New ARPHA features strengthen journal communities

Long past are the days where a journal’s role was to merely provide a means to getting a piece of research work out of a drawer and into the wide world. Today, a modern journal with demonstrable online presence and a distinct ‘character’ may as well be seen as a social network in its own right, which brings together a community of frequent readers, authors, reviewers and dedicated editors.

At ARPHA, we believe that this is the time to support and give voice to these very special communities by getting to know each other and sharing and celebrating their achievements. After all, it’s strong and active communities that foster collaboration, recognition and real-life impact.

Revamped journal newsletters

Newsletter from PhytoKeys emailed to journal users subscribed for article alerts.

Journal readers subscribe to New Article alerts to stay updated about new research papers as they are published in a trusted scholarly outlet. Yet, having subscribed to notifications from a particular title – or a selection of similar titles – means that those users – typically authors, editors or active researchers in the field – might also be interested in learning about the journal’s latest Scopus CitesCore or Impact Factor; article collections calling for contributions; or new additions to the editorial board. All of these could be extremely useful to consider before submitting a paper, applying for the editorial board or simply updating a “to-read” list.

Thanks to the visually appealing look and clickable section tabs, newsletter subscribers can easily navigate through the email and explore its content at a glance.

Find instructions about how to update your profile and set up your email alerts in the ARPHA Manual.

‘Post your news’ button

Prof Christopher John Topping introduced himself with a meet-and-greet at the time of joining the newly renovated Food and Ecological Systems Modelling Journal as a co-Editor-in-Chief.

As wholesome communication is a two-way experience, we decided to support journals published on ARPHA in setting up the stage for their users to voice their activities. By adopting the Post your news button, many of the journals introduced a simple form accessible to registered users, where they can update the community about basically everything that’s relevant to the journal and its scope. 

Particularly, the feature is useful to introduce new members of the editorial board; seek out collaborators; promote an upcoming scientific event; or celebrate the far-reaching impact and recognition of one’s research work published in the journal. Once approved by a moderator, the news item is featured in the journal’s designated News section on its website’s homepage and its newsletter.

Find instructions about how to submit a news item and how submitted news items are moderated.

Editors’ Choice badges

Every quarter, the Editors-in-Chief at Vegetation Classification and Survey (VCS) recognise one paper as an “Editor’s Choice”, and an yearly award is presented at the end of each year.

A simple, yet effective way to celebrate the impact of a particular publication is having the journal’s editors pinpoint the paper as an Editor’s choice. While many journals have traditionally been awarding articles and their authors with similar recognitions, it is not often that anyone is aware of those outside of the editorial board and the awardees themselves.

As a practical solution, we introduced customisable badges that can be added next to an article’s title, and allow a journal’s editors to highlight the best contributions.

Find instructions for editors on how to add badges to published articles.

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Second economics journal by Moscow State University migrates to ARPHA Platform

Two years ago the publishing platform, developed by the scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoftwelcomed Moscow State University’s journal Population and Economics. Now, ARPHA announces the transfer of a second academic title published by the institution’s Faculty of Economics. The peer-reviewed, open-access BRICS Journal of Economics covers key economic issues of middle-income developing countries, primarily BRICS countries. 

BRICS Journal of Economics is a fairly new scientific outlet launched in 2020 with the aim to provide a better understanding of the specifics of the BRICS countries (China, Russia, Brazil, India, and South Africa), as well as a broader knowledge about the prospects emerging in those constantly growing economies. It publishes four issues per year, where all articles are submitted in English and undergo double-blind peer review. Thanks to sponsorship available from one of the leading universal banks of Russia: VTB Bank, it runs a Diamond Open Access policy, where neither reading, nor publishing incurs any costs to readers and authors.

With its move to ARPHA, BRICS Journal of Economics is to utilise the whole package of ARPHA Platform’s signature services, including a fast-track, end-to-end publishing module, designed to appeal to readers, authors, reviewers and editors alike. 

Soon, the journal will relaunch on its brand new ARPHA-powered website, where authors, editors and reviewers will find and track the progress of all of their tasks, files and correspondence, in addition to the infrastructure needed to complete every step along the editorial process. Put simply, once submitted, a manuscript has no need to leave the online, collaborative-friendly platform all the way to its publication, dissemination and archiving.

On their part, the readers of BRICS Journal of Economics will enjoy the publications in a conventional PDF format that allows easier storage, as well as semantically enriched HTML. The latter ensures a complete and mobile-friendly reading experience by relying on easier navigation and plenty of related additional linked information within the article’s text. Meanwhile, the third utilised format: the machine-readable JATS XML will make the publications much more visible and findable to both humans searching on the Internet and algorithms mining the web. 

Amongst the other advantages provided by the journal is a full suite of various metrics designed to track the usage of both articles and sub-article elements, such as figures and tables, at any time.

“We are delighted to extend our collaboration with the Moscow State University’s Faculty of Economics by taking care after the technological advancement of BRICS Journal of Economics. This particular journal is undoubtedly serving a fantastic role in the community by filling a niche in the study of Economics, and it is an honour for us at ARPHA and Pensoft to aid its reach to the international public,” 

says Prof. Dr Lyubomir Penev, founder and CEO at ARPHA and Pensoft.

Additional information:

About Faculty of Economics, Lomonosov Moscow State University:

Founded in 1941, the Faculty of Economics continues the centuries-old tradition of economic education in Russia, being one of the leading university-level centres in the field of Economics.

The faculty combines fundamental education and professional training in order to develop its students’ analytical skills and creative thinking, thereby helping its graduates to adapt quickly and successfully to the requirements of any job in the field of economics.

About Lomonosov Moscow State University:

Founded in 1755 by Russian polymath, scientist and writer Mikhail Lomonosov, the university is currently the highest-ranking Russian educational institution, according to the 2018 QS World University Rankings. It is also considered to be the most prestigious university in the former Soviet Union.

Every year Moscow University enrolls about 4 000 international students and postgraduates from all over the world.

Museum of New Zealand’s journal Tūhinga moves to Pensoft’s ARPHA Publishing Platform

Having decided to turn Tūhinga “into a 21st-century”, digital-native diamond open-access journal, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa signed with scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoft and its publishing platform ARPHA. As part of the agreement, not only is the journal to make its future content easy to read and discover by readers and computer algorithms, but will also do so for its legacy publications previously available solely in print. 

Tūhinga: Records of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is the successor of the Museum of New Zealand Records, the National Museum of New Zealand Records, and the Dominion Museum Records in Ethnology. Together, the outlets have acquired a nearly two century-worth of scientific knowledge provided by the museum’s curators, collection managers, and research associates across disciplines, from archaeology to zoology.

The renovated Tūhinga is to utilise the whole package of signature services provided by the platform, including ARPHA’s fast-track, end-to-end publishing system, which benefits readers, authors, reviewers and editors alike. 

This means that each submitted manuscript is to be carried through the review, editing, publication, dissemination and archiving stages without leaving the platform’s collaboration-centred online environment. The articles themselves are to be openly available in PDF, machine-readable JATS XML formats, and semantically enriched HTML for better reader experience. Thus, the journal’s articles will be as easy to discover, access, reuse and cite as possible. Once published, the content is to be indexed and archived instantaneously and its underlying data exported to relevant specialised databases. Simultaneously, a suite of various metrics is to be enabled to facilitate tracking the usage of articles and sub-article elements – like figures and tables – in real time.

The journal’s legacy content is to also become machine-discoverable and more user-friendly. Each of these papers will also be assigned with DOI and registered at CrossRef, while their metadata will be indexed at relevant databases. On the new journal website, they will be displayed as embedded PDF documents, while the reader will be able to do a full-text search of the article’s content.

Tūhinga welcomes original collections-based research in the natural sciences and humanities, including museological research, where its multidisciplinarity reflects the breadth and range of museum-based scholarship. The journal focuses primarily on New Zealand and the Pacific, but all contributions are considered. Having opted for a Diamond Open Access policy, the journal is to charge neither its readers, nor the authors.

“It’s a great honour to sign with the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and provide our publishing services to Tūhinga. Particularly, we take pride in letting the whole wide world straight into the holdings of Te Papa and the knowledge they have prompted in the distant past: something that would not typically be possible had they remained only on paper,”

says Prof. Dr Lyubomir Penev, founder and CEO at ARPHA and Pensoft.

Senckenberg Nature Research Society transfers three journals to ARPHA Platform

Arthropod Systematics & Phylogeny, Vertebrate Zoology and Geologica Saxonica are the latest historic titles to select the various services and advanced technology provided by the OA-born scholarly publishing platform

One of the largest natural research associations in Germany, the Senckenberg Nature Research Society moved three of its international, open-access scholarly journals to the publishing platform ARPHA, following a recent contract with the scientific publisher and technology provider Pensoft.

Having opted for the white-label publishing solution, the journals remain under the brand of the Society and the Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden, one of the oldest natural-science museums in the world. Despite transitioning to a new platform, the past volumes of the journals remain accessible from a link on their website homepages.

Following their recent move to the Pensoft-developed publishing platform, Arthropod Systematics & PhylogenyVertebrate Zoology and Geologica Saxonica have not only acquired their own glossy and user-friendly websites, but have also taken advantage from ARPHA’s signature fast-track, end-to-end publishing system, which is to benefit all journal users: authors, reviewers and editors alike. In addition, the journals are already using many of the unique services offered by ARPHA, including publication in PDF, semantically enhanced HTML and machine-readable XML formats; advanced data publishing; sub-article-level usage metrics; automated export of sub-article elements and data to key aggregators; web-service integrations with major indexing and archiving databases; and others.

In particular, to the appeal of the authors, editors and reviewers, the ARPHA’s collaboration-centred online environment takes care after each submitted manuscript during the review, editing, publication, dissemination and archiving stages, so that no one needs to deal with locally stored files and their transfer by email or third-party cloud storages. Additionally, the platform is designed to regularly notify the users about any required action, thus sparing the burden of unnecessary communication and ensuring the speedy processing of manuscripts.

All three journals operate a Diamond Open Access policy, thanks to the support of the Senckenberg Nature Research Society, making the journals free to publish for all authors.

Arthropod Systematics & Phylogeny

Arthropod Systematics & Phylogeny is the successor of the historical Entomologische Abhandlungen, formerly published by the Museum of Zoology at Dresden.

Its scope covers the taxonomy, morphology, anatomy, phylogeny, historical biogeography and palaeontology of arthropod taxa, but excludes faunistics and research with a strong regional focus. Descriptions of new taxa are only welcome when embedded in a wider context, for example, a phylogenetic, evolutionary, or biogeographical framework.

Currently, the journal enjoys an Impact Factor of 1.51 and a continuously increasing Scopus CiteScore.

Vertebrate Zoology

Similarly, Vertebrate Zoology was preceded by Zoologische Abhandlungen, also formerly published by the Museum of Zoology at Dresden. Its first publications since the move to ARPHA Platform and part of the first journal volume for 2021 are already a fact.

The journal deals with research on taxonomy, morphology, anatomy, phylogeny, historical biogeography and palaeontology of vertebrates. Again, descriptions of new taxa should be integrated into a proper context, for example, a complete revision of a taxon. To support accountability and reproducibility in science and academia, the journal requires that studied specimens have to be deposited in a public scientific collection.

Vertebrate Zoology’s Impact Factor is currently standing at 1.167, while its last Scopus CiteScore reached 2.1 (2019).

Geologica Saxonica

Geologica Saxonica – Journal of Central European Geology, began its life in distant 1876, when it was founded under the name Mitteilungen aus dem Königlichen Mineralogisch-Geologischen und Prähistorischen Museum by German geologist Hanns Bruno Geinitz, renowned for his work on the Carboniferous and Cretaceous rocks and fossils of Saxony.

The journal’s scope ecompasses geology, paleontology, stratigraphy, petrography, mineralogy and geoscience history with focus on Central Europe.

“At Pensoft, we are delighted to support a world-renowned natural history association like Senckenberg in carrying its legacy and treasure of knowledge into our days and well beyond. Now, with ARPHA’s white-label solution, we’re certain that the journals will simultaneously preserve their identity and enjoy all perks of modern and technologically advanced publishing,”

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

“We are very pleased to have found reliable partners in Pensoft and the ARPHA platform for our three publications to further increase their visibility. Senckenberg’s scientific publications have a long – almost 200-year tradition – and are now shown in a new and innovative design with unprecedented information retrieval options!”

says Prof. Dr. Uwe Fritz, Editor-in-Chief of the journal Vertebrate Zoology and head of the Department of Zoology at Senckenberg Natural History Collections in Dresden.

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Senckenberg is not the first prestigious German research institution to sign an agreement with Pensoft and ARPHA Platform. Since 2014, the Natural History Museum Berlin has trusted the publisher with its own historical titles in the Biology domain: Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift and Zoosystematics and Evolution. In 2017, Evolutionary Systematics by the University of Hamburg, another prominent journal with a legacy in the field of Zoology, followed suit. Last year, Zitteliana, a historical scholarly journal covering all fields of paleontology and geobiology by the State Natural History Collection of Bavaria (SNSB) also announced its joining the journal portfolio of Pensoft and ARPHA Platform.

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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!

Bulgaria’s National Cardiac Society pioneers ARPHA’s top-to-bottom bilingual publishing

The first 2020 issue of the society’s bilingual journal is already online on a brand new and user-friendly website

( ?? Прочетете на български тук)

This month, ARPHA Platform welcomed the fourth medical academic journal to its portfolio: Bulgarian Cardiology („Българска кардиология”), the official publication venue of the Bulgarian National Cardiac Society since 1995. The Society is a member of the European Society of Cardiology

With its first 2020 issue, Bulgarian Cardiology pioneers the Bulgarian-English bilingual publishing solution from ARPHA, the open-access scholarly publishing platform, developed by the publisher and technology provider Pensoft. Thanks to this, authors will be able to publish their papers either in Bulgarian, or in Bulgarian and English. In the latter case, the article will be displayed in both languages side by side, as exemplified in the paper “Novel approaches to treat resistant hypertension” by Dr Alexandra Cherneva (Acibadem City Clinic – Cardiovascular center, Bulgaria) and Prof Ivo Petrov (Sofia University and Acibadem City Clinic – Cardiovascular center, Bulgaria).

“Novel approaches to treat resistant hypertension”, a research paper by Dr Alexandra Cherneva and Prof Ivo Petrov, published in the latest issue of Bulgarian Cardiology, available in both Bulgarian and English
(DOI: 10.3897/bgcardio.26.e52712)

For non-Bulgarian speaking authors, who submit their manuscript in English, the journal provides translation to Bulgarian, so that the published article is also available in both languages. In the latest issue, this is exemplified by the Editorial piece “Atrial fibrillation: Importance of real world data from regional registries. A focus on the BALKAN-AF registry”, authored by the international team of Dr Monika Kozieł, Prof Gregory Y. H. Lip and Dr Tatjana S. Potpara.

Even though bilingual Russian-English publishing was first introduced by ARPHA in late 2019 to coincide with the move of the Lomonosov Moscow State University’s journal Population and Economics to the platform, this time around, it is not mandatory for authors to translate their manuscript in English. On the occasion that the authors deem their work relevant exclusively for the medical researchers and practitioners on a national level, they are welcome to only submit in Bulgarian. However, they will still need to provide the paper’s metadata, including the abstract, in English, so that their findings remain findable and accessible to foreign users, in line with the best Open Science practices.

Having already acquired its own glossy and user-friendly website provided by ARPHA, Bulgarian Cardiology also takes advantage of the platform’s signature fast-track, end-to-end publishing system, which is to benefit all journal users: authors, reviewers and editors alike. 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.

The first issue of Bulgarian Cardiology was published in 1995 to provide a scholarly outlet for the Bulgarian Society of Cardiology. Ever since then, it has been serving as an essential forum to bring together the cardiology community in the country. Its aim is to publish both the academic achievements of the Bulgarian medical experts and the key practical guidelines of the European Society of Cardiology.  

Bulgarian Cardiology accepts for publication research and review articles, clinical cases, editorials, letters to the Editor, European Society of Cardiology guidelines, announcements from the Bulgarian Society of Cardiology and materials presented at their meetings, and others. 

“It’s a pleasure to all of us at ARPHA to welcome the Bulgarian Society of Cardiology’s journal. It’s a fantastic win-win situation for both parties: while we managed to customise and provide the necessary services the Society asked us for, they offered us the opportunity to further push our capabilities and know-how, in order to launch our first top-to-bottom bilingual publishing solution,”

says Prof. Lyubomir Penev, founder and CEO at ARPHA and Pensoft.

The journal will continue to be published also in print with four issues a year.

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Visit the journal’s website at https://journal.bgcardio.org/.

Pensoft to publish the paleontology and geobiology journal Zitteliana on behalf of SNSB

Following the recent contract between the State Natural History Collection of Bavaria (Staatliche Naturwissenschaftliche Sammlungen Bayerns or SNSB) and the scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoft, the scholarly peer-reviewed, open-access journal on paleontology and geobiology Zitteliana will be published on the technologically advanced scholarly publishing platform ARPHA.

Expected later in 2020, Zitteliana will not only benefit from its own sleek-looking and user-friendly website, but will also enjoy a long list of services and high-tech features and human-provided services delivered from ARPHA’s signature fast-track, end-to-end publishing system. 

One thing that will greatly appeal to submitting authors, editors and reviewers is that the collaboration-focused ARPHA Platform supports manuscripts all the way from submission, peer review, editing, publication, dissemination and archiving within its online environment. On the other hand, to the benefit of readers, after publication, the articles are made available in PDF, machine-readable JATS XML formats, and semantically enriched HTML, which prompts discoverability, accessibility, citability and reusability. In addition, the journals will use all unique services offered by ARPHA, such as data publishing, linked data tables, semantic markup and enhancements, automated export of sub-article elements and data to aggregators, web-service integrations with more than 40 world-class indexing and archiving databases, sub-article-level usage metrics, and more.

Zitteliana is a scholarly journal covering all fields of paleontology and geobiology by the Bavarian State Collection of Palaeontology and Geology (SNSB): a research institution for natural history in Bavaria, comprising five State Collections. Initially limited to publications studying either the materials deposited in SNSB’s own collections, or topics related to the geology and palaeontology of Bavaria and adjacent regions, these days, Zitteliana welcomes articles in all fields of paleontology and geobiology. Encouraged are submissions on paleobiology, numerical paleontology, paleobiogeography, paleogenomics, palaeooceanography, biosedimentology, multiproxy and sequential stratigraphy, biodiversity research, and actuopaleontology, as well as contributions to the journal’s traditionally well-represented topics, such as paleontological taxonomy, systematics, phylogeny, and regional geology.

“It’s a great delight for Pensoft to be partnering such a prominent natural history institution like the SNSB and publish this particular journal of theirs. With our joint expertise and devotion, I am certain that we will successfully address major needs of the research community: readers, authors and their affiliates alike.”

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

The SNSB is the latest major German research institution to collaborate with Pensoft and choose ARPHA Platform for its journals. Since 2014, the Natural History Museum Berlin has trusted the publisher with its historical titles: Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift and Zoosystematics and Evolution. In 2017, Evolutionary Systematics, another prominent journal with a legacy in the field of zoology by the University of Hamburg followed suit. In 2020, we will be also seeing the move of three journals by the Senckenberg Nature Research Society: Arthropod Systematics & Phylogeny, Vertebrate Zoology and Geologica Saxonica.


About SNSB:

The Bavarian Natural History Collections (Staatliche Naturwissenschaftliche Sammlungen Bayerns, SNSB) are a research institution for natural history in Bavaria. They encompass five State Collections (zoology, botany, paleontology and geology, mineralogy, anthropology and paleoanatomy), the Botanical Garden Munich-Nymphenburg and eight museums with public exhibitions in Munich, Bamberg, Bayreuth, Eichstätt and Nördlingen.

Research conducted by over 30 permanent and 30 third-party funded scientists, currently employed at the SNSB, focuses mainly on the past and present bio- and geodiversity and the evolution of animals and plants. To achieve this, the institution keeps large scientific collections (more than 30,000,000 specimens). The collections and museums also play an instrumental role in public and academic education.

Pensoft partners with ReviewerCredit to certify and reward peer review

Following recent API integration with ReviewerCredits, Pensoft – the scholarly publisher and technology provider – has launched a pilot phase with one of its peer-reviewed, open-access journal: Biodiversity Data Journal (BDJ). Reviewers, who create an account on ReviewerCredits, will automatically record their peer review contributions, which will be certified via the platform and receive rewards and recognition within the scholarly community and fellow scientists. 

Apart from a seamless system to showcase their peer review activity, reviewers will also be assigned virtual credits, which can be redeemed for benefits provided by selected partners, including discounted APCs. 

The registration on ReviewerCredits is free. While a reviewer can register any of his/her peer reviews on the platform, reviews for journals partnering with ReviewerCredits earn additional redeemable credits.

Once a reviewer signs in BDJ using their own reviewer account, a pop-up window will recommend that an account on ReviewerCredits is created by using an ORCID ID or an email address. Once the registration is complete, each completed peer review contribution will automatically appear as certified on ReviewerCredits, as soon as the editor submits a final decision on the reviewed manuscript. In line with peer-review confidentiality, the entry displayed on ReviewerCredits will not contain the content of the review, nor the particular paper it is associated with.

“We are happy to partner with ReviewerCredits to further recognise, encourage and reward the contribution of reviewers in BDJ. No one should forget that, at the end of the day, it is up to reviewers to ensure that only good and quality science makes its way in the world. Unfortunately, though, their role in scholarship has traditionally been overlooked and we all need to put in effort to change the status quo,”

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

“We are excited by the collaboration with Pensoft on this project and to acknowledge BDJ among our prestigious partner journals. Pensoft has proved an extremely competent partner, well aware of the importance for journals to state the value of their peer review process. We work together to strengthen the collaboration between journals and reviewers and we are looking forward to a growing collaboration with Pensoft publications,”

Prof. Giacomo Bellani, co-founder and president of ReviewerCredits, underlines the value and enthusiasm for this new partnership.

Additional information:

About ReviewerCredits:

ReviewerCredits is a startup company, accredited to the University of Milan Bicocca, launched in 2017 by enthusiastic active researchers and scientists. ReviewerCredits is an independent platform dedicated to scientists, Journals and Publishers addressing the peer review process.

IAVS and Pensoft launch a gold OA journal on vegetation classification on ARPHA Platform

Last summer, the International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS) took the decision to launch a gold open-access academic journal, titled Vegetation Classification and Survey (VCS). Then, IAVS signed a contract with the scientific publisher and technology provider Pensoft and its self-developed innovative, fast-track scholarly platform ARPHA.

Now, VCS is officially online with the publication of its first six research articles and an exhaustive editorial, written by its four Chief Editors: Prof Dr Florian Jansen, Dr Idoia Biurrun, Prof Dr Jürgen Dengler and Dr Wolfgang Willner. They explain the mission and key features of the new journal. They also address the advantages and challenges of Open Access and share the ways VCS is to handle those.

VCS focuses on vegetation typologies and vegetation classification systems, their methodological foundation, development and application at any organisational and spatial scale. No restrictions are imposed on the methodological approaches used. 

Apart from original research papers that develop new vegetation typologies, the journal publishes applied studies that use such typologies, for example, in vegetation mapping, ecosystem modelling, nature conservation, land use management, or monitoring. Particularly encouraged are methodological studies that design and compare tools or algorithms for vegetation classification and mapping, vegetation databases and nomenclatural principles. Papers dealing with conceptual and theoretical bases of vegetation survey and classification are also welcome.

“We are delighted to welcome the latest journal by IAVS to the families of ARPHA and Pensoft. We are eager to support this wonderful Open Science initiative to facilitate access and uptake of research in this emerging field of vegetation science,”

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

Amongst the appealing features of the new journal are its two permanent special collections: Ecoinformatics and Phytosociological Nomenclature. The former invites papers presenting vegetation-plot databases and other ecoinformatics data sources relevant for vegetation classification as well as concepts, methods and tools for using these, while the latter focuses on nomenclature issues of syntaxa.

Another novelty introduced by VCS is the implementation of double-blind peer review meant to reduce potential biases in academia. 

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Proving the international focus of VCS, the first published articles cover research from five continents. 

A Chinese study, conducted by the team of Dr Cindy Q. Tang (Yunnan University) analyses the forest structure, regeneration and growth trends of the commercially, culturally and economically important Yunnan pine tree.

The research team of Maged Abutaha (Desert Research Center) provides the first phytosociological classification of the vegetation units of Gebel Elba – an important arid mountain in Egypt – and the environmental factors controlling their distribution.

In their paper, Dr John Hunter (University of New England) and Vanessa Hunter use unsupervised techniques to produce a hierarchical classification of montane mires within the New England Tablelands Bioregion (NETB) of eastern Australia.

A national-scale phytosociological research of freshwater lake vegetation in Greece was conducted by the team of Dimitrios Zervas (Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre).

A Finite Mixture Model is proposed as an additional approach for classifying large datasets of georeferenced vegetation plots from complex vegetation systems by a large research team, led by Dr Fabio Attorre of the Sapienza University of Rome

A description of the remaining native vegetation of the Espinal province in central Argentina, presented by a research team, led by Dr Sebastián Zeballos (Instituto Multidisciplinario de Biología Vegetal, UNC-CONICET), calls for conservation measures to be taken to preserve the remaining forest patches. They also urge for the establishment of new protected natural areas.

“We would like to see more profound vegetation studies from species-rich regions, from both natural and anthropogenically influenced vegetation types,”

say the editors.

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Thanks to support from IAVS, VCS will be offering particularly attractive article processing charges (APCs) for submissions during the first two years. Moreover, significant discounts are available for IAVS members, members of the Editorial team and authors from low-income countries or with other financial constraints.

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Follow Vegetation Classification and Survey (VCS) on Twitter and Facebook.

Check out the official blog of the International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS), where authors in any of the three IAVS journals are invited to submit blog contributions providing further insights into their work.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

explain the editors.

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

they add.

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

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

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

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