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:
Available* only at journals published in consequent numbered issues
Available* at all journals
Deadline for manuscript submission and publication of the issue
No 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 papers
Collection 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 volume
Papers 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.
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).
We’re open to feedback and further information requests. You can contact us on email: email@example.com
Titled “Energy transition at the crossroads”, the new issue of the Russian Journal of Economics gets a set of profound messages across, which can be summarized as: “transition matters, transition goes, yet transition is not a simple, unified march towards a Green future”.
Together, the seven articles in the issue bring forward the notion that the world is a diverse place regarding resources, population growth, human capital, development and political agendas. However, the path to the Energy transition–an integral part of the United Nations’ Sustainable development goals (SDGs)–is something every nation needs to face in the wake of multiple and unprecedented simultaneous global crises: systemic for health, economic, environmental, political and humanitarian.
“All papers look into substantive issues that have emerged following key, global decisions made in recent years. It’s high time that we stop persuading each other into taking the Green path and, instead, turn to the actual problems, costs and obstacles on the way,” says the issue’s editor Prof. Leonid Grigoryev, HSE University, Moscow, Russia.
The collection of articles analyses the outcomes of recent trends in the field of global energy, as well as the mechanisms behind the dramatic changes in the business world, public attitudes and government policies.
“Gazing into the crystal ball right now may be a question of analyzing the casualties from the 2020 recession and the interaction with the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the logic of interests and intentions of all parties and actors involved in the decision-making process. This is certainly an ‘interesting time’ — as the oriental curse allegedly says,” comments Grigoryev.
The first article in the issue: “Long-term development of the global energy sector under the influence of energy policies and technological progress” is authored by renowned energy economists at the Energy Research Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Energy Centre of the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO: Alexey Makarov, Tatyana Mitrova, Vyatcheslav Kulagin. It addresses the current period of transformation in the world energy sector, defined by the emergence of a whole range of cost-effective technologies and the formation of new state priorities that can radically change the structure of energy use. The researchers use a complex forecasting model to predict how the world energy markets will be developing in the period up to 2040. Amongst their estimations is that oil and coal will pass their peak of consumption before 2040. That will not only lead to a radical change in the price environment of energy markets, but also to a transformation of the way they are organized and regulated, as well as to a revision of business models of most energy companies.
The second article, authored by Emre Hatipoglu, Saleh Al Muhanna and Brian Efird and titled “Renewables and the future of geopolitics: Revisiting main concepts of international relations from the lens of renewables” covers a diverse scope of research. It presents a review of the geopolitical, institutional, and technological aspects of the development of renewable energy sources, including transportation and delivery of energy across national borders. With their work, the research team at the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (Saudi Arabia) warn that global issues currently linked to the use of non-renewable sources are most likely bound to remain after the energy transition. These include security, export interdependence, and availability of source materials.
The third article is focused on the energy transition in the European Union in line with the evolution of the European Green Package to the New Green Deal. The paper is authored by Manfred Hafner and Pier Paolo Raimondi, affiliated with Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (Italy), Johns Hopkins University SAIS Europe (Italy) and the Science Po Paris School of International Affairs (France). The authors give an analyzed full-fledged account of the growing ambition of the EU to lead the global transition to a climate-neutral world. In their work, they also suggest that the transition will also impact the external relations of the EU, for example with Russia, and suggest that the two blocs can preserve their energy relationship in light of the energy transition, notably through the conversion of natural gas to hydrogen and storing the resulting CO2.
The fourth article: “The role of gases in the European energy transition” by Prof. Jonathan Stern (Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, United Kingdom) suggests an interesting approach to the role of gases in the global economy, with a focus on the EU. He bases his evaluation of the next three decades on the forecast for global demand of gases, which will reach its peak by 2030 in North America, Eurasia and China, and then subsequently diminish by 2050. The demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) is predicted to increase, given the relatively low prices. However, later on, LNG producers will need “revolutionary” technologies of decarbonization as well.
In the fifth article by Kirsten Westphal (German Institute for International and Security Affairs): “German-Russian gas relations in face of the energy transition”, the author reviews the subject of energy transition from a few different perspectives. Firstly, she discusses it as a part of the historically tested alliance between Russia and Germany, developed and framed over time. Then, she refers to it as an “energy diplomacy” case. “This would require a political shift away from securitization to decarbonization, not only in Germany, but even more so in the EU, and in particular, in Russia,” concludes Westphal.
The sixth article: “Fossil fuels markets in the ‘energy transition’ era” is authored by Vyatcheslav Kulagin, Dmitry Grushevenko and Nikita Kapustin of the Energy Research Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences. In their study, the researchers investigate the long-term impact of the energy transition and related processes on the markets of key fossil fuels: oil, natural gas, and coal. In addition, they discuss important cases, such as traditional versus electric cars, with subsidies also factored in. Overall, the article can be seen as a “technology-friendly” one, while simultaneously avoiding overoptimistic expectations on efficiency and decarbonization. One may call this approach to energy transition as “optimism through a rational lens”.
The last article in the special issue: “Global energy trilemma” by Leonid Grigoryev and Dzhanneta Medzhidova (HSE University and Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russia), brings us back to the profound interaction between growth, poverty, inequality and the problems concerning energy transition and climate change. Essentially, the authors pose a rather simple and straightforward question: if the EU succeeds in its fast decarbonization program by 2030-2050, but the globe ends up with another billion of people suffering from poverty (including energy poverty), would this be a satisfactory outcome, according to the UN, as outlined in the SDGs? This problem is referred to as the “Global energy trilemma”, which sets poverty and inequality,?growth, and?energy and climate against each other. The authors also point out that reaching the UN Agenda 2030 will be very difficult, given the consequences of the 2020 recession. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, financial resources for development and energy transition are expected to be heavily diverted to inevitable health care reforms, while investments are declining on a global level. The researchers conclude that the solution lies in coordinated actions aimed at avoiding the potential aggravations of global social problems.
Following a recent integration with the novel, social network-style research discovery app Researcher, the scholarly publishing platform ARPHA has taken yet another step to ensure scholarly publications from across its open-access, peer-reviewed journal portfolio are as easy to find and read as possible. Now, research papers published in all Pensoft’s, as well as all other journals hosted on ARPHA, can reach the 1.8 million current users of Researcher directly on their screens.
Similarly to the world’s best known and used social media networks: Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, Researcher allows its users, scientists and academics, to follow their favourite scholarly journals and topics, in order to receive their content in a personalised newsfeed format, either on their phones or computers. Thus, they can stay up to date with the latest research in their scientific fields by simply scrolling down: much like what they are already used to in their everyday life outside academia.
Additionally, Researcher lets users bookmark papers to go back to later on and even invite friends to join the platform. Furthermore, the users can also synchronise their accounts with their ORCID iDs, in order to load their own papers on their profiles on Researcher.
The Researcher app fetches new publications from all indexed journals several times a day, thus ensuring that a user’s newsfeed is updated in almost real time. Now, the ARPHA-hosted journals have joined the 17,000 academic outlets from across the sciences already sharing their publications on the app.
“At Pensoft, we are perfectly aware that good and open science practices go far beyond cost-free access to research articles. In reality, Open Science is also about easier findability and reusability, that is the probability one stumbles across a particular research publication, and consequently, cite and build on the findings in his/her own studies. By indexing our journals with Researcher, we’re further facilitating the discoverability of their content to the benefit of the authors who trust us with their work,”
says ARPHA’s and Pensoft’s founder and CEO Prof. Lyubomir Penev.
“We share ARPHA’s belief that Open Science means more than just free access – it means giving scholarly and scientific content the best chance to get in front the right reader at the right time. Our mission is to make sure that scientists and researchers never miss vital research. This partnership will ensure that distribution to our users across the world is built into the ARPHA platform – boosting discoverability and smoothing the path to impact,”
The open-access, peer-reviewed International Journal of Heritage, Memory and Conflict (HMC) aims to offer an interdisciplinary space for the rich scholarship within a wide range of studies by crossing academic, artistic and professional boundaries; while also contributing to the better understanding of the extent to which memory sites and discourses operate as vehicles at local, national and transnational levels.
The HMC covers the fields of memory studies, cultural studies, museum studies, Arts and media and performative studies, postcolonial studies, ethnology, Holocaust and genocide studies, conflict and identity studies, archaeology, material culture and landscapes, conservation and restoration, cultural, public and oral history, critical and digital heritage studies.
Likewise, HMC will also benefit not only from the signature glossy and intuitive user interface provided by ARPHA, but also from the platform’s distinguished fast-track, end-to-end publishing experience available to the use of authors, reviewers and editors. Within ARPHA’s seamless environment, each manuscript submitted to HMC is carried through the review, editing, publication, dissemination and archiving stages without ever leaving ARPHA’s collaboration-centred online environment.
Furthermore, in order to ensure that HMC’s content is as easy to find, access, cite and reuse as possible, the articles are published in three formats: traditional PDF, machine-readable JATS XML formats, and semantically enriched HTML. The journal is also indexed at major indexers and archivers.
*** More information on submission and article processing charges can be found on the journal’s website here.
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.
Visit ARPHA Preprints website to see the growing list of ARPHA-hosted journals integrated with ARPHA Preprints to date.
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.
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;
Edentulous jaw is a condition where either the upper (maxilla) or the lower (mandible) jaw is missing all teeth. In medical practice, it could be treated by placement of a complete denture.
Previous research has already pointed that the application of a border molding procedure (or functional shaping) results in significantly fewer cases of pressure ulcers (decubitus) and soft tissues deformations, hence increased retention and stability of the prosthesis, both at rest and in function. Since there are many factors that affect the optimal treatment, such as anatomical structures (i.e. muscles, muscular and soft-tissue gripping) and the asymmetry between the left and right halves of upper and lower jaws, it is important that special care is taken to determine the depth, as well as the width of the tissue where the teeth would normally be nested (gingivobuccal sulcus). With border molding, it is possible to determine those, however, the accuracy of the impression would still largely depend on the materials used in the procedure.
In their study, published in the open-access, peer-reviewed scholarly journal Folia Medica, Dr Dobromira Shopova and Prof. Diyan Slavchev at the Plovdiv Medical University (Bulgaria) sought to evaluate and determine the accuracy of two different groups of impression materials for border molding: thermoplastic and elastomers. They examined four different brands: Detaseal function (additive silicone for border molding), Sta-seal F (condensation silicone for border molding), GC Iso functional sticks (synthetic resin for border molding), Kerr Impression compound green sticks for border molding.
To perform their research, the team applied Dr Dobromira Shopova’s clinical method to measure negative pressure after border molding procedure, referred to as the vacuum measurement technique on edentulous upper jaw. They also assembled a special custom tray from a light-curing base plate with a palatal adapter. This was a 900, 7-millimetre metal adapter, which was fixed to the midline on the palatal slope. To create and measure the negative pressure, they used a combined pressure pump. The maximum value was 3 bars for positive pressure and -1 bar for negative pressure.
Working protocol followed for all materials:
1. Apply the impression material along the edge of the individual tray;
2. Insert, position and perform Herbst functional tests;
3. Wait for the elasticity or hardening of the material;
4. Assemble the clinical unit for negative pressure measurement;
5. Measure the negative pressure that has been created between the custom tray and the prosthetic field, then record the result;
6. Release the individual impression tray from the patient’s mouth.
A statistically significant difference was observed between the two thermoplastic materials: the GC Iso functional sticks and the Impression compound green sticks. No statistically significant difference was observed between the other groups of materials.
The measured mean negative pressure values created between the prosthetic field and the custom tray showed close values for each patient – with a difference of -0,05 to -0,1 bar. This showed that the anatomical features of the prosthetic field were of great importance.
In conclusion, quantitative measurement of negative pressure is entirely possible under clinical conditions. Thermoplastic materials for border molding are retained and formed only along the edge of the custom tray. However, silicone impression materials do not spread only on the edge of the custom tray, but also on the alveolar ridge, demonstrating their superior manipulative qualities and accuracy for the purposes of border molding.
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 afull range of servicesprovided 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.
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 (€)
2 issues 20 articles / year
4 issues 40 articles / year
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Custom-fit models that can be elaborated together by the journal and ARPHA.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
The first 2020 issue of the journal by the Academy’s Forest Research Institute is already online on a brand new and user-friendly website
The scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoft welcomes the open-access, peer-reviewed international journal in forest science concerning the Balkan Peninsula, Central and Southern Europe Silva Balcanica to its self-developed publishing platform ARPHA. Having become the latest addition to the lengthy portfolio of scholarly outlets dedicated to the fields of ecology and biology for Pensoft and ARPHA, Silva Balcanica is now offering a wide range of benefits and services to its readers, authors, reviewers and editors alike.
Having already acquired its own glossy and user-friendly website provided by ARPHA, Silva Balcanica also takes advantage of the platform’s signature fast-track, end-to-end publishing system. In addition, the published content enjoys automated export of data to aggregators, as well as web-service integrations with major global indexing and archiving databases.
Silva Balcanica invites scientific analysis of practical results, as well as investigations, in the forest sciences, including forest ecology; forest soil science; forest genetics, tree breeding and plantation forestry; biometry and sylviculture; forest economy and management; forest entomology and pathology; ecology and management of game fauna, urban forestry and green infrastructure. Constructive critique addressing scientific publications or events in the field of forestry and forest science are also accepted.
In the first 2020 issue of Silva Balcanica, we can find a total of eight research papers, dealing with a range of various topics, including studies on local plant diversity, genetics, application of experimental designs for forestry research, ecosystem services, population dynamics, invasive pathogens and previously unknown populations of forest-dwelling insects. It brings together single-authored research contributions as well as international collaborative projects, with input from authors from Bulgaria, Greece, Northern Macedonia and Italy.
CEO and founder of both Pensoft and ARPHA Platform Prof. Lyubomir Penev comments:
“Silva Balcanica is an important scholarly outlet and also a remarkable example of international cooperation, inspired and maintained by curiosity, care and responsibility towards the unique, but fragile ecosystems this part of Europe hosts. This is why we take pride in having this particular journal joining our portfolio.”
Silva Balcanica’s Editorial Board says:
“The Scientific Council of the Forest Research Institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences decided to begin publishing Silva Balcanica as an international series in 2001 and since 2014, Silva Balcanica has been published as an international journal.
We are honored to have as members of our Editorial Advisory Board eminent European professors and researchers in forestry and related sciences that join our efforts in pursuit of high quality scientific publishing.
We are confident that Silva Balcanica will unite the research of scientists and specialists in forestry from Southeastern, Central and Eastern Europe and beyond, and will help them in the processes of their European integration.”
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;
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
The Editorial board briefly analyses the issues around the inaccessibility to scholarly research and suitable scholarly outlets still persisting in our days that impede both readers and authors across branches of science. Naturally, they go on to focus on the situation in vegetation science, where, unfortunately, there are rather few outlets open to original research related to any aspect within vegetation science.
In this process, the SISV supported its official scholarly outlet to be published as a “gold open access” journal and ensured that the APCs are kept to a reasonable low in line with its non-profit international business model. Further discounts are available for the members of the Society.
Then, the journal management also reorganised its Editorial Board and welcomed a dedicated Social media team responsible for the increased outreach of published research in the public domain through the channels of Twitter and Facebook.
Besides making the publications publicly available as soon as they see the light of day, the journal strongly supports other good open science practices, such as open data dissemination. In Plant Sociology, authors are urged to store their vegetation data in the Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD). Additionally, the journal is integrated with the Dryad Digital Repository to make it easier for authors to publish, share and, hence, have their data re-used and cited.
The team behind Plant Sociology is perfectly aware of the fact that it is only through easy to find and access knowledge about life on Earth that the right information can reach the right decision-makers, before making the right steps towards mitigating and preventing future environmental catastrophes.
“A journal focusing on all aspects of natural, semi-natural and anthropic plant systems, from basic investigation to their modelisation, assessment, mapping, management, conservation and monitoring, is certainly a precious tool to detect environmental unbalances, understand processes and outline predictive scenarios that support decision makers. In this sense, we believe that more and more OA journals focused on biodiversity should find space in the academic editorial world, because only through deep knowledge of processes and functions of a complex planet, humankind can find a way to survive healthy,”
elaborate the editors.
To take the burden of technical journal management off the shoulders of Plant Sociology’s own editorial team, the journal has entrusted Pensoft to provide a user-friendly and advanced submission system, in addition to the production, online publishing and archiving of the accepted manuscripts. Thus, the editorial team is able to focus entirely on the scientific quality of the journal’s content.
“The renewal of Plant Sociology is a challenge that we have undertaken with conviction, aware of the difficulties and pitfalls that characterize the life of a scientific journal today. Entrusting the technical management of the journal to a professional company aims to improve its dissemination and attractiveness, but also to focus our efforts only on scientific content,”
explain the editors.
About Plant Sociology:
Plant Sociology publishes articles dealing with all aspects of vegetation, from plant community to landscape level, including dynamic processes and community ecology. It favours papers focusing on plant sociology and vegetation survey for developing ecological models, vegetation interpretation, classification and mapping, environmental quality assessment, plant biodiversity management and conservation, EU Annex I habitats interpretation and monitoring, on the ground of rigorous and quantitative measures of physical and biological components. The journal is open to territorial studies at different geographic scale and accepts contributes dealing with applied research, provided they offer new methodological perspectives and a robust, updated vegetation analysis.