RIO shifts gears to serve as project-driven knowledge hub

Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO Journal) upgrades its unique concept to appeal to scientific projects, conference organisers and research institutions

Over the last few years, we’ve been increasingly observing how major funders of research around the world, including the likes of the European Commission, Wellcome, U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) recognise the research cycle as a continuum, rather than scattered standalone conclusions and reports. 

Hence, as a forward-looking, open science-driven journal Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO) took it as its own responsibility to encourage scientific project teams, conference organisers and research institutions to bring together unconventional research outputs (e.g. grant proposals, data management plans, project deliverables, policy briefs, conference materials) as well as traditional (e.g. research or review papers, monographs, etc.), including such published elsewhere. To do so, RIO now provides the platform ready to be used as a research knowledge hub, where published outcomes are preserved permanently and easier to share, disseminate, reference and reuse.

Hence, RIO stepped up its game by turning permanent article collections into a one-stop source of diverse research items, where project coordinators, conference organisers or research institutions can not only publish early, interim and conclusive research items as they emerge within a research project, a series of events or the continuous scientific efforts at their lab, but also link relevant publications (i.e. preprints, articles or other documents, published elsewhere) available elsewhere through their metadata. As a result, they will receive a one-stop source under their own branding for every piece of scientific contribution ready to present to funding bodies or prospective collaborators and future research teams.

A permanent topical collection in RIO Journal may include a diverse range of both traditional and unconventional research outputs, as well as links to publications from outside the journal (see What can I publish on the journal’s website). 

Apart from bringing contextually linked research outcomes together, thus prompting findability, readership and citability en masse, RIO’s approach to collections ensures further accessibility by not only having RIO-published articles available in traditional PDF, semantically enriched HTML and minable XML format. The open-science journal has now made it possible for users to add to their collections preprints from ARPHA Preprints, as well as author-formatted PDFs (e.g. project deliverables, reports, policy briefs, etc.) and linked metadata to documents published elsewhere. Thanks to the integration of the journal with the general-purpose open-access repository Zenodo, all items in a collection are archived, and additionally indexed, disseminated and cited.

By focusing on article and preprint collections coming out from a research project, institution or conference, RIO provides a quite specific and unique combination of benefits to all actors of the research process: scientists, project coordinators, funders and institutions: 

  1. Project, institution or conference branding and promotion.
  2. One-stop point for outputs of a research project, institution or conference.
  3. Free publication of author-formatted project outputs (i.e. grant proposals, deliverables, reports, policy briefs, conference materials and others).
  4. Inclusivity through adding articles, preprints and other documents published elsewhere as easy as entering the DOI number of the document.
  5. Credit and recognition for the Collection and Guest editors, who take care to organise and manage the article collection.
  6. Easier discoverability and usability of topically related studies to benefit both authors and readers.
  7. Increased visibility of related papers in a collection, even when these might otherwise not have much exposure.
  8. Simultaneous citation of multiple articles related to a certain subject.
  9. Citation and referencing of the whole collection as a complete entity.
  10.  DOI and citation details for collections and individual articles.

Furthermore, RIO Journal maps all publications to the Sustainable Development Goals  (SDGs), in order to emphasise the real-world impact of each published contribution, by displaying the corresponding badge within the article list. 

Last, but not least, both collections and individual publications in RIO enjoy the variety of default and on-demand science communication services, provided by Pensoft.  

How do project coordinators, funders and institutions benefit from a collection in RIO?

At the time a grant proposal is submitted to a research funder for evaluation, the team behind the proposed project has already put in considerable efforts, resulting in a unique idea with the potential to make a great stride towards the resolution of an outstanding problem in science, if only given the chance. However, too many of these ideas are bound to remain locked away in the archives of those funders, not because they are lacking in scientific value, but due to limited funds.

So, with its launch back in 2015, RIO Journal made it possible to publish and shed light on grant proposals and research ideas in general, similar early research outputs regardless of whether they are eventually funded or not, a novelty in scholarly publishing which earned RIO the SPARC Innovator Award Winner in 2016. To date, the journal has already published 75 grant proposals

Then, imagine what a contribution to science it would make to bring together the whole continuum of knowledge and scientific work all the way from the grant proposal to data  and software management plans, workshop reports, policy briefs and all interim and final deliverables produced within the span of the project!

On the other hand, funders are increasingly evaluating a prospective project’s impact based on its communication strategy. So, why not publish a grant proposal at the time of the submission of your proposal, in order to prove to the funding body that your project is serious about optimising its outreach to both the public and academia? Furthermore, by having an academic journal host any subsequent project deliverable, as a coordinator, you can rest assured that the communication activities of your project remain consistent and efficient.

In an excellent example of a project collection, the EU-funded ICEDIG (Innovation and Consolidation for Large Scale Digitisation of Natural Heritage), led by several major natural history institutions, including the Natural History Museum of London, Naturalis Biodiversity Center (the Netherlands), the French National Museum of Natural History and Helsinki University, brought together policy briefs, project reports, research articles and review papers, in order to provide a fantastic overview of their own research continuum. As a result, future researchers and various stakeholders can easily piece together the key components within the project, in order to learn from, recreate or even build on the experience of ICEDIG.

Explore the ICEDIG Project Outcomes collection on RIO’s website.

Similarly, conference organisers can make use of their own branded collections to overcome the ephemerality of presented research by collating virtually all valuable conference outputs, including abstracts, posters, presentations, datasets and full-text conference talks. For further convenience, a collection can be divided into subcollections, in order to organise the contribution by type or symposium. What particularly appeals to conference participants is the ARPHA Writing Tool, an intuitive collaborative online environment, which practically guides the user through each step: authoring, submission and pre-submission review, within a set of pre-designed, yet flexible templates available for each type of a conference output, thus sparing them the hassle to familiarise themselves with specific and perplexing formatting requirements

For institutions, RIO offers the opportunity to continuously provide evidence of the scholarly impact of their organisation. To better serve the needs of different labs or research teams, an institution can easily organise their outputs into various subcollections, and also customise their own article types, as well as the available usage tracking systems. Furthermore, by making use of the available pre-paid plans, institutions can support their researchers by covering fully or partially the publication charges at a discounted rate.

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Find more information regarding the submission and review process, policies and pricing, visit RIO Journal’s website.

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Making the most of conferences with modern publishing and indexing practices

Given scientific conferences present academics with the fantastic opportunity to meet up and discuss their latest work, as well as share their vision for the future of their field, it’s no wonder that, historically, the majority of ground-breaking science can easily be traced back to a particular event.

This said, don’t you think that we need to do everything within our powers to ensure the visibility, dissemination and long-term accessibility of research presented and linked to these wonderful drivers of scientific progress that conferences are? Similarly to the care conference organisers take to make sure the event runs smoothly and the attendants are happy with the programme and enjoy themselves, the organisational committee should also be thinking how to preserve all those promising pieces of research well after the event is over.

Here at Pensoft, an open-access scholarly publisher, founded by scientists, we’ve been contemplating for a while now how to encourage and support the community to efficiently open up the valuable outputs to researchers and readers well beyond the publication of abstracts in an abstract book of the conference. 

As a result, we came up with several simple, yet efficient publishing solutions for scientific conferences to collect and contextualise various research outputs either presented at or resulting from the event.

Bear in mind that with any solution, all publications enjoy the benefits seen in conventional research papers, such as:

  • Crossref registration and individual DOI to ensure preservation;
  • Publication in PDF, semantically enhanced HTML and data-minable XML formats to improve readability, accessibility and findability;
  • Indexing and archiving at multiple, industry leading databases to increase visibility;
  • PR and social media promotion to boost outreach to various audiences.

Collections of conference abstracts, posters and presentations

Conference (video) abstracts, posters and presentations are easily the first to fall victims of the ephemerality of an event, yet these are too often the stepping stones to major scientific discoveries. This is why a few years back we launched ARPHA Conference Abstracts (ACA), where conference organisers can open their own collection and provide the participants with submission, review and publication of their abstracts ahead of the conference.

Furthermore, these abstracts can be handled editorially in sub-collections, e.g. the convenors of symposia or working groups within a conference will take care of the abstracts submitted to them, thus spreading the editorial workload across larger teams of editors and organisers.

Not only will conference organisers spare themselves the worries about providing a special platform for abstracts submissions, but this will also facilitate presenting authors, who will be able to easily point to their contribution before, during or after their presentations. On the contrary, the abstracts are assigned with DOIs, published in human-readable PDF and HTML and machine-actionable JATS XML, permanently preserved on ARPHA and Zenodo, and easy to find, access and cite, just like a conventional research paper, providing authors with full credit for their work early on.

Further, with ACA, the conference abstracts can be enhanced into what we call “extended abstracts”, meaning they can also include data, images, videos and multimedia. After the conferences, we can add video recordings of the presentations or graphic files of posters, so that these are visualised on the page of each abstract.

For example, take a look at the conference abstract collection of the Vth International Congress on Biodiversity: “Taxonomy, Speciation and Euro-Mediterranean Biodiversity”.

Conference proceedings

About the time we launched ACA, we also created ARPHA Proceedings, in order to also find a place for full-text conference papers. Similarly, the platform supports dedicated collections, where conference attendants are invited to submit and publish dynamically articles under the imprint of the event.

Conference papers in ARPHA Proceedings can also include data, figures and citations, and can also be updated with video recordings, posters and presentations following the conference.

Check out an example by the VI International Forum on Teacher Education.

Article topical collections and special issues resulting from conferences

Naturally, papers resulting from a particular conference are contextually linked, so a one-stop place to discover topical studies sharing one and the same topic would be greatly appreciated by readers and future researchers. In turn, this would lead to better viewership and citability of the papers in the collection.

With our user-friendly, dedicated workflow for special issues and permanent topical article collections, we’ve made it easy for guest editors across our journals to pitch and manage article collections, in order to bring together valuable and related studies. Using such a collection under the theme of your conference in a suitable journal, you can invite your conference’s participants or, better yet, all scientists working within the field, to submit their work in a nice package of topical science. We’d be happy to assist you with the identification of the most suitable journal for your conference, authors and goals.

See an example from One Ecosystem and the collection “Mapping and assessment of ecosystem condition and ecosystem services across different scales and domains in Europe”, the result from the “Mapping and assessment of ecosystem services – Science in action” conference, held in 2017.

Bringing together traditional and non-conventional research outputs, (e.g. research ideas, grant proposals, conference materials or workshop reports) with RIO Journal’s article collections

Undoubtedly, valuable research outcomes come in many shapes and sizes well beyond research papers, conference abstracts, posters and proceedings. We are firm supporters that every research item, even early and interim outputs, could be of value to the scientist next in line within a particular study.

This is why we launched the award-winning journal Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO), where your collections can include both conventional and non-traditional research outputs, such as research ideas, posters, workshop reports, forum papers, policy briefs, software and data management plans to name a few. Furthermore, in RIO, you can even link articles or preprints published elsewhere to your collection via their metadata. Similarly to other Pensoft journals, in RIO, you will have the full control to whom you are opening your collection for submissions, allowing you to either limit it to the outcomes coming from your conference or welcome submissions from other researchers as well.

A permanent topical collection in RIO Journal may include a diverse range of both traditional and unconventional research outputs, as well as links to publications from outside the journal (see What can I publish on the journal’s website). 

See the Brainhack 2016 Project Reports, whose aim is to collate reports from the 2016 Brainhack events. Also, check out the collection of the European Biodiversity Observation Network (EU BON) Project, providing a nice example for a wide range of publication types.

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Don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss your own case and select the best option for your conference – we’ll be happy to hear from you!

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Overview: top new ARPHA features from 2020

As another year is drawing to a close, it’s time for us to evaluate what we’ve achieved to better our services, or, as we’d rather refer to those, our mutual collaboration with our client journals and publishers, as well as their users: editors, reviewers, authors and readers alike. 

Without a doubt, 2020 has been an extraordinary year that posed plenty of challenges at both personal and professional level to everyone, everywhere in the world. Having said that, at ARPHA, we’re proud that our perseverance and dedication to never let down those who have put their trust in us have pulled us through, while ensuring that we close the year with a positive outlook.

In 2020, we saw the move of a total of 14 international scientific journals to ARPHA Platform of diverse origin, background and scientific fields:

Some of them opted to use our white-label publishing solution, while others decided to sign up with Pensoft as a (co-)publisher. Browse the complete list of ARPHA-hosted journals on our website.

Naturally, we understand that each journal has its own needs and wants, in addition to its own short- and long-term plans and goals. This is why it is from day one that we assume responsibility to work closely together to ensure a personal, customer-centric approach at all times. One way to do this is by having our various services flexible and available as opt-in, mix-and-match features, so that journals can customise their own publishing solution.

Furthermore, based on our clients’ feedback, in addition to our in-house observations and know-how, we don’t cease to introduce new opportunities for journals to upgrade their functionality to the benefit of their own teams and users. 

Below you will find an overview of the top new features and services ARPHA introduced in 2020:

  • ARPHA Preprints
  • Dedicated editorial workflow for Special Issues and Topical article collections
  • Editor and reviewer application form
  • Journal performance statistics
  • Journal performance reports
  • Workload statistics for reviewers and subject editors
  • Review rating
  • Contributor roles for co-authors 
  • Easy update of user expertise
  • Integration with the research discovery app Researcher

ARPHA Preprints

In October, we officially launched ARPHA’s preprint platform, aptly named ARPHA Preprints. Frankly speaking, we’ve been planning for our own preprint platform for quite a while now, as we were determined to ensure the feature is ultimately convenient and beneficial to our journals and their authors. Undeniably, 2020 proved the perfect timing to see this idea ripe, as we’ve been witnessing a significant rise in preprints use and demand.

So, what’s it in ARPHA Preprints that stands out? 

Available to all ARPHA Platform-hosted journals as an opt-in and free of charge service, ARPHA Preprints provides authors with the opportunity to post a preprint at the mere ‘cost’ of several clicks while submitting their article manuscript.

Submission of preprints workflow at participating ARPHA-hosted journals

By doing so, their pre-review manuscripts appear on ARPHA Preprints in a matter of one to a few days’ time, subject to a quick screening performed at the journal’s editorial office, in order to verify the submission conforms with the journal’s scope and standards, and does not contain any unethical content or plagiarism. If the associated paper is published in the journal, a link between the article and preprint is provided to prompt the citation of the paper rather than the preprint. On the occasion that the article is rejected at the ARPHA-hosted journal, where it has been submitted, the preprint is disassociated from the journal. 

Read more about ARPHA Preprints on our blog.

Dedicated editorial workflow for Special Issues and Topical article collections

Following a series of meetings with the editorial boards of our client journals, where we discussed the next steps in their plans in terms of journal development, we came up with the decision that we need a dedicated workflow to facilitate guest editors, who wish to propose a special issue or a topical article collection. Naturally, this workflow had to work just as convenient for the journal’s managing editors and everyone further down the line. Similarly to the ARPHA Preprints integration, we made this feature available to all ARPHA-hosted journals as an opt-in, free of charge service.

Firstly, we provided a clear information note on the key specifics, advantages and requirements for each article collection type. These are now available on the websites of all participating journals, in addition to an easy to spot proposal form, located on the journal’s homepage, in order to ensure that guest editors won’t be dissuaded by any technicalities.

Manuscript handling workflow at special issues / article collections in ARPHA-hosted journals

Secondly, by implementing direct proposal forms delivered straight to the Editors-in-Chief’s inboxes and easily visible on the journal website, as well as our distinguished highly automated manuscript handling workflow, we ended up with a smooth process that avoids potential delays, misunderstandings and annoying issues for everyone.

Read more about ARPHA’s approach to article collections and special issues on our blog.

Editor and reviewer application form

Similarly, after receiving valuable feedback from our client’s editorial board members, we figured that we could provide an easier application for subject editors at ARPHA-hosted journals. 

At the request of a journal’s managing editor, we are ready to add a convenient Become an Editor button on the homepage of the journal that takes the applicant to an exhaustive, yet simple to fill-in form. Upon submission, the application is delivered straight to the Editor-in-Chief’s inbox providing him/her with all necessary information to make a decision and reply to the applicant. 

By opting to add the feature, journals can make a simple, yet efficient step towards expanding the journal’s editorial team, thus optimising and expediting the editorial process, and naturally improving user satisfaction and journal performance.

Journal performance statistics

As we’re talking about journal development and striving for progress and success, the logical question is: how do we know what needs to be improved, revised or built upon? As always in science, the answer is: we need data and insight.

While we have had plenty of statistics available to Editors-in-Chief and managing editors for years already, we recently introduced several extra ones to provide further insight into the journal’s performance and how the numbers fare against those of previous months, quartiles or years.

So far, the Editors-in-Chief and managing editors have had access to:

  • 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.

In 2020, we added statistics about turnaround times, so that the editors are aware of the average time submitted manuscripts spend at different stages (e.g. peer review or editorial decision). Also, they now have access to a record of all online mentions from across the Internet, including traditional and new media, blogs, Wikipedia, policy documents and many others, thanks to our partners at Altmetric.

Journal performance reports

Even though we already made all those data concerning a journal’s real-time performance readily available for Editors-in-Chief and managing editors, we knew we could do more. As open-research proponents, we are well aware that openness and free access is not quite the same as findability. So, we set up bi-annual reports to be delivered to the inboxes of Editors-in-Chief and managing editors as a convenient and regular reminder of the current progress of the journal compared to the last period. 

In those reports, we point to the most recent statistics, concerning:

  • current submissions and their status;
  • submissions, publications and rejections;
  • acceptance rate;
  • turnaround times;
  • average review invitations, declines and review rounds;
  • authors by country;
  • article views;
  • online article mentions;
  • Journal Impact Factor and CiteScore trends.

Furthermore, for journals using ARPHA’s Standard and Premium reporting services, we have prepared an extended report for the end of the calendar year, where they will find even more insights into the citability, outreach, readership and scholarly impact of their journals and their content. For Premium customers, the report will also feature a review and recommendations provided by ARPHA’s journal development team.

Workload for reviewers and subject editors

We know that prolonged peer review time presents a frustrating stumbling block for many otherwise renowned for their high standards and academic rigour journals. Striving to further optimise this process at ARPHA-hosted journals, we developed workload statistics and record of past activity for reviewers and subject editors, visible to the editor at the stage of assignment. Thus, the editor is able to give priority to users who aren’t busy with editorial/review assignments at the moment, and/or those who have a good record of past activity at the journal and/or similar journals on ARPHA Platform.

Review rating

Similarly, to further encourage diligence and speed in peer review at ARPHA-hosted journals, we offer our clients an optional feature where subject editors can evaluate submitted reviews using a 5-star rating system. As a result, the next subject editors will be able to see the average score of a reviewer before they assign him/her for the manuscript they’re handling.

Contributor roles for co-authors 

Determined to always give credit where credit is due, while promoting transparency in academia and scholarship, we enabled submitting authors to assign each co-author with a role, depending on his/her primary contribution to the preparation of the manuscript. Thus, once published, a paper will clearly indicate the author who has, for example, conceptualised the study, developed the utilised software or written the original draft. 

The options available in the drop-down menu follow CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy): a high-level taxonomy, which includes 14 roles typically assumed by contributors to scholarly output.

Easy update of user expertise

As everything is (hopefully!) moving quickly in academia, we figured it’s time to take extra care after ensuring the users profiles in our systems are as relevant as possible. This is important, because ARPHA uses the expertise listed in a user’s profile to suggest reviewers and subject editors for each manuscript. So, in order to facilitate our editors and, ultimately, further expedite the peer review process at ARPHA-hosted journals, we’ve scheduled a few reminders throughout the year to prompt users to have a look at their profiles and update them, if necessary.

Integration with the research discovery app Researcher

Well aware of the fact that Open Science is way more than cost-free access to scientific and publicly funded knowledge, we understand that in the digital reality of today, the question is much more about findability and discoverability, i.e. the probability that you stumble across a particular research paper while browsing. This is why we’re continuously integrating our platform and the journals hosted on ARPHA with additional research discovery platforms used by scientists around the world to inform themselves about the latest findings in their fields of interest. 

So, we recently collaborated with Researcher: an innovative mobile and web application, currently used by 1.8 million people globally, which allows you to set up your own social media-style feed of research papers by following your favourite academic journals or research topics. Now, all articles published in Pensoft’s journals – as well as participating journals using ARPHA’s white-label publishing solution – are continuously fetched by the app and delivered to their right audiences.   

Read more about our integration with Researcher on our blog.

We are always looking forward to hearing from our clients about what they like or dislike in ARPHA, as well as their recommendations on what we could do better! You are welcome to contact us with your feedback and questions at: info@arphahub.com.

Follow @ARPHAPlatform on Twitter. 

Special issues & Topical collections made simple with ARPHA

Recently, we held a series of meetings with the editorial boards of our client journals, where we focused on journal development and how we, as a publisher and services provider, can further chip in in the ultimate editorial task: quality content acquisition. One thing that we reaffirmed was a longstanding notion: academics are deeply fond of special issues and topical collections (collectively referred to as “article collections”).

So, there’s a good reason why this remains to be the case, even in the high-tech era of today where everything changes and evolves day by day. Come to think about it, it’s several of them:

  • Good for the editors: guest editors receive highly valued credit and recognition for bringing together extensive quantities of thematic content, where the topic is usually a pressing and highly appreciated amongst fellow academics. Showcasing that you have pitched and taken the responsibility of managing an article collection is a wonderful way to sprinkle some sparkle in your academic resume!
  • Good for the readers: collated content makes it easier to discover and, in turn, use relevant studies, thereby saving precious time for the next research team looking to develop the topic.
  • Good for the authors: it’s the bitter truth that many research papers fall short on academic and/or public attention for no reason other than the fact they haven’t gone viral on Twitter, nor have their titles been made artificially appealing. Getting your paper next to a highly attractive publication, however, can give your study that delicate boost of first-sight appeal!
  • Good for the journal: having multiple papers conveniently grouped together by topic and relevance prompts their simultaneous use and citation, naturally increasing the overall impact of the journal hosting the article collection. As a bonus, the issue as an entity is likely to receive references, further aiding the journal’s outstanding reputation.

Having acknowledged all of this, we found ourselves contemplating how we could possibly help our client journals and their users pitch and manage article collections. 

Firstly, we refined the concepts for both special issues and topical collections. Then, we developed a dedicated editorial management system to allow for a smooth and efficient workflow all the way from the moment the collection’s proposal is submitted to its successful conclusion. 

Special issue vs. Topical collection

While both types of article collections overlap considerably, we shall start by explaining what are the key differences between a special issue and a topical collection:

Special issueTopical collection
Available* only at journals published in consequent numbered issuesAvailable* at all journals
Deadline for manuscript submission and publication of the issueNo deadline for manuscript submission (until the collection is announced to be closing soon)
Possible limits in the volume and/or number of articles in the special issue No limits for volume or number of articles
Pre-scheduled (approximate) date of publication announced with the initial call for papersCollection editors need to provide a timely notice when/if the collection is planned to close for submission
Papers wait for publication until completion of the special issue and the set publication date Papers are published on a rolling basis as soon as ready
All papers published in a separately numbered issue within the yearly journal’s volumePapers in the collection normally published in different journal issues, depending on time of publication
Normally published within a year from the initial call for papers Can be published across many years, depending on the Collection editor’s commitment and journal’s decision

*Availability is subject to request by the journal.

How it works

  • Each submission meant for the collection will be first delivered to the editorial office and/or Editor-in-Chief (depending on the journal’s policy), in order to ensure that the manuscript is compatible with the journal’s scope, focus and standards. 
  • If approved, the manuscript is forwarded to the Collection editor who assigns it to either himself/herself or another Guest editor to take care after the peer review process and make the editorial decision on its acceptance or rejection. 
  • Once the Collection editor submits the decision, the submission’s processing will be finalised at the journal’s editorial office.

As a result, ARPHA’s automated journal management system, in combination with our experienced editorial team, provides an efficient and convenient service that balances out user interface intuitivity, time-efficiency and quality.

The editor’s point of view

To provide an efficient organisation and balance in the workload, we’ve designated two roles for the guest editors of an article collection: a Collection editor and a Guest editor(s). While both are able to handle manuscripts as handling (subject) editors (i.e. manage the peer review process and make a final decision on the manuscript’s acceptance or rejection), the Collection editor is the one who pitches the collection, appoints the Guest editors and works with the journal’s editorial office on matters regarding the collection, including its appearance on the journal’s website. It’s also the responsibility of the Collection editor to ensure that the collection meets any applicable requirements.

A designated Edit a Special issue button available from the homepage of the journal’s website navigates a guest editor to the proposal form, which is then directly emailed to the journal’s Editor-in-Chief and/or the Editorial office (see example).

Thanks to the refined ARPHA workflow, all the Collection editor needs to do is fill in an application form on the journal’s website, then wait to be contacted by the journal’s editorial office and/or Editor-in-Chief. If the collection is approved, the editorial office will set up the collection and grant the Collection editor with the necessary rights and provide instructions for ARPHA’s comprehensive journal management system, where he/she will be able to track and perform the actions needed to handle the manuscript. Similarly to the regular editorial workflow at ARPHA-hosted journals, the platform will be automatically notifying the editors each time they need to take an action.    

The author’s point of view

The only thing authors, who wish to submit their paper to an article collection within an ARPHA-hosted journal, will have to do differently in comparison to the regular submission process, is to select the name of the collection in a dropdown menu during the submission process.

On the occasion that the manuscript complies with the scope and standards of the journal, meaning it successfully passes the pre-review evaluation, however, is declined from the collection by the Collection editor prior to peer review, the submission will be processed through the journal’s standard editorial process, and if accepted for publication, the article will appear as a regular article in the journal.

Find more information about the article collections workflow and requirements in the About space at the website of the journal you’re interested in (see example from ZooKeys). 

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We’re open to feedback and further information requests. You can contact us on email: info@arphahub.com

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Now launched: ARPHA Preprints to fast-track research submitted to ARPHA-hosted journals

Having long considered how to help authors at our client journals get their work out in the open as early as possible, and prompted by the current research ecosystem, we came up with a new landmark feature, the ARPHA Preprints, where the preparation and posting of a preprint would be as much of a hassle as ticking a couple of check-boxes. Posting a preprint is an optional service for both journals and authors. 

ARPHA Preprints in short

ARPHA Preprints is a new platform designed by ARPHA and Pensoft to host pre-review manuscripts submitted to participating ARPHA-hosted journals. The key here is that it only takes a few clicks for the author to submit a preprint, and no more than a few days before the preprint becomes accessible on ARPHA Preprints, thus open to feedback and contribution by fellow scientists.

Once the associated manuscript successfully completes peer review in the ARPHA-hosted journal and gets published, the preprint will be conveniently linked to the formal paper, thus facilitating and prompting citation of peer-reviewed research.

ARPHA Preprints publication workflow in participating ARPHA-hosted journals.

Visit ARPHA Preprints website to see the growing list of ARPHA-hosted journals integrated with ARPHA Preprints to date.

Manuscript submitted to Biodiversity Data Journal (currently under review) and posted as a preprint (DOI: 10.3897/arphapreprints.e59250) on ARPHA Preprints. If published in BDJ, the text will change to “Published in Biodiversity Data Journal”. If rejected, the preprint will be disassociated from the journal to prevent potential issues with future resubmission.

ARPHA Preprints in practice

During submission at any of the journals that have been integrated with ARPHA Preprints, an author will come to a question asking them whether they wish to post a preprint. If they check that box and agree to the terms and conditions of posting a preprint, the platform will use the files uploaded to compile a preprint in PDF format. Here, the author will be able to preview the file and either agree they are happy with how it looks, or, alternatively, replace it with their own copy. The bottom line is, the manuscript and the preprint are submitted simultaneously.

Having confirmed they wish to post a preprint while submitting to the journal, ARPHA lets the authors review and, if needed, replace the preprint with their own PDF file. This is the version that will be posted as a preprint on ARPHA Preprints in a few days’ time – once it successfully completes the in-house screening.

At this point, it is only one to a few days keeping the preprint away from public knowledge. This time is needed for the submission to undergo a basic screening, meant to verify that it complies with the journal’s focus and scope, and does not contain offensive language, pseudoscience, plagiarism or any other unethical content.

When posted, preprints indicate the name of the journal, where the associated manuscript has been submitted. If published in that journal, this status changes to Published, while a link and citation details to the formal publication are provided via DOI and the Citation tab, respectively. This means that whenever a reader finds information in the preprint he/she would like to cite in their own work, he/she will have easy to spot, intuitive access to the peer-reviewed paper. If the manuscript is rejected on this occasion, the preprint is disassociated from the journal to prevent potential issues with future resubmission.

Preprints are open to public as well as private comments, in order to encourage constructive feedback and contribution well before the formal publication sees the light of the day.

ARPHA Preprints extra perks

Preprints posted on ARPHA Preprints are:

  • Registered with CrossRef and assigned with their own digital object identifier (DOI) to ensure scientific record and permanent availability;
  • Indexed in several indexing services covering preprints to increase findability;
  • Easy to track for viewership (via ARPHA Platform-provided views counting tools), online engagement (via integration with Altmetric) and citation (via integration with Dimensions) rates;
  • Promptly shared on social media to increase visibility and outreach.

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Got further questions about ARPHA Preprints? Visit our FAQs page or email us at info@arphahub.com.

Much like an author of a preprint, we will be happy to hear some constructive feedback from you!

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Follow ARPHA Preprints on Twitter.

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Register with Pensoft to customise your email alerts from ARPHA Preprints and ARPHA-hosted journals by title and/or topic.

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.


Subscribe to our blog’s newsletter and follow us on Twitter (@ARPHAPlatform and @Pensoft) to keep yourself posted about the next features and updates coming to ARPHA!

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.


Subscribe to our blog’s newsletter and follow us on Twitter to keep yourself posted about the next features and updates coming to ARPHA!

As transparent as it gets! Four 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 four 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 a detailed list of the services provided in our LITE, BASIC, ADVANCED and PREMIUM plans.

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 four plans offered by ARPHA.


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

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.

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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.