscow offices, where they received an induction to the platform’s technical features, insights on how to make the most of its workflows and complementary training in journals’ promotion and PR. This induction has led to the requirements of the Editorial Board for these journals being met and successful adoption of the ARPHA platform.

New features in ARPHA to aid journal editors in day-to-day activities and long-term strategic decisions

Recently, at Pensoft, we were delighted to report the positive trends and progress the majority of our journals demonstrated in terms of their citability for 2019. Moreover, this comes as an encouraging pattern where the results have been following the positive progression we’ve been enjoying in recent years. 

Below you can learn about our latest features that address the availability of transparent and dynamic information about the journal’s performance from various perspectives: from authorship and readership to trends in peer review time, and user activity.

Even more statistics to provide key insights into the journal’s performance

Our system already provides plenty of statistics, in order to inform the editors about:

  • manuscript submissions at any moment and their status;
  • publications and submissions for any period of interest; 
  • publications by article type for a period of choice; 
  • international representation based on lead author’s country for a period of choice;
  • article views for a period of choice.

Now, in the Statistics tab, the editors can find even more data, including the average time the manuscripts submitted over a defined period have spent at each stage (e.g. reviewer or editorial decision). Also, the editors have access to a record of all online mentions from across the Internet (data available from our partners at Altmetric), including traditional and new media, blogs, Wikipedia, policy documents and many others. 

See how to access all available statistics on an ARPHA-host journal here.

… all of this brought straight to your inbox with our:

Biannual journal performance report

For further convenience for our managing editors, we will be emailing a journal performance report twice a year, starting in July 2020. In this report, the editors will be receiving graphics on the journal’s performance for the current year and how the results fare against the previous one. The statistics provided include:

  • current submissions and their status;
  • submissions, publications and rejections by quarter;
  • acceptance rate;
  • turnaround time at different processing stages;
  • average review invitations, declines and review rounds per article;
  • top 10 countries represented by lead authors;
  • article views by format (PDF, HTML and XML) and in total;
  • number of online article mentions (data available from Altmetric);
  • Journal Impact Factor and CiteScore trends over the last five years.

Extended annual journal performance report

Citations trends available from Dimensions are reported on an annual basis for journals using the Standard and Premium packages provided by ARPHA Platform.

An extended annual report will be emailed to those who have opted for the ARPHA’s Standard and Premium package of reporting services. There, the editors will also have access to further and more exhaustive insights into the citability, outreach, readership and scholarly impact of their journals and their content. For journals that benefit from the Premium package of reporting services, we will be providing reviews and analyses meant to support the future strategy and progress of their journal.


*See all Journal performance reporting services provided by ARPHA Platform.

Statistics on reviewers’ and editors’ workload and activities

We know that it is the exception rather than the rule that a subject editor is certain about whom out of the lists of names in the system’s database will be most likely to provide a peer review at his request, especially when the task is due time. This is why before the editor selects a particular reviewer, he/she will be able to see the number of tasks (if any) the user is currently working on, in order to find out their current availability. In addition, the subject editor will be able to see how many reviews the user has provided so far, as well as how many times he/she has been invited to do so in the past.

Likewise, the same functionality is available for managing editors when they look to assign a manuscript to a subject editor.     

Review ratings

To further assist subject editors in their choice of appropriate reviewer, and also motivate reviewers, we have also implemented a 5-star rating system, where upon editorial decision on the acceptance/rejection of a manuscript, a subject editor is able to rate each of the provided reviews. The average result for a particular user will be visible in the system for the next subject editor who considers to assign him/her as a reviewer.

See how to rate a review here.

Keeping user expertise up to date

It’s fully understandable that users seldom think of the personal information visible on their accounts once they’ve completed their registration, as they don’t normally need to go back to it afterwards. However, their expertise details determine whether their name will show up in the lists of suggested reviewers and/or subject editors whenever an editor considers an assignment to the manuscript he/she is managing.

Here’s why we’ve introduced a regular reminder for users to review and, where necessary, update their expertise on their ARPHA account. This system message will come up once a year upon login and will straight away offer users a text box, where they can update their saved expertise. By means of free text, they will also be able to narrow it down even further.

As a result, not only are users not going to be bothered by irrelevant invitations – such as those received on the basis of their saved expertise being too broad, thereby saving time to the editorial team, but will also ensure that manuscripts will be indeed handed into the right hands for the sake of quality science.


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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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As transparent as it gets! Five pricing plans & operating models from ARPHA available to OA academic journals

One size to fit them all? At ARPHA, we are well aware that it does not work like that in academia, let alone when it comes to accommodating individual scholarly journals from across the tremendously varied publishing landscape. 

This is why we have prepared five options to account for the specific aims and needs of ARPHA’s potential clients, while bearing in mind their resources and sustainability. 

In the spirit of transparency and openness, along with a comprehensive list of services that clarifies how each plan compares with the rest, we have provided the associated pricing ranges, where the total expenditure is easy to calculate, as it is based solely on the volume of published content. To support emerging publishers and prolific institutions, and express gratitude for their trust, we offer discounts for multiple journals joining ARPHA’s community.

Visit our website to see what services our LITE, BASIC, STANDARD, ADVANCED and PREMIUM plans provide and how much each of them would cost for your individual case.  

While Open Science initiatives, including OA2020 and Plan S, have clearly become the major talking points, academic institutions, societies and small-to-medium publishers from around the world are increasingly looking to chip in the growing community and make their own stand for science becoming truly efficient, responsible and inclusive by ensuring openness, transparency and FAIRness. But how do they do that when capped budgets, scarce human resources and lack of know-how in specific areas come into play? 

While one may be struggling with bringing together the right in-house expertise, another might be unable to keep track of the ‘top wanted’ integrations and services required for any state-of-the-art publication venue, and yet another might be encountering difficulties in communicating their otherwise ground-breaking published research to the public. In our experience, all of them are most likely experiencing difficulties with either the development of an advanced and user-friendly technological backbone or covering the associated costs.


ARPHA provides a highly automated, end-to-end publishing platform to ALL clients by default, which ensures that the research in their journals is just as easy to prepare and publish as it is to discover, access and reuse later on.

Here are the good news! ALL journals published on ARPHA Platform take advantage of our signature high-tech and easy-to-operate full-featured platform by default. What we mean, is that any journal benefits from an end-to-end, entirely online publishing solution, which takes care of the manuscripts all the way from submission and peer review to editing, publication, dissemination, indexing and archiving (see “The 5 Most Distinct Features of ARPHA), while the annual maintenance could easily cost as little as a few thousands euros.

ARPHA stands for much more than a publishing platform.
It also comprises an extensive collection of services brought together in order to attend next-to-all demands associated with scholarly publishing.

On top of ARPHA’s user- and collaboration-friendly platform that allows for authors, reviewers and editors to easily and conveniently manage and track the progress of manuscripts, thereby ensuring that no technological pitfalls stand in the way to rapid and efficient distribution of scientific knowledge, our platform is continuously expanding its suite of services and features. This is also where one can find the major differences between the five plans offered by ARPHA.

With so many services and functionalities at hand, it was not that difficult for us to come up with five thought-through alternatives, and still ensure that ALL clients of ARPHA have their journals’ content published in a Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable manner.

As you can notice, even the lowest-priced LITE Plan features a plenty of useful and advanced perks, including a one-stop API end-point for distribution to 30+ international databases, metadata export to 12+ machine-readable formats, article sharing and usage statistics tools.

Assignment of DOIs to individual images is one of the perks exclusive in ARPHA’s PREMIUM plan (see pictured, available in Alpine Entomology). 


At the other end of the spectrum, ARPHA’s PREMIUM Plan adds top-notch features, such as assignment of Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) to individual images, which in turn allows for the delivery of real-time usage metrics for each one of those.

Extensive marketing and promotional support, including an unlimited dissemination of press releases via the major global science news release platform Eurekalert! (AAAS), is also available to PREMIUM clients. Thus, a journal’s authors will not have to worry about their groundbreaking discoveries failing to reach the global public (e.g. news story “Scientists discover new Chinese firefly species” on SKY News, covering one of the latest publications in ZooKeys journal, and the associated press release on Eurekalert!).

News story via SKY News.

***

Curious about how ARPHA could accommodate your journal(s)? 

Scroll down our pricing plans and operating models, and fill out the Get a Quote form. Shortly, we will be back in touch to discuss the best options for ARPHA to fit the specificity of your publishing project.

Track changes and easy comparison of manuscript versions now available in ARPHA Writing Tool

Monitoring the progress of your manuscript has never been easier!

The eagerly anticipated Track changes feature is now available in ARPHA Writing Tool to further facilitate collaborative authoring in the five academic journals* which currently make use of the ARPHA-XML publishing workflow.

Having tapped into ARPHA’s users constructive feedback, we have also updated our Revision History feature. Now, not only can authors access any past version, as created by their co-authors and collaborators, but they can also compare any two of these at the click of a button.

Track changes

To let co-authors and collaborators easily see any changes they have made, a user needs to simply switch on the Track changes mode. From now on, each individual author’s input will be highlighted to draw the attention of the next user.

Track_changes_on

 

Logically, any newly inserted text will appear in green, while the deleted one will be coloured in red. A hover over a highlighted text will show the user who has made the edit.

Track_changes_see_user

 

To make overseeing even a single edit impossible, ARPHA Writing Tool has made it mandatory for a user to resolve all suggested changes before either submitting the manuscript or switching off the Track changes mode.

Not overlooking any new input, regardless of the length and complexity of a manuscript, is made even easier thanks to the Prev and Next buttons allowing a user to go through the changes one by one.

 

But what shall you do if you or your co-authors/collaborators happen to forget to switch on the Track changes mode?

Compare Manuscript Versions

Our latest update to the Revision history button lets users compare any two past manuscript versions, so that they can see at a glance what has changed between any two set points in time.

Just like before, clicking the Revision history button delivers a list of all manuscript versions along with the users who have created them in a chronological order. Now, however, a tick box next to each of these allows the user to select any two versions and see all edits that have taken place in between.

revision_history_compared

 

Again, newly added text shows in green, while the deleted text is crossed over and appears in red.

Step-by-step instructions on both how to track changes and compare past versions are available in the Tips and Tricks guidelines accessible anytime in the header of the writing tool.  

Tips_and_tricks

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*The open access scholarly journals Biodiversity Data JournalResearch Ideas and Outcomes(RIO Journal), One EcosystemBioDiscovery and Biodiversity Information Science and Standards (BISS) are all making use of the technologically advanced collaboration-centred ARPHA-XML workflow, which features the signature ARPHA Writing Tool.

ARPHA-Proceedings Module: Streamline conference abstracts authoring, editing and publication

Creating, reviewing, editing and publishing of collections of proceedings from conferences, symposia and workshops is now available with the ARPHA-Proceedings module via the publishing platform ARPHA.

Designed as a venue for conference organisers to streamline proceedings publications, while simultaneously giving credit to the authors and preserving their contributions in a format that makes them easy to find and read by both humans and machines, the ARPHA-Proceedings module can be regarded as a simplified and straightforward journal publishing process specialised for conference abstracts.

The workflow supports multiple proceedings collections. For instance, a proceedings publishing platform could be created for a particular conference taking place on a regular basis or for a number of conferences organised by an institution or a society. A fine example is the Proceedings of TDWG dedicated to the yearly Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) conference.

Within the platform, hierarchical article collections could also be established. Abstracts can be submitted to sub-collections dedicated to various workshops/symposia within a larger event. The different sub-collections can be handled by different editors, normally the workshop/symposia conveners.

The workflow used in the ARPHA-Proceedings module includes ARPHA Writing Tool, editorial/technical evaluation, publication and dissemination.

At any point and at no additional costs, the platform can be modified to feature additional article types (e.g. full-text papers, posters, talks etc.). It is for the conference organisers to decide whether these submissions are to undergo a conventional peer review process.

Abstracts can be enriched with citations, figures, tables, data and multimedia if the conference organisers decide to allow it.

Abstracts can be published straight on the platform as soon as an editor approves them, so that the publication is available online ahead of the conference.

Abstracts published in this way have all features common for regular articles published via ARPHA, including Digital Object Identifier (DOI); publication in HTML, PDF and machine-readable and harvestable XML; citation, indexing and archiving in various databases; dissemination and others.

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Below you can find a practical guide to the submission process of a conference abstract and assigning it to a collection via the ARPHA-Proceedings module.

1. Log in at the platform’s website or ARPHA Writing Tool.

Home awt

 

2. Click Start a manuscript to see the platform and article type options.

start a manuscript

 

3.  Select a venue and article type for your manuscript.

select platform and article type

4. Click Collections on the navigation bar at the top. This is where you select the conference track to which you are assigning your manuscript (this does not guarantee acceptance in that track).

Collection tab

Select collections track

5. Fill in your abstract’s metadata by hovering over a category, and then clicking on the pencil icon. The fields Title, Abstract, “Keywords”, and Presenting Author are mandatory. The submitting author and affiliation are taken from the profile of the logged-in user. More authors can be added by clicking the icon beside Authors on the left-hand side. The corresponding author and the authors’ order can be changed from the same menu. The corresponding author must be available to communicate about the abstract until final acceptance for publication. The presenting author is the person who will actually be giving the talk/demonstration.

Mandatory fields

6. You may add references, figures, tables (if allowed on the particular platform) by clicking on the appropriate icon. You may also upload supplementary materials associated with the abstract.

figures references etc

7. Click Validate. An automated check will ensure that all mandatory fields are filled in and the abstract is assigned to a collection.

8. When you are ready to submit your abstract, click Submit for technical review. This will send the manuscript to the track editors, who will review it for relevance to the track. The button will be visible as soon as the validation has been successful.

9. The editors of the track to which you have submitted your abstract may accept or reject your submission, send feedback requesting changes or suggest submission to a different track.

10. Once the abstract is accepted, the Submit to the journal button becomes visible in ARPHA Writing Tool. You need to click this button and go through a checklist of submission steps. The fourth and final step asks you to assign categories to your submission (optional). When the submission process is finalised, the abstract goes directly to production and publication, a DOI is assigned and the abstract cannot be further revised.

submit to the journal

11. To see your manuscripts, go to the ARPHA Writing Tool’s website, log in and click the See more button, so that you can access your ARPHA dashboard.

see more in AWT

On the right-hand side, you can see the stage each manuscript is currently at, along with the collection it has been assigned to (note that this does not mean that it has been approved for this collection).

user dashboard

If an abstract is at the Draft stage, it means that it is still being authored. Once submitted for Technical Review, it reaches the In pre-submission review stage where it stays until a Collection editor approves it for addition to a particular collection. In layout means that a manuscript is successfully submitted to the journal and awaiting publication.

12. If at any time you feel in need for further assistance, you can send an email to the journal’s technical staff via the system. Click Helpdesk on the top navigation bar to open a new window with an email form for you to fill in.

Helpdesk

Please keep in mind that the stepwise instructions displayed are subject to slight modifications per request. Feel welcome to contact us with your personal platform’s needs!

Faster, Better, Stronger: New batch of updates now available in ARPHA Writing Tool

Only a couple of months ago, we announced a whole set of exciting features newly applied to ARPHA Writing Tool, based on the feedback we received from our users. Now, we are delighted to announce that we are back with a fresh batch of updates.

Here’s what we recently got in store for all authors in Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO), Biodiversity Data JournalOne Ecosystem and BioDiscovery, all powered by the innovative end-to-end journal publishing platform ARPHA and making use of the new-age ARPHA Writing Tool:

  • We have become faster. ARPHA has been optimised, so that it is even easier to prepare your manuscript. Enjoy your references and whole datasets being delivered straight into your draft in the blink of an eye!
  • Speaking of references, we have updated our Reference Parser. Simply copy-paste a reference in the box and click Parse – ARPHA Writing Tool will have it ready to go on your list momentarily!      

parser

 

parser2

 

  • Yet, there’s even more to the reference-related updates! To double-check an in-text citation in your manuscript, all you need to do is hover over it to see the full-text reference it is linked to.

hover

 

  • Our new toolbar and re-arranged functionalities make up for the better intuitivity of the ARPHA Writing Tool that welcomes you the moment you open a new manuscript.

toolbar2

 

  • Hover over the new toolbar and you will notice another new perk we have added for your convenience. Keyboard shortcuts are now implemented to the ARPHA Writing Tool to let you add smart objects as you type.
  • Get a stronger grip on your figures! Two new buttons let you re-order your figures either by number, or by order of appearance. Alternatively, enter editing mode and simply drag and drop any figure wherever you wish.

drag and drop figures

 

We thank you for your continuous feedback which helps us focus on tailoring the ARPHA Writing Tool according to the needs and taste of our clients.

We are already working hard on the next updates, so keep an eye on us!

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In the meantime, please feel welcome to test our new features and let us know what you think. We will be happy to address any comments and requests on info@arphahub.com.

The 5 Most Distinct Features of ARPHA

Authoring, Reviewing, Publishing, Hosting and Archiving, this is what stands behind the innovative and fully integrated journal publishing solution ARPHA. This end-to-end platform not only puts all stages of the publishing process in one place for the first time, but also allows users to choose from a full set of accompanying services.

But what makes it really stand out? Here are the five most distinct features which make ARPHA unique:

Feature 1
Two journal publishing workflows: ARPHA-XML & ARPHA-DOC

Aiming at flexibility, ARPHA gives a choice between two interconnected but independently functioning publishing workflows that journals and publishers can choose between or use in combination:

  • ARPHA-XML: Entirely XML- and Web-based collaborative authoring, peer review, production and publication workflow, made possible via the innovative ARPHA Writing Tool.
  • ARPHA-DOC: Document-based submission, peer review, production and publication workflow.

Not only do users have the freedom to choose what suits their needs best, but they also get the options to effortlessly upgrade to our XML, entirely web-based workflow at a later stage, due to the high integration and automatisation of processes within ARPHA.

picture1

Feature 2
Not just a software platform, it comes with a full range of services to choose from

ARPHA is not just a software that you download! This highly integrated publishing solution offers its end-to-end platform, in combination with a full range of accompanying servicesthat you can pick & mix to get a final product adjusted to your needs.

services

Feature 3
White-label publishing, all the benefits of ARPHA under your imprint

Developed and tested in-house by scientific publisher Pensoft, ARPHA now comes as a stand-alone brand and offers a completely white-label publishing option for journals and publishers. You can enjoy all the benefits of having ARPHA as the backbone of your journal or collection of journals, while at the same time continue publishing under your own imprint.

Moreover, switching to ARPHA guarantees you an upgrade of your visual identity by offering dedicated web-design and setup services for your new journal website or publishing platform. For example, having recently moved to ARPHA, the Lithuanian VGTU Press journal Business Theory and Practice enjoys a brand new, individually designed website. While the journal has the ARPHA Platform as its backbone, it remains a completely separate entity published on behalf of VGTU Press.

btp

Feature 4
High-level integration via web services & data exchange

ARPHA is fully integrated with all leading indexing and archiving services. Our partners include CrossRef, Zenodo, Open Ayre, PubMed Central and DOAJ, to name just a few.

The full automatisation of processes within ARPHA means that all content is directly exported upon publication and without any extra human effort. This means that publishers and Editors-in-Chief can sit back and relax after pressing the “publish-an-article button”, while ARPHA makes sure that all their content is safely archived and successfully disseminated.

partners

Feature 5
Flexibility at each step of tailoring your publishing model

One of the greatest assets of ARPHA is its flexibility, when it comes to tailoring the best service for each individual client. While deciding what suits their needs, publishers and Editors-in-Chief get to choose from a full range of options at each step of the publishing cycle.

Starting from the branding model and tailored web design, through input types, peer review options and publication outputs, and finishing with your preferred revenue model, ARPHA offers a number of possibilities at each step to let you customise a platform that works for your journals at an affordable price.

pub-models

ARPHA is a home to several flagship journals, such as Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO) Journal (SPARC Innovation Award Winner for 2016)ZooKeys, Biodiversity Data Journal and others.You may also find some concise information about ARPHA in this flyer.

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Would you be interested to set up a call for a brief demo? Please do not hesitate to contact us at info@arphahub.com if you wish to explore opportunities to use ARPHA as a new home for your journal!

Import of Specimen or Occurrence Records Into Taxonomic Manuscripts

Repositories and data indexing platforms, such as GBIFBOLD systems, or iDigBio hold documented specimen or occurrence records along with their record ID’s. In order to streamline the authoring process, save taxonomists’ time, and provide a workflow for peer-review and quality checks of raw occurrence data, the ARPHA team has introduced an innovative feature that makes it possible to easily import specimen occurrence records into a taxonomic manuscript (see Fig. 1).

For the remainder of this post we will refer to specimen data as occurrence records, since an occurrence can be both an observation in the wild, or a museum specimen.

Figure1

Fig. 1: Workflow for directly importing occurrence records into a taxonomic manuscript.

Until now, when users of the ARPHA writing tool wanted to include occurrence records as materials in a manuscript, they would have had to format the occurrences as an Excel sheet that is uploaded to the Biodiversity Data Journal, or enter the data manually. While the “upload from Excel” approach significantly simplifies the process of importing materials, it still requires a transposition step – the data which is stored in a database needs to be reformatted to the specific Excel format. With the introduction of the new import feature, occurrence data that is stored at GBIFBOLD systems, or iDigBio, can be directly inserted into the manuscript by simply entering a relevant record identifier.

The functionality shows up when one creates a new “Taxon treatment” in a taxonomic manuscript prepared in the ARPHA Writing Tool. The import functions as follows:

  1. the author locates an occurrence record or records in one of the supported data portals;
  2. the author notes the ID(s) of the records that ought to be imported into the manuscript (see Fig. 2, 3, and 4 for examples);
  3. the author enters the ID(s) of the occurrence records in a form that is to be seen in the materials section of the species treatment, selects a particular database from a list, and then simply clicks ‘Add’ to import the occurrence directly into the manuscript.

In the case of BOLD Systems, the author may also select a given Barcode Identification Number (BIN; for a treatment of BIN’s read below), which then pulls all occurrences in the corresponding BIN (see Fig. 5).

Figure 2       Figure 3

Fig. 2: (Left) An occurrence record in iDigBio. The UUID is highlighted; Fig. 3: (Right) An occurrence record in GBIF. The GBIF ID and the Occurrence ID is highlighted. (Click on images to enlarge)

Figure 4       Figure 5

Fig. 4: (Left) An occurrence record in BOLD Systems. The record ID is highlighted.; Fig. 5:  (Right) All occurrence records corresponding to a OTU. The BIN is highlighted. (Click on images to enlarge)

We will illustrate this workflow by creating a fictitious treatment of the red moss, Sphagnum capillifolium, in a test manuscript. Let’s assume we have started a taxonomic manuscript in ARPHA and know that the occurrence records belonging to S. capillifolium can be found in iDigBio. What we need to do is to locate the ID of the occurrence record in the iDigBio webpage. In the case of iDigBio, the ARPHA system supports import via a Universally Unique Identifier (UUID). We have already created a treatment for S. capillifolium and clicked on the pencil to edit materials (Fig. 6). When we scroll all the way down in the pop-up window, we see the form which is displayed in the middle of Fig. 1.

Figure 6

Fig. 6: Edit materials.

From here, the following actions are possible:

  • insert (an) occurrence record(s) from iDigBio by specifying their UUID’s (universally unique identifier) (Fig.2);
  • insert (an) occurrence record(s) from GBIF by entering their GBIF ID’s (Fig.3);
  • insert (an) occurrence record(s) from GBIF by entering their occurrence ID’s (note that unfortunately not all GBIF records have an occurrence ID, which is to be understood as some sort of universal identifier) (Fig. 3);
  • insert (an) occurrence record(s) from BOLD by entering their record ID’s (Fig. 4);
  • insert a set of occurrence records from BOLD belonging to a BIN (barcode index number) (Fig. 5).

In this example, select the fifth option (iDigBio) and type or paste the UUID b9ff7774-4a5d-47af-a2ea-bdf3ecc78885 and click Add. This will pull the occurrence record for S. capillifolium from iDigBio and insert it as a material in the current paper (Fig. 6). The same workflow applies also to the aforementioned GBIF and BOLD portals.

Figure 7

Fig. 7: Materials after they have been imported.

This workflow can be used for a number of purposes but one of its most exciting future applications is the rapid re-description of Linnaean species, or new morphological descriptions of species together with DNA barcode sequences (a barcode is a taxon-specific highly conserved gene that provides enough inter-species variation for statistical classification to take place) using the  Barcode Identification Numbers (BIN’s) underlying an Operational Taxonomic Units (OTU). If a taxonomist is convinced that a species hypothesis corresponding to OTU defined algorithmically at  BOLD systems clearly presents a new species, then he/she can import all specimen records associated with that OTU via inserting that OTU’s BIN ID in the respective fields.

Having imported the specimen occurrence records, the author needs to define one specimen as holotype of the news species, other as paratypes, and so on. The author can also edit the records in the ARPHA tool, delete some, or add new ones, etc.

Not having to retype or copy/paste species occurrence records, the authors save a lot of efforts. Moreover, they automatically import them in a structured Darwin Core format, which can easily be downloaded from the article text into structured data by anyone who needs the data for reuse.

Another important aspect of the workflow is that it will serve as a platform for peer-review, publication and curation of raw data, that is of unpublished individual data records coming from collections or observations stored at GBIF, BOLD and iDigBio. Taxonomists are used to publish only records of specimens they or their co-authors have personally studied. In a sense, the workflow will serve as a “cleaning filter” for portions of data that are passed through the publishing process. Thereafter, the published records can be used to curate raw data at collections, e.g. put correct identifications, assign newly described species names to specimens belonging to the respective BIN and so on.

Additional Information:

The work has been partially supported by the EC-FP7 EU BON project (ENV 308454, Building the European Biodiversity Observation Network) and the ITN Horizon 2020 project BIG4(Biosystematics, informatics and genomics of the big 4 insect groups: training tomorrow’s researchers and entrepreneurs), under Marie Sklodovska-Curie grant agreement No. 542241.