In support of transparency and openness in scholarly publishing and academia, the scientific publisher and technology provider Pensoft joined the Journal Comparison Service (JCS) initiative by cOAlition S, an alliance of national funders and charitable bodies working to increase the volume of free-to-read research.
As a result, all journals published by Pensoft – each using the publisher’s self-developed ARPHA Platform – provide extensive and transparent information about their costs and services in line with the Plan S principles.
The JCS was launched to aid libraries and library consortia – the ones negotiating and participating in Open Access agreements with publishers – by providing them with everything they need to know in order to determine whether the prices charged by a certain journal are fair and corresponding to the quality of the service.
According to cOAlition S, an increasing number of libraries and library consortia from Europe, Africa, North America, and Australia have registered with the JCS over the past year since the launch of the portal in September 2021.
While access to the JCS is only open to librarians, individual researchers may also make use of the data provided by the participating publishers and their journals.
This is possible through an integration with the Journal Checker Tool, where researchers can simply enter the name of the journal of interest, their funder and affiliation (if applicable) to check whether the scholarly outlet complies with the Open Access policy of the author’s funder. A full list of all academic titles that provide data to the JCS is also publicly available. By being on the list means a journal and its publisher do not only support cOAlition S, but they also demonstrate that they stand for openness and transparency in scholarly publishing.
“We are delighted that Pensoft, along with a number of other publishers, have shared their price and service data through the Journal Comparison Service. Not only are such publishers demonstrating their commitment to open business models and cultures but are also helping to build understanding and trust within the research community.”
said Robert Kiley, Head of Strategy at cOAlition S.
Journals using the ARPHA Platform as a white-label publishing solution to publish their journal(s) under their own label should note that it is the responsibility of the journal owner publisher to submit journal data to the JCS. This means that it is only journals published on ARPHA and associated with Pensoft that have been automatically featured in the JCS.
However, the ARPHA team is ready to assist journals using the platform’s white-label publishing to provide details to cOAlition S and the JCS.
About cOAlition S:
On 4 September 2018, a group of national research funding organisations, with the support of the European Commission and the European Research Council (ERC), announced the launch of cOAlition S, an initiative to make full and immediate Open Access to research publications a reality. It is built around Plan S, which consists of one target and 10 principles. Read more on the cOAlition S website.
About Plan S:
Plan S is an initiative for Open Access publishing that was launched in September 2018. The plan is supported by cOAlition S, an international consortium of research funding and performing organisations. Plan S requires that, from 2021, scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants must be published in compliant Open Access journals or platforms. Read more on the cOAlition S website.
Dedicated to original collections-based research in the natural sciences and humanities, including museological research, Tuhinga takes pride in being associated with nearly two centuries-worth of scientific knowledge provided by the museum’s curators, collection managers, and research associates across disciplines, from archaeology to zoology.
Now, if you visit the ARPHA-powered website and start browsing through and within the published articles, you will notice the way the journal utilises the technological backbone and services provided by the publishing platform.
“ARPHA has provided excellent service in helping us establish the new platform, is always available, helpful and responsive to our needs. The copyediting is a particular highlight for us that ensures the finished articles look fantastic,”
Various sorting and search options let the user seamlessly navigate throughout the website and enjoy the articles in either semantically enriched HTML or classic PDF format. Meanwhile, non-regular readers of Tuhinga are now more likely to stumble across the journal’s content, since all publications and their underlying data are being instantaneously exported, indexed and archived at a long list of relevant specialised databases. In their turn, a suite of article- and sub-article level metrics allow for usage of different elements to be tracked in real time.
Further, Tuhinga has evolved on the inside too. Having adopted the package of signature services provided by ARPHA, the journal offers to its authors, reviewers and editors the ease of completing their tasks within the publication process without sending a single file outside of the online environment of the collaborative platform.
Next on the list for Tuhinga and ARPHA is the digitisation of the journal’s legacy content, which has so far been existing only in print. The project is set to conclude with those historic scientific contributions becoming machine-discoverable and convenient for the modern reader. The papers will also be assigned with DOI and registered at CrossRef, while their metadata will be indexed at relevant databases. A full-text search of the article’s content will also be available.
“The decision to use ARPHA as Tuhinga’s new platform brings Te Papa’s peer-reviewed journal into the digital ecosystem of scholarly publishing. ARPHA will also help Te Papa provide access to previously published articles from Tuhinga and other historic journals as we work through our digitisation and rights clearance processes,”
comments Victoria Leachman, Head of Collection Access at the Te Papa museum.
In late July, Clarivate announced that starting from the next Journal Citation Report (JCR) release, expected in June 2023, all journals indexed by the Emerging Science Citation Index (ESCI) and the Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI) will receive an Impact Factor.
So far, the score was only available for journals in the Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE) and the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI).
The news means that the following journals using the ARPHA publishing platform will receive their first Impact Factor next year:
The 2023 JCR report will reflect how many times publications in a particular journal from the Web of Science database have been cited in scholarly articles published in other journals from the same database during 2022. Then, this number will be divided by the number of ‘citable items’ published in the journal in the preceding two years (i.e. research articles, review papers and proceedings papers published in 2021 and 2020).
Note that while citations of any article type are counted in the numerator of the ratio, ‘non-citable items’, such as editorials, letters, obituaries, meeting abstracts and corrigenda, are left out of the denominator.
Can we forecast the Impact Factor?
Unfortunately, we can only guess what the first Impact Factor for any of those journals will be like.
While you can find the Scopus CiteScore for each of them displayed on the journal’s website homepages, we need to remind you that Web of Science and Scopus use their own databases and apply quite different formulae.
The Scopus CiteScore is calculated from the number of citations made over the last four completed years divided by the publications from the same years. Apart from a yearly score for the last complete year, Scopus also presents a CiteScoreTracker, whose estimate is updated on a monthly basis.
A comprehensive post, published on the independent Scholarly Kitchen blog provides further details and discussion on what the change could mean for journals in the ESCI index. The post also includes a short interview with Dr. Nandita Quaderi, Editor in Chief and Editorial Vice President, Web of Science.
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
Journal readers subscribe to New Article alertsto 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
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.
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.
Two years ago the publishing platform, developed by the scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoft, welcomedMoscow 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.
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.
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.
Likewise, Contributions to Entomology is to continue as a journal published exclusively by Senckenberg, thanks to the white-label publishing solution designed by ARPHA to preserve the identity of historical journals. Still, the journal 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.
With ARPHA – the scholarly publishing platform initially developed by Pensoft to cater for the needs for academic journals – each submitted manuscript is carried through the review, editing, publication, dissemination and archiving stages without leaving the platform’s collaboration-centred online environment.
Thanks to ARPHA’s highly automated workflow, once published, the content is indexed and archived instantaneously and its underlying data exported to the relevant specialised databases. Simultaneously, a suite of various metrics is enabled to facilitate tracking the usage of articles and sub-article elements – like figures and tables – in real time .
The articles themselves are openly available in PDF, machine-readable JATS XML formats, and semantically enriched HTML for better reader experience. Thus, the journal’s content is made as easy to discover, access, reuse and cite as possible.
Founded back in 1951 under the title “Beiträge zur Entomologie”, Contribution to Entomology publishes original contributions on insect systematics, taxonomy, phylogeny, zoogeography, faunistics, ecology, applied entomology, entomological bibliography, and the history of entomology. The journal operates a Diamond Open Access policy, where neither access to content, nor publication incurs charges.
“We are delighted to welcome this particular journal on ARPHA Platform. While we’re publishing academic titles from across the sciences, Pensoft and ARPHA are still best known for their biodiversity- and ecology-themed journals and domain-specific innovations. This is why we are honoured to be able to share our experience and approach with Senckenberg and Contributions to Entomology,”
says Prof. Dr Lyubomir Penev, founder and CEO at ARPHA and Pensoft.
Senckenberg, Research Institutes and Natural History Museums, conduct research in bio- and geoscience. Major research fields are biodiversity and ecosystem research and the research on the entire Earth-Human-Earth system. Senckenberg headquarters are located in Frankfurt am Main, but research on marine, terrestrial and climate systems is also housed at additional nine locations throughout Germany: in Dresden, Gelnhausen, Gorlitz, Hamburg, Messel, Muncheberg, Tubingen, Weimar and Wilhelmshaven. Senckenberg employs about 1,000 people, including 300 scientists. Senckenberg scientists are active in projects worldwide, most of which are international collaborations with universities and other research institutions. Senckenberg hosts biological and geological research collections with more than 35 million series.
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 & Phylogeny, Vertebrate 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.
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 – 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.
The scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoft and its self-developed publishing platform ARPHA welcome three journals to their distinguished and growing portfolio of biodiversity-themed journals. The international, peer-reviewed and open-access journals Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria, Caucasiana and Zitteliana are now fully operable and open for submissions through their new websites and technologically advanced user interfaces.
By moving to ARPHA, the three scholarly outlets will not only revamp their websites and technological backbone, but will also take 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 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 over 40 world-class indexing and archiving databases, sub-article-level usage metrics, and more. Published articles are to be available in PDF, machine-readable JATS XML formats and semantically enriched HTML, so that they guarantee better reader experience to ensure they are easy to discover, access, cite and reuse.
Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria
Launched in 1970, Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria (AIeP) publishes research about all aspects of ichthyology and fisheries, concerning true fishes (fin-fishes), including taxonomy, biology, morphology, anatomy, physiology, pathology, parasitology, reproduction and zoogeography. To be accepted, manuscripts need to be based on original experimental data or experimental methods, or new analyses of already existing data. The journal stands against the publication of “isolated” research, linked neither to the “past” nor the “future” of science. Likewise, “salami science” is also discouraged. AIeP is indexed by all major indexers, including Web of Science and Scopus. The journal’s first Impact Factor was released in 2010, and currently stands at 0.629 (2019).
As a successor of the Proceedings of the Institute of Zoology of the Georgian Academy of Science, the Caucasiana is to give new life to the historical, print-only zoological by becoming a full-fledged, exclusively digital scholarly journal, focused on the still poorly known biodiversity in the Caucasus region and its adjacent areas. Caucasiana‘s aim is to accumulate primary biodiversity data urgently needed to understand the big picture of the biodiversity in the area: from individuals to ecosystems. To support the mission of uncovering the secrets of the Caucasus, the journal operates a no-APCs policy.
While the journal will be considering all biodiversity-related studies, based on their merits and quality of research, Caucasiana places special attention to taxonomic inventories and systematics. Thereby, in addition to traditional research outputs, the journal also publishes data papers, annotated checklists, monographs and conference proceedings, making use of the suite of biodiversity data publishing innovations, tools and know-how available from Pensoft.
In 2021, Zitelliana is celebrating its 50th anniversary in a brand new gear in an excellent example of tradition working perfectly together with innovation and modernity. Since its launch in 1961, Zitelliana, a scholarly journal devoted to all fields of paleontology and geobiology, and owned by the Bavarian State Collection of Palaeontology and Geology (SNSB), has changed several names (i.e. Mitteilungen der Bayerischen Staatssammlung für Paläontologie und historische Geologie, Zitteliana A (Abhandlungen) and Zitteliana B (Mitteilungen)) and has extended its scope to cover research from outside Bavaria and adjacent regions or materials deposited in the SNSB’s collections.
Today, Zitteliana welcomes both modern and traditional research outputs, including palaeobiology, geobiology, palaeogenomics, biodiversity, stratigraphy, sedimentology, regional geology, systematics, phylogeny, and cross-disciplinary studies. Thanks to the support of the SNSB, authors in Zitteliana publish free of charge.
“At Pensoft, we take pride in our experience and achievements in the field of biodiversity research publishing and dissemination, so we’re particularly pleased to welcome these three wonderful journals and share our know-how with them at all levels: readership, editorship, publication and dissemination,” comments Prof. Lyubomir Penev, CEO and founder of Pensoft and ARPHA.
As another year is drawing to a close, it’s time for us to evaluate what we’ve achieved to better our services, or, as we’d rather refer to those, our mutual collaboration with our client journals and publishers, as well as their users: editors, reviewers, authors and readers alike.
Without a doubt, 2020 has been an extraordinary year that posed plenty of challenges at both personal and professional level to everyone, everywhere in the world. Having said that, at ARPHA, we’re proud that our perseverance and dedication to never let down those who have put their trust in us have pulled us through, while ensuring that we close the year with a positive outlook.
In 2020, we saw the move of a total of 14 international scientific journals to ARPHA Platform of diverse origin, background and scientific fields:
Some of them opted to use our white-label publishing solution, while others decided to sign up with Pensoft as a (co-)publisher. Browse the complete list of ARPHA-hosted journals on our website.
Naturally, we understand that each journal has its own needs and wants, in addition to its own short- and long-term plans and goals. This is why it is from day one that we assume responsibility to work closely together to ensure a personal, customer-centric approach at all times. One way to do this is by having our various services flexible and available as opt-in, mix-and-match features, so that journals can customise their own publishing solution.
Furthermore, based on our clients’ feedback, in addition to our in-house observations and know-how, we don’t cease to introduce new opportunities for journals to upgrade their functionality to the benefit of their own teams and users.
Below you will find an overview of the top new features and services ARPHA introduced in 2020:
Dedicated editorial workflow for Special Issues and Topical article collections
Editor and reviewer application form
Journal performance statistics
Journal performance reports
Workload statistics for reviewers and subject editors
Contributor roles for co-authors
Easy update of user expertise
Integration with the research discovery app Researcher
In October, we officially launched ARPHA’s preprint platform, aptly named ARPHA Preprints. Frankly speaking, we’ve been planning for our own preprint platform for quite a while now, as we were determined to ensure the feature is ultimately convenient and beneficial to our journals and their authors. Undeniably, 2020 proved the perfect timing to see this idea ripe, as we’ve been witnessing a significant rise in preprints use and demand.
So, what’s it in ARPHA Preprints that stands out?
Available to all ARPHA Platform-hosted journals as an opt-in and free of charge service, ARPHA Preprints provides authors with the opportunity to post a preprint at the mere ‘cost’ of several clicks while submitting their article manuscript.
By doing so, their pre-review manuscripts appear on ARPHA Preprints in a matter of one to a few days’ time, subject to a quick screening performed at the journal’s editorial office, in order to verify the submission conforms with the journal’s scope and standards, and does not contain any unethical content or plagiarism. If the associated paper is published in the journal, a link between the article and preprint is provided to prompt the citation of the paper rather than the preprint. On the occasion that the article is rejected at the ARPHA-hosted journal, where it has been submitted, the preprint is disassociated from the journal.
Dedicated editorial workflow for Special Issues and Topical article collections
Following a series of meetings with the editorial boards of our client journals, where we discussed the next steps in their plans in terms of journal development, we came up with the decision that we need a dedicated workflow to facilitate guest editors, who wish to propose a special issue or a topical article collection. Naturally, this workflow had to work just as convenient for the journal’s managing editors and everyone further down the line. Similarly to the ARPHA Preprints integration, we made this feature available to all ARPHA-hosted journals as an opt-in, free of charge service.
Firstly, we provided a clear information note on the key specifics, advantages and requirements for each article collection type. These are now available on the websites of all participating journals, in addition to an easy to spot proposal form, located on the journal’s homepage, in order to ensure that guest editors won’t be dissuaded by any technicalities.
Manuscript handling workflow at special issues / article collections in ARPHA-hosted journals
Secondly, by implementing direct proposal forms delivered straight to the Editors-in-Chief’s inboxes and easily visible on the journal website, as well as our distinguished highly automated manuscript handling workflow, we ended up with a smooth process that avoids potential delays, misunderstandings and annoying issues for everyone.
Read more about ARPHA’s approach to article collections and special issues on our blog.
Editor and reviewer application form
Similarly, after receiving valuable feedback from our client’s editorial board members, we figured that we could provide an easier application for subject editors at ARPHA-hosted journals.
At the request of a journal’s managing editor, we are ready to add a convenient Become an Editor button on the homepage of the journal that takes the applicant to an exhaustive, yet simple to fill-in form. Upon submission, the application is delivered straight to the Editor-in-Chief’s inbox providing him/her with all necessary information to make a decision and reply to the applicant.
By opting to add the feature, journals can make a simple, yet efficient step towards expanding the journal’s editorial team, thus optimising and expediting the editorial process, and naturally improving user satisfaction and journal performance.
Journal performance statistics
As we’re talking about journal development and striving for progress and success, the logical question is: how do we know what needs to be improved, revised or built upon? As always in science, the answer is: we need data and insight.
While we have had plenty of statistics available to Editors-in-Chief and managing editors for years already, we recently introduced several extra ones to provide further insight into the journal’s performance and how the numbers fare against those of previous months, quartiles or years.
So far, the Editors-in-Chief and managing editors have had access to:
manuscript submissions at any moment and their status;
publications and submissions for any period of interest;
publications by article type for a period of choice;
international representation based on lead author’s country for a period of choice;
article views for a period of choice.
In 2020, we added statistics about turnaround times, so that the editors are aware of the average time submitted manuscripts spend at different stages (e.g. peer review or editorial decision). Also, they now have access to a record of all online mentions from across the Internet, including traditional and new media, blogs, Wikipedia, policy documents and many others, thanks to our partners at Altmetric.
Journal performance reports
Even though we already made all those data concerning a journal’s real-time performance readily available for Editors-in-Chief and managing editors, we knew we could do more. As open-research proponents, we are well aware that openness and free access is not quite the same as findability. So, we set up bi-annual reports to be delivered to the inboxes of Editors-in-Chief and managing editors as a convenient and regular reminder of the current progress of the journal compared to the last period.
In those reports, we point to the most recent statistics, concerning:
current submissions and their status;
submissions, publications and rejections;
average review invitations, declines and review rounds;
authors by country;
online article mentions;
Journal Impact Factor and CiteScore trends.
Furthermore, for journals using ARPHA’s Standard and Premium reporting services, we have prepared an extended report for the end of the calendar year, where they will find even more insights into the citability, outreach, readership and scholarly impact of their journals and their content. For Premium customers, the report will also feature a review and recommendations provided by ARPHA’s journal development team.
Workload for reviewers and subject editors
We know that prolonged peer review time presents a frustrating stumbling block for many otherwise renowned for their high standards and academic rigour journals. Striving to further optimise this process at ARPHA-hosted journals, we developed workload statistics and record of past activity for reviewers and subject editors, visible to the editor at the stage of assignment. Thus, the editor is able to give priority to users who aren’t busy with editorial/review assignments at the moment, and/or those who have a good record of past activity at the journal and/or similar journals on ARPHA Platform.
Similarly, to further encourage diligence and speed in peer review at ARPHA-hosted journals, we offer our clients an optional feature where subject editors can evaluate submitted reviews using a 5-star rating system. As a result, the next subject editors will be able to see the average score of a reviewer before they assign him/her for the manuscript they’re handling.
Contributor roles for co-authors
Determined to always give credit where credit is due, while promoting transparency in academia and scholarship, we enabled submitting authors to assign each co-author with a role, depending on his/her primary contribution to the preparation of the manuscript. Thus, once published, a paper will clearly indicate the author who has, for example, conceptualised the study, developed the utilised software or written the original draft.
The options available in the drop-down menu follow CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy): a high-level taxonomy, which includes 14 roles typically assumed by contributors to scholarly output.
Easy update of user expertise
As everything is (hopefully!) moving quickly in academia, we figured it’s time to take extra care after ensuring the users profiles in our systems are as relevant as possible. This is important, because ARPHA uses the expertise listed in a user’s profile to suggest reviewers and subject editors for each manuscript. So, in order to facilitate our editors and, ultimately, further expedite the peer review process at ARPHA-hosted journals, we’ve scheduled a few reminders throughout the year to prompt users to have a look at their profiles and update them, if necessary.
Integration with the research discovery app Researcher
Well aware of the fact that Open Science is way more than cost-free access to scientific and publicly funded knowledge, we understand that in the digital reality of today, the question is much more about findability and discoverability, i.e. the probability that you stumble across a particular research paper while browsing. This is why we’re continuously integrating our platform and the journals hosted on ARPHA with additional research discovery platforms used by scientists around the world to inform themselves about the latest findings in their fields of interest.
So, we recently collaborated with Researcher: an innovative mobile and web application, currently used by 1.8 million people globally, which allows you to set up your own social media-style feed of research papers by following your favourite academic journals or research topics. Now, all articles published in Pensoft’s journals – as well as participating journals using ARPHA’s white-label publishing solution – are continuously fetched by the app and delivered to their right audiences.
Read more about our integration with Researcher on our blog.
We are always looking forward to hearing from our clients about what they like or dislike in ARPHA, as well as their recommendations on what we could do better! You are welcome to contact us with your feedback and questions at: email@example.com.