In the ever-evolving landscape of academic publishing, comprehensive and informative citation metrics can make all the difference. Pensoft, the scholarly publisher and technology provider, and the innovative scite.ai platform, have partnered to provide a novel service that is looking to change the way readers perceive and utilise citation data.
scite.ai has been making waves in the scholarly world with its pioneering approach to citation metrics. At the heart of their offering are two distinctive badges, elegantly displayed on the article’s page to let readers gain deeper insights into how a publication is cited by other indexed works.
Each citation is categorized as Supporting, Contrasting, or Mentioning, based on the context of surrounding sentences within the citing publication. This way, anyone can explore not just how many times a document has been cited but also why.
The feature is already accessible under the Metrics tab of any research paper published by a Pensoft journal. The first scite.ai badge displays the number of citations, breaking them down into Supporting, Contrasting, or Mentioning; the second one offers insights on the sections of an article where the citations were featured.
At Pensoft, we are confident that this new functionality enhances the discoverability and contextual richness of articles published in our journals. The integration also empowers Pensoft’s users to gain deeper insights into their research. Whether you’re a scientist seeking to validate your research or a reader in search of authoritative sources, this new feature promises to enrich your academic journey.
Stay up to date with the latest integrations and features available at journals published by Pensoft by following ARPHA Platform on Twitter and Linkedin.
Earlier this year, in a pilot project, the teams of high-tech startup Knowledge Pixels and open-access scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoft released a novel workflow to publicly share and future-proof scientific findings by means of nanopublications.
Nanopublications complement human-created narratives of scientific knowledge with elementary, machine-actionable, simple and straightforward scientific statements that prompt sharing, finding, accessibility, citability and interoperability. By making it easier to trace individual findings back to their origin and/or follow-up updates, it also helps to better understand the provenance of biodiversity data.
These semantic statements expressed in community-agreed terms, openly available through links to controlled vocabularies, ontologies and standards, are not only freely accessible to everyone in both human-readable and machine-actionable formats, but also easy-to-digest for computer algorithms and AI-powered assistants.
Now, the collaborators – also partly supported by the Horizon 2020-funded project BiCIKL (abbreviation for Biodiversity Community Integrated Knowledge Library) – have built up on a pilot workflow already launched in the Biodiversity Data Journal – to create a specialised nanopublication solution to address the need for FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) data in the biodiversity science domain.
In their studies, researchers need to use and refer to extensive and diverse biodiversity data at once, e.g. information about groups of organisms and their classification, collections, authors and genetic sequences. However, those would normally be scattered across a vast number of articles or belong to dissociated databases. This is a major and widely recognised issue in biodiversity science, which is currently stagnating progress not only in building up the world’s knowledge about the natural world around us, but also impeding biodiversity conservation and ecosystem restoration.
Using the newly released nanopublication workflow, biodiversity researchers can now incorporate nanopublications within their manuscripts to future-proof their most important assertions on biological taxa and organisms or statements about associations of taxa or organisms and their environments.
In addition, the authors can also create standalone nanopublications that comment or derive from already existing research journals published in an academic journal or another citable source (e.g. expert database), regardless of the author of the source.
“With the nanopublication format, authors make sure that key scientific statements – the ones underpinning their research work – are efficiently communicated in a machine-actionable and FAIR manner. Thus, their contributions to science become future-proof for a reality driven by AI technology,”
explains Prof. Lyubomir Penev, founder and CEO at Pensoft.
“Biodiversity is the ideal field for this pilot exploring the next steps in scientific publishing. Biodiversity and its neighbouring fields have produced a remarkable number of high-quality resources, such as controlled vocabularies and databases, which we can now build upon. Moreover, many Biodiversity researchers have shown to be very open to such new methods and are enthusiastic about working together to build a more powerful ecosystem for scientific knowledge sharing, and we share their enthusiasm,”
says Tobias Kuhn, CTO and co-founder of Knowledge Pixels.
In our opinion, it is of utmost importance to promptly address the existing issues in the publishing system, where healthy competition can thrive and contribute to a reality safe from potential mono-/oligopolies and corporate capture.
We firmly believe that only an industry that leaves room for variously-scaled pioneers and startups is capable of leading a long-awaited shift to a high-quality, transparent, open and equitable scholarly publishing landscape aligning with the principles of FAIRness.
Yet, we shall acknowledge that the industry has so far failed to eradicate the most fundamental flaw of the past. In the beginning, the main aim of the Open Access (OA) movement was removing the barrier to access to publicly funded scientific knowledge and scrapping costly subscription fees.
Recently, however, the industry’s biggest players merely replaced it with a barrier to publication by introducing costly Article Processing Charges (APCs) and “big deals” signed between top commercial publishers and academic institutions or national library consortia.
As a result, small and middle-sized open-access publishers, which have, ironically, been the ones to lead the change and transition to OA by default and oppose the large commercial publishers’ agenda, were effectively pushed out of the scene. Further, we are currently witnessing a situation where OA funds are mostly going to the ones who used to oppose OA.
So, we strongly supportmeasures that ensure an inclusive and FAIR competition, which could in turn prompt quality, sustainability and reasonable pricing in scholarly publishing. In our opinion, an environment like this would actually foster equality and equity amongst all publishers, either small, large,non-profit, commercial, institutionalor society-based.
One of the main points of the conclusions is a recommendation for a general use of the Diamond OA model, where no charges apply to either researchers or readers. While we fully support the Diamond OA model, we wish to stress on the fact that considerable concerns about the sustainability of existing Diamond OA models remain.
On the one hand, there are OA agreements (also known as read-and-publish, publish-and-read, transformative agreements etc.), typically signed between top publishers and top research institutions/consortia. This OA model is often mistakenly referred to as “Diamond OA”, since authors affiliated with those institutions are not concerned with providing the APC payment – either by paying themselves or applying for funding. Instead, the APCs are paid centrally. Most often, however, journals published by those publishers are still directly charging authors who are not members of the signed institutions with, in our opinion, excessive APCs. Even if those APCs are covered by a signed institution, these are still considerable funds that are being navigated away from actual research work.
On the other hand, there are independent researchers, in addition to smaller or underfunded institutions, typically – yet far from exclusively – located in the developing world, who are effectively being discriminated against.
In conclusion, this type of contracts are shutting away smaller actors from across academia just like they used to be under the subscription-based model. Hereby, we wish to express our full agreement with the Council of the European Union’s conclusion, that “it is essential to avoid situations where researchers are limited in their choice of publication channels due to financial capacities rather than quality criteria”.
There are also several alternative OA models designed to lessen the burden of publication costs for both individual researchers, libraries and journal owners. However, each comes with its own drawbacks. Here – we believe – is where the freedom of choice is perhaps most needed, in order to keep researchers’ and publishers’ best interests at heart.
One of those alternatives is open-source publishing platforms, which – by design – are well-positioned to deliver actual Diamond OA for journals, while maintaining independence from commercial publishers. However, the operational model of this type of publishing and hosting platforms would most often only provide a basic infrastructure for editors to publish and preserve content. As a result, the model might require extra staff and know-how, while remaining prone to human errors. Additionally, a basic technological infrastructure could impede the FAIRness of the published output, which demands advanced and automated workflows to appropriately format, tag semantically and export scientific outputs promptly after publication.
Similarly, large funders and national consortia have put their own admirable efforts to step up and provide another option for authors of research and their institutions. Here, available funds are allocated to in-house Diamond OA publishing platforms that have originally been designed according to the policies and requirements of the respective funding programme or state. However, this type of support – while covering a large group of authors (e.g. based in a certain country, funded under a particular programme, and/or working in a specific research field) – still leaves many behind, including multinational or transdisciplinary teams. Additionally, due to the focus on ‘mass supply’, most of these OA publishing platforms have so far been unable to match their target user base with the appropriate scale of services and support.
What we have devised and developed at Pensoft with the aim to contribute to the pool of available choices is an OA publishing model, whose aim is to balance cost affordability, functionality, reliability, transparency and long-term sustainability.
To do so, we work with journal owners, institutions and societies to create their own business and operational model for their journals that matches two key demands of the community: (1) free to read and free to publish OA model, and, (2) services and infrastructure suited for Diamond OA at a much lower cost, compared to those offered by major commercial publishers.
In our opinion, independent small publishers differentiate from both large commercial publishers and publicly funded providers by relying to a greater extent on innovative technology and close employee collaboration.
As a result, they are capable of delivering significantly more customisable solutions – including complete packages of automated and human-provided services – and, ultimately, achieving considerably lower-cost publishing solutions. Likewise, they might be better suited to provide much more flexible business models, so that libraries and journal owners can easily support (subsets of or all) authors to the best of their capabilities.
While we realise that there is no faultless way to high-quality, transparent, open and equitable scholarly publishing, we are firm supporters of an environment, where healthy competition prompts the continuous invention and evolution of tools and workflows.
Our own motivation to invest in scholarly publishing technology and its continuous refinement and advancement, coupled with a number of in-house and manually provided services, which is reflected in our APC policies, aligns with the Council’s statement that “scientific practices for ensuring reproducibility, transparency, sharing, rigour and collaboration are important means of achieving a publishing system responsive to the challenges of democratic, modern and digitalised societies.”
Our thinking is that – much like in any other industry – what drives innovation and revolutionary technologies is competition. To remain healthy and even self-policing, however, this competition needs to embrace transparency, equity and inclusivity.
Last, but not least, researchers need to have the freedom to choose from plenty of options when deciding where and how to publish their work!
We understand that it might be tempting for managing editors at society and institutional journals to opt to stick to what has proved to be working again and again over the decades. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, right?
Yet, here comes the elephant in the room: science is all about staying ahead of your time and constantly evolving.
Even though there are scientists who easily fall in love with the ink-scented charm of a century-old journal, there are many more who have long turned those down in favour of commercial journals that have never seen the pins of a commercial printing press.
The reasons could be anything from the topic of their manuscripts missing from the otherwise extensive Scope and focus list, to an annoying submission portal that simply fails to deliver their cover letter to the right inbox.
Don’t get us wrong: we do hold dear so many publication titles that have been around throughout our lives and before us. This is exactly why we felt like sharing a list of the most common mistakes – in our experience – that may distance today’s active and prolific scientists from smaller society and institutional journals.
Not following the trends in scholarly publishing
Given the high-tech and interconnected society that we are living in, it comes as no surprise that the past few decades have seen as many shifts and turns in how researchers produce, share and reuse their scientific outputs as the previous several generations put together.
From digital-first journals to Open Access by default; from PDF files to HTML articles enriched with relevant hyperlinked content and machine-interpretable publications; from seamlessly integrated preprints platforms to ‘alternative’ scientific publications from across the research process. The room for innovation in the academic publishing world seems as infinite as never before.
On the other hand, endless possibilities call for new requirements, policies and standards, which in turn should be updated, revised and replaced in no less timely manner.
In a bid to bring down barriers to scientific knowledge, we have observed all key stakeholders – including major funders of research – demanding mandatory immediate open access to published research. Initiatives, such as the Plan S by cOAlition S and their call for publishers to communicate their APC policies publicly, for example, are making sure that scholarly publishing is as transparent as possible.
Similarly, the OA Switchboard: a community-driven initiative with the mission to serve as a central information exchange hub between stakeholders about open access publications, makes it easier for both authors of research and journal owners to efficiently report to funders about how their resources are spent.
Today, amongst the key talking points you can find research integrity, including a wide range of internal practices and policies meant to prove the authenticity and trustworthiness of scholarly publishers and – by association – their journals and content. Another thing we will be hearing about more and more often is AI tools and assistants.
Failure to abide by the latest good practices and principles could mean that a journal appears abandoned, predatory or – in the case of legacy journals – possibly hijacked.
While it is tough to stay up to date with the latest trends, subscription to the newsletters and communication channels of the likes of OASPA (have you checked their Open Access journals toolkit yet?), cOAlition S and ISMTE are definitely a good place to start from.
Not revisiting journal websites content- and technology-wise
As they learn and research trends in the scholarly publishing world, journal managers need to be ready to carefully consider and apply those novelties that are either mandatory, advisable or useful for their own case.
Additionally, they need to work closely with the editorial and customer support teams to stay alert for any repeated complaints and requests coming from their authors and other journal users.
Today, for example, most online traffic happens on mobile devices, rather than desktop computers. So, is a journal’s website and its article layout (including PDFs) mobile-friendly? On the other hand, has the journal’s website been optimised enough to run smoothly even when working under the pressure of dozens of tabs open in the same browser?
Another area that needs continuous monitoring concerns journal policies and user guidelines. Are those up-to-date? Are they clear, easily accessible and efficiently communicated on the journal website?
From an academic perspective, is the journal’s scope and focus – as described on the website – explicitly mentioning today’s ‘hot’ and emerging areas of research in the field? Keep in mind that these topics do not only make a journal’s About section look attractive to the website visitor. These are the research topics where its potential authors are most likely investing their efforts in and where the funders of research spend their resources, as we speak.
An outdated technological infrastructure might create an impression of a dodgy publication title. Failure to find key information – including a journal’s Open Access policy or an exhaustive list of the research topics considered for publication – could be why potential authors turn down a journal upon their first website visit.
Not making the most of journal indexing
To have a journal indexed in as many major and relevant to its scientific field is not only a matter of prestige.
Most importantly, making a journal’s content accessible from multiple sources – each frequented by its own users – naturally increases the likelihood that researchers will discover and later use and cite it in their own works.
Additionally, being able to access the journal from trusted and diligently maintained databases – such as the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) – is a reassurance for potential authors and readers that the journal is indeed authentic.
Relatively recent platforms like Altmetric and Dimensions were launched to track ‘alternative’ attention and usage of published research, including mentions on social media, news media and official documents – all of which fall outside the category of academic publications, but, nonetheless have their own remarkable societal impact.
The good news is that many indexers – including Altmetric and Dimensions – are integrated on a publisher-/platform-level, which means that journal managers and owners do not need to do anything to make their content more accessible and transparent, as long as their title is part of a professional scholarly publisher’s or a publishing platform’s portfolio.
However, there are databases like Scopus and Web of Science that demand from journals to submit their own applications. Usually, such application processes demand a considerable amount of manual input and efforts before the necessary steps are completed and the application – approved.
Often, these processes take several years to complete, since journals may fail to cover the eligibility criteria for acceptance. In fact it is not rare for a journal to never qualify. Note that most major indexes impose embargo on journals that have been refused acceptance, so that they may take time to resolve their issues before reapplying a few years later.
Failure to get a journal indexed by key scientific databases negatively impacts the discoverability and citability of its content. Further, it may also harm the reputation and even legitimacy of the title within academia.
Not catering for authors’ financial struggles
Funding scarcity and inequalities are a major concern within academia and the scientific world, but even more so in particular branches of science. Moreover, the issue cascades through all actors involved, including funders of research, research institutions, scientists, librarians, scholarly publishers and journal owners.
Unfortunately, it is way too common to have researchers turn away from their favourite journals – including those they have themselves committed to by becoming active editors or reviewers – due to inability to cover even a very reasonable article processing charge.
No less unfortunate is the scenario where a privately working or underfunded scientist opts for a paywalled publication in a subscription or a hybrid journal that has essentially traded the public good for thousands of euro at a time.
On the other hand, scholarly publishing does incur various costs on the journal’s and the publisher’s sides as well, since the publishing and all related activities (e.g. production, indexation, dissemination and advertisement) – necessary for a journal and its content to retain quality, sustainability and relevance in the modern day – all demand a lot of technological resources, manual input and expertise.
A seemingly easy solution adopted by many large institutions is to sign up agreements with a few of the major publishing houses and (a selection of) their top titles. However, such practices only deepen the great divide, while killing off smaller journals that simply cannot handle their own annual costs.
The ideal is to have enough resources provided by the institution or society behind the journal to run their journal(s) under a Diamond Open Access model, where both publishing and accessing publications are free to all by default.
However, most institutions are themselves under substantial financial pressure, and need to work on a tight budget. Further, it is often impossible to estimate the publication volume of a journal within a time frame as short as the next calendar year.
A good solution in cases of limited budgets, is for a journal to work up its own model, where the available institutional resources either go for only a part of the APCs (but still enough to substantially help the authors!); a particular subset of authors (e.g. researchers affiliated with the institution); or, alternatively, finding options to navigate funds from already fully funded authors away to their less privileged peers. In the best-case scenario, any custom operational plan would remain flexible in case of a major change in circumstances.
On top of more or less standard waivers and discounts available to, for example, authors from developing countries (according to the World Bank) and retired scientists, we highly recommend journals to provide additional waivers for additional groups of underprivileged authors, such as unemployed, early career researchers or otherwise marginalised groups (e.g. political immigrants). A good practice we often recommend to client journals is to pledge loyalty to their journal users by regularly providing APC waivers as a recognition for their continuous contributions.
Not engaging with the editors
Apart from its name appearing in the most trustworthy databases, a journal catches the eye of new authors thanks to its ambassadors. In a world more or less run by popular influencers, it comes as no surprise that a high-profile scientist who takes a stand either for or against a particular publication title can easily tip the scales for a hesitant colleague.
Now, think about all editors at a journal. Given they have already agreed to commit their time and work to it, they must be already fond of it, don’t they? Then, there are all those experts affiliated with the institution or society behind the journal. Even if not necessarily involved in the editorial work, they must also be fans and friends of the journal by association.
So, here you have a whole community ready and happy to advocate for the journal if given the chance and a simple reminder that a few words of theirs would go a long way. Further, all of them have their own professional fellowship, which often includes dozens of budding early-career researchers who are looking up to them as mentors.
That said, way too often we see good legacy journals that are simply not reaping the benefits of the community they have already created. We cannot stress it enough how crucial it is to regularly invoke that sense of community among journal editors.
At the end of the day, a journal’s management team is in the best position to act as a link between the journal and its editors, as well as the publisher and its marketing team, who should be able to assist any communication efforts with the right platforms, tools and resources.
If a journal is not efficiently tapping into its immediate network of advocates and ambassadors, it does not only miss out on a great opportunity to extend its network of loyal readers and authors. Indeed, it may be even risking losing its ground within its very own affiliates. If it was a good publication source, it would have been supported by at least its in-house team, wouldn’t it?
Not having a varied communication strategy
Speaking of awareness – or the lack of it, thereof – we are also sad to see many society and institutional journals overlooking the communication of scientific content to their journal’s immediate audiences, as well as the public at large.
On one hand, there is the issue of other experts duplicating others’ efforts by simply not being aware of their colleagues’ work, since they have not run into that particular study at the time of writing. On the other, there’s the layperson that is way too often falling into the ‘fake news’ trap, all because the relevant science has failed to make it to the appropriate news media channels.
Given the overwhelming volume of scholarly as well as popular science information, it is the primary source of the content that needs to take measures to efficiently communicate it to the interested audiences.
After all, simply having research findings ingested by academic databases is rarely enough to reach scientists in the field who are not actively working at this time, thus not spending enough time querying those aggregates. Similarly, one cannot rely on a layperson to fully comprehend scientific jargon, even if they wish to double-check a random science-y claim on the Internet with its original source.
Alternatively, when scientists stumble across attractive findings while scrolling down on social media in their free time, they might be more likely to think of the same paper next time they are working on their own studies.
Meanwhile, laypeople might be less likely to blindly trust information about the latest medical breakthrough coming from a stranger on the Internet if they had already read about the research behind the story in several trusted news media outlets, who have verified their news stories.
Failure to actively and efficiently communicate content published in the journal using various platforms (e.g. journal newsletters, dedicated social media accounts, press announcements, scientific conferences) and the appropriate for their audiences language might pave the way for large-scale misinformation, in addition to decreased discoverability and citability of published content, and journals at large.
ARPHA Platform was designed to provide a highly flexible, customisable and accessible end-to-end publishing solution specially targeted at smaller journals run by scientific institutions and societies. In ARPHA, client journals and their journal managers will find a complete set of highly automated and manually provided services meant to assist societies and institutions in the production, but also in the management and further development of their journals. We invite you to explore our wide range of services on the ARPHA website.
For news from & about ARPHA and the journals using the platform, you can follow us on Twitter and Linkedin.
Amongst the criteria Bulgarian Cardiology has successfully covered in order to prove as a journal that makes a significant and valuable contribution to the scientific community, are immaculate peer review and editorial processes, a good and consistent yearly publication volume, high-quality and user-friendly website and infrastructure, well-pronounced internationality and inclusivity, and considerable readership and citation rates.
The news means that all content published in Bulgarian Cardiology since 2019 will soon be discoverable and accessible from the worldwide popular corpus of scientific publications.
Further, these papers and their citations by authors in other Scopus-indexed journals will be mapped and counted, in order to calculate the journal’s Scopus CiteScore. According to Scopus, Bulgarian Cardiology will be benchmarked against 367 journals in the Cardiology category (data from SCIMAGO, retrieved in June 2023).
Traditionally, the yearly updated journal metric is released in June. To come up with the CiteScore, Scopus counts the citations of five peer-reviewed publication types (i.e. research / review / conference / data papers and book chapters) received in the last four complete years, before dividing the number by the same document types published during this period.
Additionally, Bulgarian Cardiology will be making use of another quite unique metric by Scopus: the CiteScoreTracker. It uses the same formula as in the CiteScore to calculate the current publication/citation performance of a journal based on the data available by the beginning of each month. So, a journal receives a new Scopus CiteScoreTracker value each month, which serves as a preliminary forecast for the next Scopus CiteScore.
The Bulgarian Cardiology journal was launched in 1995 as the official scholarly outlet for the Bulgarian Society of Cardiology. Ever since, it has been serving as a forum to bring together the cardiology community within the country and beyond.
In 2020, Bulgarian Cardiology signed with Pensoft to move its journal to the scientific publisher’s ARPHA Platform, in order to modernise the academic outlet and provide its authors, readers and editors with a user-friendly environment where they can submit, revise, publish and permanently archive their work.
Back then, the Bulgarian Cardiology became the first ARPHA-powered journal to make use of the platform’s top-to-bottom bilingual publishing solution, which included a bilingual website and the option for authors to publish their work either in Bulgarian and English, or in English-only.
The visit took place in the NMNHS, where Tockner had fruitful discussions with Pensoft’s founder and CEO Prof. Lyubomir Penev and Prof. Pavel Stoev, Director of the Museum and COO at Pensoft.
An important point in the discussion was the performance of the four scientific journals, owned by the Society, which moved to Pensoft’s publishing platform ARPHA a couple of years ago, and marked the beginning of a fruitful and highly promising partnership.
On the agenda was also the opportunity for an Open Access agreement to be signed between the Society and the publisher, in order to support researchers who wish to publish in any Pensoft journal.
Tokner was also curious to learn more about the additional publishing services, provided by Pensoft via the ARPHA platform, including the various and continuously elaborated data publishing workflows, and the opportunities to streamline the description of new marine species, identified from DNA material.
The partners also talked about further extending the collaboration between Senckenberg and Pensoft to European Commission-funded scientific projects. Tokner was particularly fascinated with the progress made by the currently undergoing project Biodiversity Community Integrated Knowledge Library (BiCIKL), coordinated by Pensoft and involving 14 European institutions from ten countries. Additionally, over the past 20 years, Pensoft has also partnered in over 50 different consortia as a publisher, science communicator and technology provider.
In his role as Director of the NMNHS, Stoev used the occasion to tour Tockner around the NMNHS collections and tell him more about the Museum’s latest achievements and projects, as well as its traditions in the fields of human evolution research and paleornithology.
The two also engaged in a vivid discussion about the poorly studied biodiversity in Bulgaria and the region, but also about the recent efforts of the NMNHS team, including the launch of a Bulgarian national unit of DiSSCo tasked to digitise a large proportion of the institution’s collection in the next three years. Tokner and Stoev also talked about the need of additional networking activities and closer collaborations between smaller natural history museums across Europe that could be mediated through the Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities (CETAF), where Senckenberg is an active member.
Readers at some of the journals published by Pensoft, who have downloaded/printed a publication or ordered a physical copy of a journal issue over the last few weeks, might be in for a surprise concerning the layout of the PDF format of the articles.
Even though it’s been years since online publishing has become the norm in how we are consuming information – including scientific publications – we understand that academia is still very much fond of traditional, often paper-based, article layout format: the one you use when accessing a PDF file or a print copy, rather than directly scrolling down through the HTML version of the article.
Even if today large orders of printed volumes from overseas are the exception, rather than the rule, we know we have readers of ours who regularly print manuscripts at home or savе them on their devices. Trends like this have already led to many journals first abandoning the physical- for digital-first, then transitioning to digital-only publication format.
As we speak, readers are accessing PDF files from much higher-quality desktops, in order to skim through as much content as possible.
In the meantime, authors are relying on greater-quality cameras to document their discoveries, while using advanced computational tools capable of generating and analysing extra layers of precise data. While producing more exhaustive research, however, it is also of key importance that their manuscripts are processed and published as rapidly as possible.
So, let’s run through the updates and give you our reasoning for their added value to readers and authors.
Revised opening page
One of the major changes is the one to the format of the first page. By leaving some blank space on the left, we found a dedicated place for important article metadata, i.e. academic editor, date of manuscript submission / acceptance / publication, citation details and licence. As a result, we “cleaned up” the upper part of the page, so that it can better highlight the authors and their affiliations.
Bottom line: The new layout provides a better structure to the opening page to let readers find key article metadata at a glance.
Expand as much – or as little – as comfortable
As you might know, journals published by Pensoft have been coming in different formats and sizes. Now, we have introduced the standard A4 page size, where the text is laid in a single column that has been slightly indented to the right, as seen above. Whenever a figure or a table is used in a manuscript, however, it is expanded onto the whole width of the page.
Before giving our reasons why, let’s see what were the specific problems that we address.
Case study 1
Some of our signature journals, including ZooKeys, PhytoKeys and MycoKeys, have become quite recognisable with their smaller-than-average B5 format, widely appreciated by people who would often be seen carrying around a copy during a conference or an international flight.
However, in recent times, authors began to embrace good practices in research like open sharing of data and code, which resulted in larger and more complex tables. Similarly, their pocket-sized cameras would capture much higher-resolution photos capable of revealing otherwise minute morphological characters. Smaller page size would also mean that often there would be pages between an in-text reference of a figure or a table and the visual itself.
So, here we faced an obvious question: shall we deprive their readers from all those detailed insights into the published studies?
Yet, the A4 format brought up another issue: the lines were too long for the eye comfort of their readers.
What they did was organise their pages into two-column format. While this sounds like a good and quite obvious decision, the format – best known from print newspapers – is pretty inconvenient when accessed digitally. Since the readers would like to zoom in on the PDF page or simply access the article on mobile, they will need to scroll up and down several times per page.
In addition, the production of a two-column text is technologically more challenging, which results in extra production time.
Bottom line: The new layout allows journals to not sacrifice image quality for text readability and vice versa. As a bonus, authors enjoy faster publication for their papers.
If you have a closer look at the PDF file, you would notice that print-ready papers have also switched to a more simplistic – yet easier to the eye – font. Again, the update corresponds to today’s digital-native user behaviour, where readers often access PDF files from devices of various resolutions and skim through the text, as opposed to studying its content in detail.
In fact, the change is hardly new, since the same font has long been utilised for the webpages (HTML format) of the publications across all journals.
Bottom line: The slightly rounder and simplified font prompts readability, thereby allowing for faster and increased consumption of content.
What’s the catch? How about characters and APCs?
While we have been receiving a lot of positive feedback from editors, authors and readers, there has been a concern that the updates would increase the publication charges, wherever these are estimated based on page numbers.
Having calculated the lines and characters in the new layout format, we would like to assure you that there is no increase in the numbers of characters or words between the former and current layout formats. In fact, due to the additional number of lines fitting in an A4 page as opposed to B5, authors might be even up for a deal.
For news from & about ARPHA and the journals using the platform, you can follow us on Twitter and Linkedin.
The news means that One Ecosystem might see its very first Journal Impact Factor (JIF) as early as 2024, following the latest revision of the metric’s policies Clarivate announced last July. According to the update, all journals from the Web of Science Core Collection are now featured in the Journal Citation Reports, and thereby eligible for a JIF.
“Giving all quality journals a Journal Impact Factor will provide full transparency to articles and citations that have contributed to impact, and therefore will help them demonstrate their value to the research community. This decision is aligned to our position that publications in all quality journals, not just highly cited journals, should be eligible for inclusion in research assessment exercises,” said back then Dr Nandita Quaderi, Editor-in-Chief and Editorial Vice President at Web of Science.
“We are happy to learn that Web of Science has recognised the value and integrity of One Ecosystem in the scholarly landscape. Not only does it mean that the scientific content One Ecosystem has been publishing over the years is persistent in merit and quality, but that innovative research outputs are already widely accepted and appreciated within academia. After all, one of the reasons why we launched One Ecosystem and why it has grown to be particularly distinguished in the field of ecology and sustainability is that it provides a scholarly publication venue for traditional research papers, as well as ‘unconventional’ scientific contributions,”
“These ‘unconventional’ research outputs – like software descriptions, ecosystem inventories, ecosystem service mappings and monitoring schema – do not normally see the light of day, let alone the formal publication and efficient visibility. We believe that these outputs can be very useful to researchers, as well as practitioners and public bodies in charge of, for example, setting up indicator frameworks for environmental reporting,”
“In fact, last year, we also launched a new article type: the Ecosystem Accounting table, which follows the standards set by the the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EA). This publication type provides scientists and statisticians with a platform to publish newly compiled accounting tables,”
To fully unlock the potential of the upcoming era of Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) research, it is crucial to incorporate the viewpoints of academia, industry, and governmental organisations, and ensure that these insights are promptly reflected in the academic articles.
To address this demand and bridge the gap between industry and scientific advances, Ultimaterials BV: a Netherlands-based company developing products in the domain of rechargeable batteries, nanotechnology and composite materials, run by scientists of diverse backgrounds, such as physics, chemistry and mechanical engineering – recently launched the new diamond open-access, peer-reviewed Atomic Layer Deposition International Journal.
Powered by Pensoft’s publishing platform ARPHA, the new academic outlet is dedicated to the latest research and developments in the field of atomic layer deposition.
Atomic Layer Deposition is targeting scientists specialising in all aspects of ALD and related alternating vapour phase technologies. Pensoft’s publishing platform ARPHA enables the journal to publish a range of scholarly content, such as original research articles, reviews, short communications, and method papers.
The system is tailored to assist the authors and the editors throughout the entire manuscript submission, review, and publication process, delivering an end-to-end experience and resulting in the publication of articles, enriched with data and multimedia content.
In addition to streamlining the editorial management and publication process, Atomic Layer Deposition can now enjoy improved visibility for its published articles: every article is published in multiple formats, including convenient PDF, semantically-enriched HTML and fully data-minable XML. Thanks to its advanced features and integration with major indexing services, it’s not only simpler to cite and reuse the published research, but the articles are also more readily discoverable and accessible to researchers and decision-makers across the globe.
Atomic Layer Deposition publishes papers in atomic and molecular layer deposition, area selective and spatial ALD, vapour phase infiltration, atomic layer etching, new developments in ALD process design, precursors and chemistry, applications, and characterization and analysis of films and coatings.
Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Ultimaterials B.V., the journal is not only free-to-read, but also free-to-publish, thereby ensuring that the latest research in ALD is available to a global audience to access, but also to produce and disseminate efficiently.
Submissions that report on innovative research, offer new insights or techniques, and contribute to advancing the state-of-the-art in the field from authors working in academic, industrial, and government research settings are especially welcome in Atomic Layer Deposition.
“Publishing a peer reviewed journal is quite a complicated endeavour. The peer review software, website hosting, production, layout, proofreading, publication in HTML, XML and PDF, indexing and archiving are fortunately all taken care of by the ARPHA Platform and the skilled team at Pensoft. We are glad that the Atomic Layer Deposition journal has found a home with a solid publishing foundation,”
comments the founder of the journal and CEO of Ultimaterials B.V., Dr DJ Monsma.
“We are thrilled to welcome the Atomic Layer Deposition International Journal to our expanding portfolio of scholarly journals published on ARPHA Platform. We are confident that this important and particularly promising industry is being met with increasing enthusiasm. This positive trend is also seen in the appreciation and popularity of this novel journal among professionals in the field”,
says Prof. Lyubomir Penev, CEO and founder of Pensoft and ARPHA.
The first papers of 2023 are already available online on the new website of Atomic Layer Deposition.
Within the pioneering papers published, there is a research article by US scholars that discusses the use of ALD for the fabrication of efficient and stable catalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction in water splitting for renewable energy applications.
Another study by a Dutch team reports the development of a world-first low-temperature atmospheric-pressure spatial ALD process for SiNx, which can reach comparably low oxygen atomic percentages as those obtained by low-pressure temporal ALD processes based on similar chemistries.
*** The Atomic Layer Deposition journal is also on social media. You can follow the ALD journal on Twitter and Linkedin.
*** Additional information
About Ultimaterials B.V.: Ultimaterials B.V. consists of scientists with background in physics, chemistry and mechanical engineering, and talented business administrators. Products developed by Ultimaterials B.V. are in the domain of rechargeable batteries, nanotechnology and composite materials. Apart from developing products with improved functionality and longevity, Ultimaterials BV also provides consulting services for venture fund enterprises and investments in the energy sector and materials science.
About ARPHA: ARPHA is the first end-to-end, narrative- and data-integrated publishing solution that supports the full life cycle of a manuscript, from authoring to reviewing, publishing and dissemination. ARPHA provides accomplished and streamlined production workflows that can be customized according to the journal’s needs. The platform enables a variety of publishing models through a number of options for branding, production and revenue models to choose from.
To date, the company has continuously been working on various tools and workflows designed to facilitate biodiversity data findability, accessibility, discoverability and interoperability. The latest large projects, led by Pensoft include the OpenBiodiv knowledge graph and the Horizon 2020 project BiCIKL.
Following a thorough evaluation that has been going on for the last several months, the Indexing team at ARPHA Platform reports that the applications submitted on behalf of six journals have all been approved by ERIH PLUS – the European Reference Index for the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS)
ERIH (European Reference Index for the Humanities or ERIH) was established by the European Science Foundation. In 2014, it was extended to also include social science disciplines and was renamed ERIH PLUS.
The aim of the index is to increase the visibility, searchability and availability of research published in the fields. It is widely used within the European academic community.
“We want to be a key player in the European work that is done to make HSS research available to the wider community, and we want to do this by providing an index which not only supplies metadata about journals, but also places the HSS research in a wider academic context,”
says the team behind ERIH PLUS.
The ERIH PLUS easily-searchable database includes journals that have proved to meet an extensive list of requirements in line with good academic practices and research integrity, such as:
ERIH PLUS is a member of different key-organisations like COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) and DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals).
The six journals mentioned here are not the first ones in the ARPHA portfolio to be accepted at ERIH Plus. Already in the database are a total of 15 scholarly outlets published on the platform:
Support in indexing and archiving is only a part of the human-provided services offered by the ARPHA publishing platform to client journals regardless of their choice to be (co-)published by Pensoft or retain their own publishing brand.