Italian Society of Vegetation Science signs with Pensoft to publish its journal on ARPHA

The first 2020 papers of the open-access, peer-reviewed international journal Plant Sociology are now available on the journal’s new, user-friendly and visually appealing website

Having succeeded the historical journals of the Italian Society of Vegetation Science (Società Italiana di Scienza della Vegetazione): Fitosociologia (1990-2011) and Notiziario della Societa Italiana di Fitosociologia (1964-1989), the open-access, peer-reviewed international journal Plant Sociology undergoes another major transformation by moving to the technologically advanced ARPHA Platform, after signing with the scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoft.

As a result of the recently started partnership, the first 2020 papers of Plant Sociology are now available on the journal’s new website. All pre-2020 issues remain available on the former website.

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.

Amongst the first newly published papers is an article by a team from the University of L’Aquila, which reports on two years of observations of the vegetation dynamics at the Gran Sasso – Monti della Laga National Park in central Italy, after the protected area suffered from an accidental fire of anthropogenic origin in 2017. With their study, the researchers aim to determine the potential of the Sentinel-2 satellite as a tool to measure, identify and monitor the short-term response of vegetation in a peculiar mountainous landscape.

Another new publication presents a phytosociological survey on the weed vegetation of two crops of Protected Designation of Origin: the bean “Fagiolo Cannellino di Atina” and the red pepper “Peperone di Pontecorvo” – both growing exclusively within a few hundreds of square kilometres in the Province of Frosinone (central Italy), conducted at four selected farms by researchers at the Sapienza University of Rome.

Thanks to the Pensoft’s signature open-access scholarly publishing platform ARPHA, Plant Sociology demonstrates a complete makeover, including a modern and user-friendly interface in addition to a long list of high-tech perks, meant to ensure that published articles are easy to discover, access, cite and reuse by both humans and machines all over the world.

Furthermore, all users of the journal’s system: authors, editors and reviewers alike, are to greatly benefit from ARPHA’s integrated approach to the publication process. This means that once submitted each manuscript goes through the whole cycle: from review and copy/layout editing to publication, dissemination and archiving without leaving ARPHA’s collaboration-focused online environment.

Plant Sociology has a completely renewed Editorial board, which sees Daniela Gigante from the University of Perugia in the role of Editor-in-Chief, and Simonetta Bagella (University of Sassari), Gianni Bacchetta (University of Cagliari) and Daniele Viciani (University of Florence) as Co-editors. The Editorial board is complemented by a Consultant editor and an Editorial secretary (respectively, Edoardo Biondi and Diana Galdenzi, both from the Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona). A large, international Editorial team includes 35 members with specific skills and long-dated expertise in various fields related to vegetation science. A dedicated Social media team takes care of the dissemination of the journal.

“At the Plant Sociology‘s Editorial board, we are looking with great expectations to the cooperation with Pensoft, certain that the publisher’s skills and experience will support the journal in its growth and consolidation as an international reference point for vegetation science studies,”

says Editor-in-Chief Dr Daniela Gigante.

“It’s delightful to have the Italian Society of Vegetation Science putting their trust in us with their signature journal. With our strong background in scholarly publishing, technology development and open science practices, I am certain that we are to provide the right venue for a high-quality and enterprising journal like Plant Sociology,”

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

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Acta Biologica Sibirica signs with Pensoft and moves to ARPHA

Acta Biologica Sibirica is a peer-reviewed open-access journal on the biodiversity of Siberia and the adjacent lands, published by Altai State University in collaboration with Pensoft Publishers

Acta Biologica Sibirica is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal on the biodiversity of Siberia and the adjacent lands by Altai State University. Since 2015, it has been publishing original research in the field of experimental and field biology.

Starting from 2020, Acta Biologica Sibirica moves to the full-featured technologically advanced platform ARPHA and will be published in collaboration with the scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoft.

Pensoft’s original publishing system ARPHA allows Acta Biologica Sibirica to publish original research papers, reviews, short communications, letters and discussion papers, book reviews and memorial articles. The scholarly platform was designed to facilitate authors in the manuscript writing, submission and review process as end-to-end experience, including publication of the data and multimedia content in the form, suitable for both enhanced high-tech human and machine discoverability of the scholarly outputs.

Acta Biologica Sibirica accepts for publication papers in taxonomy, phylogeny, biogeography, faunistics, floristics, biological systematics, nature conservation and protected areas. In the fields of faunistics and floristics there are several types of articles, available for submission: floral and faunal lists on any region of the world, faunal and floral discoveries (e.g. species newly recorded in a particular region, additions to previously published inventories), papers on methodology of faunal and floral studies.

«Our basic task is to turn our journal into a high-quality world-class publication. Without the help of modern publishers, this is almost impossible. The choice of the publisher was perfectly logical – the reputation of Pensoft Publishers and its founder, the famous Bulgarian zoologist Lubomir Penev, is impeccable. To stand in one cohort with powerful publications with a long history is an honor for us. High standards of editing and reviewing manuscripts, the absolute level of originality and scientific novelty – these are the criteria on which we will rely»,

comments the editor-in-chief of the journal, Professor of Altai University Roman Yakovlev.

«At Pensoft, we are delighted to initiate this wonderful partnership with yet another renowned research institution in Russia, namely Altai State University. With our long-year experience in zoological and biodiversity research publishing and dissemination, I am certain that the journal has found a fitting place in the family of Pensoft and ARPHA»,

comments Prof. Lyubomir Penev, CEO and founder of Pensoft and ARPHA.

The first papers of 2020 are already available online on the new website of Acta Biologica Sibirica.

Within the pioneering papers published in the renewed journal, there is a research article about the first result of DNA-studies on the Central Asiatic owlet moths in the genus Euchalcia. The studied specimens were collected in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan during the expeditions of the Russian Entomological Society in 2017-2019. When comparing a specific mitochondrial gene (cytochrome C oxidase subunit I or COI) between various species, the scientists revealed that the difference amongst European Euchalcia species is smaller than the one amongst high-mountainous Central Asiatic species.

Another study records the first occurrence of the moorland clouded yellow in Altai Region. The butterfly was found to share a mitochondrial barcode with some specimens from mountain populations from the Alps and the Czech Republic.

Colias palaeno, male, vicinity of Ozerki village, Talmenskiy district, Altai region, Russia
Credit: Nazar A. Shapoval
License: CC-BY 4.0
Colias palaeno, male, vicinity of Ozerki village, Talmenskiy district, Altai region, Russia
Credit: Nazar A. Shapoval
License: CC-BY 4.0

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Additional information

About Altai State University:

Altai State University is one of the leading Russian classical higher education institutions established in 1973. It is a major educational, research and cultural center located in the Asian part of the country, integrated into the international academic community, training the intellectual elite and conducting high-impact research.

The unique geographical position of Altai region, located in the center of Asia predestinates the University’s mission – to appear as an international research and educational center that integrates, develops and spreads the modern Western, Russian and Asian knowledge in education, science and culture within the Asian region.

About ARPHA:

ARPHA is the first end-to-end, narrative- and data-integrated publishing solution that supports the full life cycle of a manuscript, from authoring to reviewing, publishing and dissemination. ARPHA provides accomplished and streamlined production workflows that can be customized according to the journal’s needs. The platform enables a variety of publishing models through a number of options for branding, production and revenue models to choose from.

About Pensoft:

Pensoft is an independent academic publishing company, well-known worldwide for its innovations in the field of semantic publishing, as well as for its cutting-edge publishing tools and workflows. In 2013, Pensoft launched the first ever end to end XML-based authoring, reviewing and publishing workflow, as demonstrated by the Pensoft Writing Tool (PWT) and the Biodiversity Data Journal (BDJ), now upgraded to the ARPHA Publishing Platform. Flagship titles include: Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO), One Ecosystem, ZooKeys, Biodiversity Data Journal, PhytoKeys, MycoKeys and many more.

Contacts: 

Prof. Lyubomir Penev, founder and CEO at ARPHA and Pensoft
Email: penev@pensoft.net

Prof. Alex Matsyura, Editor-in-Chief of Acta Biologica Sibirica
Email: amatsyura@gmail.com 

Prof. Roman Yakovlev, Editor-in-Chief of Acta Biologica Sibirica
Email: yakovlev_asu@mail.ru


Open Science RIO Journal invites early research outcomes for the free-to-publish collection “Observations, prevention and impact of COVID-19”

Looking at today’s ravaging COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, which, at the time of writing, has spread to over 220 countries; its continuously rising death toll and widespread fear, on the outside, it may feel like scientists and decision-makers are scratching their heads more than ever in the face of the unknown. In reality, however, we get to witness an unprecedented global community gradually waking up to the realisation of the only possible solution: collaboration. 

On one hand, we have nationwide collective actions, including cancelled travel plans and mass gatherings; social distancing; and lockdowns, that have already proved successful at changing what the World Health Organisation (WHO) has determined as “the course of a rapidly escalating and deadly epidemic” in Hong Kong, Singapore and China. On the other hand, we have the world’s best scientists and laboratories all steering their expertise and resources towards the better understanding of the virus and, ultimately, developing a vaccine for mass production as quickly as possible. 

While there is little doubt that the best specialists in the world will eventually invent an efficient vaccine – just like they did following the Western African Ebola virus epidemic (2013–2016) and on several other similar occasions in the years before – the question at hand is rather when this is going to happen and how many human lives it is going to cost?

Again, it all comes down to collective efforts. It only makes sense that if research teams and labs around the globe join their efforts and expertise, thereby avoiding duplicate work, their endeavours will bear fruit sooner rather than later. Similarly to employees from across the world, who have been demonstrating their ability to perform their day-to-day tasks and responsibilities from the safety of their homes just as efficiently as they would have done from their conventional offices, in today’s high-tech, online-friendly reality, no more should scientists be restricted by physical and geographical barriers either. 

“Observations, prevention and impact of COVID-19”: Special Collection in RIO Journal

To inspire and facilitate collaboration across the world, the SPARC-recognised Open Science innovator Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO Journal) decided to bring together scientific findings in an easy to discover, read, cite and build on collection of publications. 

Furthermore, due to its revolutionary approach to publishing, where early and brief research outcomes (i.e. ideas, raw data, software descriptions, posters, presentations, case studies and many others) are all considered as precious scientific gems, hence deserving a formal publication in a renowned academic journal, RIO places a special focus on these contributions. 

Accepted manuscripts that shall deal with research relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic across disciplines, including medicine, ethics, politics, economics etc. at a local, regional, national or international scale; and also meant to encourage crucial discussions, will be published free of charge in recognition of the emergency of the current situation. Especially encouraged are submissions focused on the long-term effects of COVID-19.

Why publish in RIO Journal? 

Launched in 2015, RIO Journal has since proved its place at the forefront of Open Science, which resulted in the SPARC’s Innovator Award in 2016. Supported by a renowned advisory board and subject editors, today the journal stands as a leading Open Science proponent. 

Furthermore, thanks to the technologically advanced infrastructure and services it provides, in addition to a long list of indexers and databases where publications are registered, the manuscripts submitted to RIO Journal are not only rapidly processed and published, but once they get online, they immediately become easy to discover, cite and built on by any researcher, anywhere in the world. 

On top of that, Pensoft’s targeted and manually provided science communication services make sure that published research of social value reaches the wider audience, including key decision-makers and journalists, by means of press releases and social media promotion.

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More info about RIO’s globally unique features, visit the journal’s websiteFollow RIO Journal on Twitter and Facebook.

Challenges for Russia’s agriculture: new special issue in Russian Journal of Economics

While Russia seems to have successfully tackled its historic problem: food shortage – with the agri-food sector becoming one of the most steadily developing of the national economy – the country is already facing a new set of challenges. Today, Russia needs to address several key growth factors, such as sustainability, missing national strategies and lagging research and development progress. These are the topics of the research articles comprising the latest special issue of the open-access peer-reviewed Russian Journal of Economics. An overview and introduction for the issue is provided by its guest editor Eugenia Serova of the Institute for Agrarian Studies at HSE University in Moscow.

Since 2012, Russia’s agriculture is the most steadily developing sector of the national economy. Production of selected crops is reaching historical records. Today, Russia is a world champion for export of wheat and buckwheat and amongst the top ten in terms of export of many other crops. The country has also begun exporting livestock products and value-added food products. Additionally, the past ten years have seen a significant progress in the food quality and safety in Russia, which has already been recognised. According to conventional indicators applied to food security, the country keeps a consistent place amongst the top three in the world.

However, even though Russia has been successful at achieving national food security, largely contributed to a strong emphasis on self-sufficiency, world known experts in food security at KU Leuven (Belgium) and International Food Policy Research Institute (USA) point out that this might have come at the expense of neglecting nutrition in the national policies, thus potentially exposing the nation at a higher risk of already concerning and quite common public health risks, such as malnourishment and obesity. In their paper, Saule Burkitbayeva, Johan Swinnen and Nele Warrinnier evaluate the state of art of food security in major Eurasian countries, in order to see where Russia stands compared to other former Soviet republics. The researchers also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of self-sufficiency policy.

Along with growth in the food sector in Russia, there have been drastic changes in the agrarian structure. With their profound analysis of two censuses from 2006 and 2016, recognised experts on Russia’s farming structure Renata Yanbykh and Valeriy Saraikin (both affiliated with the Institute for Agrarian Studies at HSE University, Moscow) and Zvi Lerman (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel) conclude that the old classification used for statistical purposes (organisations, family farms and households) does not reflect adequately the dynamic changes stemming from the response to market signals. In their study, the authors find that over 90% of the agricultural producers contribute less than 5% of the total standard revenue.

A need to shift budget support to general services which support all Russian producers is highlighted in the research article by Olga V. Shik of the Institute for Agrarian Studies at HSE University. The renowned expert in the field conducts an exhaustive analysis of the public expenditures in the Russian agri-food sector from the last decade to conclude that despite having a positive effect on agricultural growth, Russia’s budget support benefits mostly the larger and already the most successful producers. The second major drawback of budget support in agriculture the author identifies is the inefficient distribution of support between the federal and regional budgets, which leads to market disintegration and reduces the efficiency of budget spending.

In their article, distinguished American experts on Russia’s agri-food trade William M. Liefert and Olga Liefert of the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service (USDA ERS) report on how Russia’s move from planned to a market economy has fundamentally restructured the country’s agricultural production and trade since the 1990s. Most notably, previously a large importer of grain, soybeans, and soybean meal, the former Soviet state has transitioned to becoming one of the world’s major grain exporters. In fact, Russia has become the world’s top wheat exporter, responsible for 20-23% of the total world exports in 2017-2018. Having also discussed the consequences for the world agricultural markets, the researchers forecast further increase in Russia’s presence in the global market along with slight growth in its produce of value-added foods.

The last article, authored by researchers of the Institute for Agrarian Studies at HSE University Natalia Karlova and Eugenia Serova also addresses the issue of Russia’s presence in the world agri-food market with a focus on the trade with China. Since the significant increase in export is one of the major targets of Russia’s modern agri-food policy, China is seen as the most prospective market. However, there are a number of obstacles and risks that need to be taken into consideration. On one hand, Russia has a fairly limited list of exported agri-food products that have comparative advantages in the Chinese market. On the other hand, the Chinese market is limited by the scale of the country’s domestic demand. Moreover, China has already embarked on a course to self-sufficiency in terms of staple food produce.

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Original sources:

Burkitbayeva S, Swinnen J, Warrinnier N (2020) Food and nutrition security in Eurasia: Evolution, shocks and policies. Russian Journal of Economics 6(1): 6-25. https://doi.org/10.32609/j.ruje.6.49749

Yanbykh R, Saraikin V, Lerman Z (2020) Changes in Russia’s agrarian structure: What can we learn from agricultural census? Russian Journal of Economics 6(1): 26-41. https://doi.org/10.32609/j.ruje.6.49746

Shik OV (2020) Public expenditure for agricultural sector in Russia: Does it promote growth? Russian Journal of Economics 6(1): 42-55. https://doi.org/10.32609/j.ruje.6.49756

Liefert WM, Liefert O (2020) Russian agricultural trade and world markets. Russian Journal of Economics 6(1): 56-70. https://doi.org/10.32609/j.ruje.6.50308

Karlova N, Serova E (2020) Prospects of the Chinese market for Russian agri-food exports. Russian Journal of Economics 6(1): 71-90. https://doi.org/10.32609/j.ruje.6.50824

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.

Book on plants in the Murmansk region (Russia) scores 4/19 correct insect identifications

A recently published book on some aspects of the ecology of woody introducents in the Murmansk oblast of Russia provides the information on 19 species of plant-damaging insects out of which only 4 species are identified correctly. Dr Mikhail V. Kozlov from the University of Turku provides correct identifications for the insects, illustrated in the book, in his paper, published in the open-access journal Arctic Environmental Research in order to prevent the spread of erroneous information across future publications and databases.

Insect fauna of the Murmansk region is relatively well-studied and that’s why any new faunistic records from this region immediately attract the attention of entomologists. Those findings are especially exciting when they extend the distribution range of certain species by 1,000 to 2,000 km towards the North Pole.

The published misidentifications of insect species can lead to a cascading effect of mistakes, because entomologists commonly use faunistic data published by colleagues decades and even centuries ago. That’s why it is very important to keep a track of such cases and provide correct identifications if possible, remarks the author.

“In particular, three moth species (Archips crataegana, A. podanaand Erannis defoliaria) reported in this book to occur around Kirovsk have not yet been found either in the Murmansk oblast or in the more southern Karelia. In neighbouring Finland, the northernmost records of these species are from locations some 1,000 km to the south of Kirovsk”,

Dr Kozlov shares his concerns.

The most striking examples of misidentification in the book are at the order level: a syrphid fly (Diptera) identified as a leafcutter bee (Hymenoptera), and a sawfly (Hymenoptera) identified as a psyllid (Hemiptera).


Leaf beetle Chrysomela lapponica, erroneously mentioned in the criticized book as a pest of bird cherry, shadbush and chokeberry, feeds in the Murmansk oblast only on willows.
Credit: Vitali Zverev
License: CC-BY 4.0

In conclusion, Dr Kozlov’s revision found that 15 out of the 19 species illustrated were incorrectly identified. Thus, the leaf damage associated with certain insect species, considered in the book, also becomes very questionable.

“The misidentification of pest species can easily result in incorrect pest management and face unnecessary costs, while publication of incorrect data distorts our knowledge of the distribution and biology of insects. Therefore, insect identification for scientific, educational or pest management purposes should always be performed by professionals or by volunteers and students who have specific training for this
purpose”,

concludes Dr Mikhail V. Kozlov.

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Original source:
Kozlov MV (2019) Insects identified by unqualified scientists: multiple “new” records from the Murmansk oblast of Russia are dismissed as false. Arctic Environmental Research 19(4): 153-158. https://doi.org/10.3897/issn2541-8416.2019.19.4.153 

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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Follow Food Modelling Journal on Twitter and Facebook.

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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.