The journal Biosystematics and Ecology moves to ARPHA Platform

The Austrian Academy of Sciences’ journal Biosystematics and Ecology now boasts an improved publishing infrastructure after moving to the technologically advanced ARPHA Platform and signing with publisher and technology provider Pensoft. The publisher, well-established in the domain of biodiversity-themed journals, is eager to welcome this latest addition to its growing open-access portfolio.

Biosystematics and Ecology is a continuation and replaces the established print-only Biosystematics and Ecology Series of the Austrian Academy of Sciences’s Commission for Interdisciplinary Ecological Studies. It publishes research focused on biodiversity in Central Europe and around the world, a domain of rapidly growing importance as а global biodiversity crisis is looming. A great advantage of Biosystematics and Ecology, in contrast to its predecessor, is the ability to simply update existing checklists and therefore to account for new scientific findings about taxonomic groups or regions. 

The peer-reviewed outlet includes contributions on a wide range of ecology and biosystematics topics, aiming to provide biodiversity data, such as catalogi, checklists and interdisciplinary research to the scientific community, while offering the maximum in accessibility, usability, and transparency. The journal is currently indexed in Crossref and archived in CLOCKSS, Portico and Zenodo.

Having already acquired its own glossy and user-friendly website provided by ARPHA, the journal also takes advantage of the platform’s signature fast-track publishing system, which offers an end-to-end publishing solution from submission to publication, distribution and archiving. The platform offers a synergic online space for authoring, reviewing, editing, production and archiving, ensuring a seamlessly integrated workflow at every step of the publishing process.

Thanks to the financial support of the Academy, Biosystematics and Ecology will publish under Diamond Open Access, which means that it is free to read and publish. Opting for ARPHA’s white-label publishing solution, the journal is published under the Academy’s branding and imprint, while benefiting from all signature high-tech features by ARPHA.

Biosystematics and Ecology also makes use of ARPHA Preprints, another platform developed by Pensoft, where authors can post a preprint in a matter of seconds upon submitting a manuscript to the journal. Once the associated manuscript gets published, the preprint is conveniently linked to the formal paper, displaying its citation details.

ARPHA’s easy-to-use, open-access publishing platform offers high-end functionalities such as diverse paper formats (PDF, machine-readable JATS XML, and semantically enriched HTML), automated data export to aggregators, web-service integrations with major global indexing databases, advanced semantics publishing, and automated email notifications and reminders. Features like these make it easy for both humans and machines all over the world to discover, access, cite, and reuse published research.

The Journal of the Bulgarian Geographical Society revamped on ARPHA Platform

The Journal of the Bulgarian Geographical Society, the oldest and most representative academic outlet of the Bulgarian Geographical Society, now boasts an improved publishing infrastructure after moving to the technologically advanced ARPHA Platform and signing with scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoft.

The Journal of the Bulgarian Geographical Society is an international scientific journal dedicated to all fields of geography and interrelated fields of earth, ecological, social, economic and geoinformation sciences. It has a global geographical scope with a focus on Southeastern Europe and the Balkans, and its first issue dates back to 1933.

Having already acquired its own glossy and user-friendly website provided by ARPHA, the journal also takes advantage of the platform’s signature fast-track publishing system, which offers an end-to-end solution from submission to publication, distribution and archiving.

With features such as machine-readable XML format for papers, automated data export to aggregators, automated email notifications and reminders, and web-service integrations with major global indexing databases, the easy-to-use, open-access platform ensures that published research is easy to discover, access, cite and reuse by both humans and machines all over the world. The journal is now indexed in the likes of CrossrefGoogle ScholarOpenCitationsPublons and Scibey, and archived in CLOCKSSPortico and Zenodo.

The very first publications for 2021 (vol. 44) are out now. An opening editorial presents the background, the new mission and perspectives of the journal. A paper, authored by Stanley D. Brunn, communicates the mapping morality and its visible and invisible geographies. The rest of the issue’s articles will be published upon approval, following a “flow publishing” schedule.

“In the autumn of 2020, the editorial team and the executive committee of the Bulgarian Geographical Society agreed upon a new mission of the journal. It aims to respond and to adapt to the newest developments in scholarly publishing by providing a platform for high quality and innovative papers in all fields of geography and interrelated fields of earth, ecological, social, economic, and geoinformation sciences. The geographical scope of the journal will cover the entire world with special attention to Southeastern Europe and the Balkans,”

comment the journal’s editors.

“In these days of continuous speeding up of paces of work and life, the idea of facilitating the sharing of existing knowledge in order to create synergies, new knowledge, and innovation is more than timely and our journal can join the efforts to achieve these goals. That is why we are excited by the launch of JBGS on the ARPHA platform – a next-generation publishing solution that supports the full life cycle of a manuscript, from authoring and reviewing to publishing and dissemination.”

This partnership is the latest addition to Pensoft’s track record of collaboration with scientific societies. Earlier this year, three of Senckenberg Nature Research Society‘s journals – Arthropod Systematics & PhylogenyVertebrate Zoology and Geologica Saxonicatransitioned to ARPHA’s platform.

Front covers of selected journal issues across different periods (1933 – 2021).

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Pensoft and ARPHA welcome three biodiversity-themed journals in their portfolio

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 PiscatoriaCaucasiana 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).

Caucasiana

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.

Zitelliana

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.

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Overview: top new ARPHA features from 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ARPHA Preprints

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

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

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

Submission of preprints workflow at participating ARPHA-hosted journals

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

Read more about ARPHA Preprints on our blog.

Dedicated editorial workflow for Special Issues and Topical article collections

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

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

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

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

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

Editor and reviewer application form

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

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

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

Journal performance statistics

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

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

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

  • manuscript submissions at any moment and their status;
  • publications and submissions for any period of interest; 
  • publications by article type for a period of choice; 
  • international representation based on lead author’s country for a period of choice;
  • article views for a period of choice.

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

Journal performance reports

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

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

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

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

Workload for reviewers and subject editors

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

Review rating

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

Contributor roles for co-authors 

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

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

Easy update of user expertise

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

Integration with the research discovery app Researcher

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

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

Read more about our integration with Researcher on our blog.

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

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Bulgarian Academy of Sciences signs with Pensoft to move Silva Balcanica journal to ARPHA

The first 2020 issue of the journal by the Academy’s Forest Research Institute is already online on a brand new and user-friendly website

The scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoft welcomes the open-access, peer-reviewed international journal in forest science concerning the Balkan Peninsula, Central and Southern Europe Silva Balcanica to its self-developed publishing platform ARPHA. Having become the latest addition to the lengthy portfolio of scholarly outlets dedicated to the fields of ecology and biology for Pensoft and ARPHA, Silva Balcanica is now offering a wide range of benefits and services to its readers, authors, reviewers and editors alike.

Having already acquired its own glossy and user-friendly website provided by ARPHA, Silva Balcanica also takes advantage of the platform’s signature fast-track, end-to-end publishing system. In addition, the published content enjoys automated export of data to aggregators, as well as web-service integrations with major global indexing and archiving databases.

Silva Balcanica’s new website on ARPHA Platform. Visit at https://silvabalcanica.pensoft.net .

Ever since its inception in 2001, the journal by the Forest Research Institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (FRI-BAS), has been providing open access to the latest research in all aspects of forest ecosystems and landscapes of the Balkan Peninsula, and also Central and Southern Europe.

Silva Balcanica invites scientific analysis of practical results, as well as investigations, in the forest sciences, including forest ecology; forest soil science; forest genetics, tree breeding and plantation forestry; biometry and sylviculture; forest economy and management; forest entomology and pathology; ecology and management of game fauna, urban forestry and green infrastructure. Constructive critique addressing scientific publications or events in the field of forestry and forest science are also accepted.

In the first 2020 issue of Silva Balcanica, we can find a total of eight research papers, dealing with a range of various topics, including studies on local plant diversity, genetics, application of experimental designs for forestry research, ecosystem services, population dynamics, invasive pathogens and previously unknown populations of forest-dwelling insects. It brings together single-authored research contributions as well as international collaborative projects, with input from authors from Bulgaria, Greece, Northern Macedonia and Italy.

CEO and founder of both Pensoft and ARPHA Platform Prof. Lyubomir Penev comments:

“Silva Balcanica is an important scholarly outlet and also a remarkable example of international cooperation, inspired and maintained by curiosity, care and responsibility towards the unique, but fragile ecosystems this part of Europe hosts. This is why we take pride in having this particular journal joining our portfolio.”

Silva Balcanica’s Editorial Board says:

“The Scientific Council of the Forest Research Institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences decided to begin publishing Silva Balcanica as an international series in 2001 and since 2014, Silva Balcanica has been published as an international journal.

We are honored to have as members of our Editorial Advisory Board eminent European professors and researchers in forestry and related sciences that join our efforts in pursuit of high quality scientific publishing.

We are confident that Silva Balcanica will unite the research of scientists and specialists in forestry from Southeastern, Central and Eastern Europe and beyond, and will help them in the processes of their European integration.”

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Visit the new website of Silva Balcanica at https://silvabalcanica.pensoft.net.

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!

Food Modelling Journal: New open-access venue provides a platform for food scientists

An introductory editorial and an article of a unique publication type are already made available in the next-generation journal

The open-access Food Modelling Journal (FMJ) was launched by the AGINFRA+ community and Pensoft with the aim to encourage food science specialists, agronomists and computer scientists to come together and work on assuring and improving food supply, quality and safety in our globalised and rapidly changing world.

The Food Modelling Journal will be focusing on the publication of information objects and digital resources in the food science field, related (but not limited) to: food safety, food quality, food control, food defence and food design, documenting experimental or observational data and mathematical models.

By providing a platform and tools for describing scientific records and crediting for dedicated models, data, data analytics workflows and software, FMJ fosters the overall reproducibility and reusability of research.

FMJ also aims to shed light on what we refer to as research objects – data, software scripts, visualisation routines or models. Usually, they would stay undervalued, underused and uncredited, despite their importance for the scientific progress.

The focus and scope of the journal are supported by a number of specific key features:

  • Quality but not quantity
  • Cross-disciplinary approach
  • Open data and software code policy
  • Rapid turnaround time
  • Advanced open access and machine-readability.

It should be noted that the Open Science movement and the barrier-free access to research, is at the heart of the FMJ project.

To support its authors, the AGINFRA+ community, Pensoft and Food Modelling Journal have provided them access to the ARPHA Writing Tool, where researchers are able to work together with their co-authors, colleagues and peers on manuscripts from the drafting stage to publication.

A FSKX model run using the executable paper feature available in Food Modelling Journal.

A particularly appealing feature, meant to promote reproducibility, collaboration and openness in science, is the executable papers, where users can reproduce research findings using the published model and running it either with default or new parameters. By clicking an “Execute” button within the body of the article, users are taken to an external virtual environment where they will be able to execute the computation. By ‘encapsulating’ all the details needed to perform the action within the paper, this feature ensures that the published findings will remain testifiable in the future.

“While the long-lasting tradition in science used to focus on crediting researchers’ work through conventional research articles and especially by counting their citations, many exciting, useful and often invaluable products of the research cycle, such as data, software scripts, visualisation routines or models (usually called “research objects”) normally stay undervalued, underused and uncredited, despite their importance for scientific progress,” note the editorial board in the introductory editorial.

“The consequences of this neglect of the initial and intermediate steps of the research cycle in favour of the research articles or research books are obvious: scientists often repeat efforts done by others instead of using these as a stepping stone for further analyses and generating new knowledge, let alone the impossible or restricted reproducibility and reusability of research results,” they add.

The first paper of a unique publication type: FSKX (Food Safety Knowledge), is already publicly accessible in the journal. Classified as an early research outcome, the article presents a new generic model for assessing the risk of salmonellosis associated with the consumption of table eggs. To ensure the reusability of the model, the research team of Virginie Desvignes (ANSES – French Food Safety Agency) have made it available in the Food Safety Knowledge Markup Language (FSK-ML) format alongside the executable model script, visualisation script and simulation settings.

FSK-ML is an open information exchange format that is based on harmonised terms, metadata and controlled vocabulary to harmonise annotations of risk assessment models and that was significantly improved and extended during the AGINFRA+ project.

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Follow Food Modelling Journal on Twitter and Facebook.

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Food Modelling Journal is indexed by BASE, CNKI, CrossRef, Dimensions, Google Scholar, J-Gate, Mendeley, Microsoft Academic, Naviga (Softweco), OCLC WorldCat, OpenAIRE, OpenCitations, ReadCube, Transpose, Ulrichsweb™ and Unpaywall; and archived at CLOCKSS, Zenodo and Portico.

Seven journals moving to ARPHA in early 2020 showcase the versatility of the publishing platform

A full-featured, open access publishing platform for journals, books and data, which comes with an extensive list of services and features – both automated and human-provided – to adapt to the individual needs of any client journal. But how does that translate into practice? 

The latest scholarly titles to join the ranks of ARPHA might just provide a perfect example of the capabilities of the platform to accommodate the specificity of scholarly journal across sciences, audiences, geographies and languages.

Amsterdam University Press strengthens partnership with ARPHA by launching two brand new journals

Journal of European Landscapes (JEL) and Heritage, Memory and Conflict Journal (HMC) add up to the partnership between ARPHA and Amsterdam University Press (AUP), which started in early 2018 with the transfer of the only Dutch-language open-access journal focussing on accountancy, business economics and related areas: Accountancy and Business Economics, or Maandblad voor Accountancy en Bedrijfseconomi (MAB).

Homepage of Amsterdam University’s journal Accountancy and Business Economics (Maandblad voor Accountancy en Bedrijfseconomi), using the white-label publishing solution of ARPHA Platform.

Not only was MAB the first journal on the platform that publishes articles exclusively in a language other than English, but also became an impressive precedent with its nearly 100-year content that got successfully dusted off and fitted into the user-friendly digital environment of today. All papers ever issued in MAB since its launch in 1923, were re-published, so that each could be assigned with a DOI; have its metadata registered on CrossRef; and its article content fully searchable within the PDF copy.

All three make use of ARPHA’s white-label publishing solution, which allows for AUP to carry its recognisable logo through a unified banner across the websites of the journals. Unlike MAB, however, JEL and HMC are to have their articles published exclusively in English to further promote their international scope and focus.

Heritage, Memory and Conflict Journal (HMC)

Homepage of the new Heritage, Memory and Conflict Journal published by Amsterdam University Press via ARPHA Platform.

Heritage, Memory and Conflict Journal is a brand new journal launched to trace back the remnants of the past – be it physical or anecdotal – back to their roots in the days of old. How do memory sites and discourses operate as vehicles at local, national and transnational levels and what indeed is the ‘cargo’ they carry? This is the type of questions authors from across disciplines – academic, artistic and industrial – will be trying to answer when preparing their manuscripts for HMC

Journal of European Landscapes (JEL) 

Homepage of the new Journal of European Landscapes published by Amsterdam University Press via ARPHA Platform.

Similarly, the second newly launched Journal of European Landscapes is to turn to history and cultural heritage, in order to understand the present use of the past when it comes to landscape. JEL’s founders point out that while Europe’s landscapes have so far enjoyed quite a lot of scientific attention, there isn’t a journal to address its indisputable and critical connection to heritage, even though the latter is what connects historical research with modern planning and management.

Vegetation Classification and Survey (VCS)

Homepage of the new Vegetation Classification and Survey journal published by the International Association for Vegetation Science via ARPHA Platform.

Adding up to the landscape topic is the Vegetation Classification and Survey (VCS) journal. This is the latest outlet launched by the International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS): a worldwide union of scientists and other aficionados of theory and practice concerning the study of vegetation. 

With its transfer to ARPHA, VCS fulfils the mission of the union to move to Open Access. Interestingly, the journal supports two permanent sections: Ecoinformatics and Phytosociological Nomenclature. There, authors can submit certain unique article types: Review and Synthesis and Short/Long Database Reports. 

Devoted to plant community ecology, VCS publishes original research that works toward the development of novel vegetation classifications, as well as applied studies that use such typologies. Particularly encouraged are methodological studies that design and compare tools for vegetation classification and mapping. 

Plant Sociology 

Homepage of the new Plant Sociology journal published by Società Italiana di Scienza della Vegetazionevia ARPHA Platform.

Another modern botany journal still awaiting its first issue since its transfer to ARPHA, is Plant Sociology, brought to life by the “Società Italiana di Scienza della Vegetazione” (SISV) with the aim to succeed the historical journals of the society: Fitosociologia (1990-2011) and Notiziario della Società Italiana di Fitosociologia (1964-1989).

The editorial management opted to have the journal co-published with Pensoft: the academic publisher and technology provider standing behind ARPHA. Thus, by default, the journal receives some extra perks as a result of Pensoft’s partnerships with leading innovators in the scholarly communication domain.  An excellent example would be the indexing and addition of each Plant Sociology article by the research discovery platform ScienceOpen in the “Pensoft Biodiversity” collection, following a recent strategic collaboration between the two Open Science champions.

With a wide scope covering vegetation studies from plant community to landscape level, Plant Sociology puts a special focus on topics such as plant sociology and vegetation survey for developing ecological models, as well as plant classification, monitoring, assessment, management and conservation, as long as the studies are based on rigorous and quantitative measures of physical and biological components.

Caucasiana

Adding up to the well-pronounced biodiversity theme in ARPHA’s and Pensoft’s journal portfolios, as well as the “Pensoft Biodiversity” collection on ScienceOpen, is the first Georgian journal to join the lines of the publishing platform. Caucasiana is to be co-published by the top biodiversity research centre in the region: Ilia State University in Tbilisi and Pensoft.

The scholarly outlet that we’ll soon see on ARPHA Platform is in fact a successor of an earlier journal launched by the Institute of Zoology of the Georgian Academy of Science that has been revamped top-to-bottom. Transformed into a technologically advanced publishing venue, Caucasiana’s task is to handle the growing research interest in the incredible, yet surprisingly overlooked animal, plant and fungal life of Caucasus and adjacent regions. 

Research published in Caucasiana will be well-positioned to bring this hotspot of biodiversity and endemism into focus for the global conservation movement.

The EASE Journal: European Science Editing (ESE)

The quarterly journal of the European Association of Science Editors (EASE): European Science Editing (ESE) is a key news source for all actors involved in scholarly publishing.

For the first time, ESE will open up its content to the public from day one of its publication, thanks to its move to ARPHA. While digital and print subscriptions used to be included as part of the association’s membership packages, other readers would have had to wait six months after print publication to receive free access.

Launched in 2003, ESE’s aim has been to keep editors posted about everything they need to know concerning scholarly communication. To do so, the journal publishes research articles, meeting reports, essays and viewpoints, as well as book and website reviews. Especially for members of the association, ESE takes care to highlight upcoming events and provide resources and publications, considered to be of their interest. 

Bulgarian Journal of Cardiology

In 2020, ARPHA will also welcome the third Bulgarian-born academic journal and the fourth covering the field of Medical Sciences to its open-access portfolio: the journal of Bulgaria’s National Cardiac Society, which is part of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

For the first time, the Bulgarian Journal of Cardiology will make use of the soon-to-be-released English-Bulgarian bilingual publishing solution from ARPHA. Similarly to the English-Russian approach to journal publishing, which was presented in Moscow in early December, ARPHA will allow for users of the Bulgarian Journal of Cardiology to not only publish papers in both English and Bulgarian, but also enjoy a top-to-bottom Bulgarian user interface.

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Learn more about ARPHA’s key features and achievements from 2019 in our yearly recap.

ARPHA Platform’s content integrated into ScienceOpen to take advantage of novel streams of science communication

The research discovery platform ScienceOpen and Pensoft Publishers have entered into a strategic collaboration with the aim of strengthening the companies’ identities as the leaders of innovative content dissemination. The new cooperation will focus on the unified indexation, the integration of Pensoft’s ARPHA Platform content into ScienceOpen and the utilization of novel streams of scientific communication for the published materials.

Pensoft is an independent academic publishing company, well known worldwide for bringing novelty through its cutting-edge publishing tools and for its commitment to open access practices. In 2013, Pensoft launched the first ever, end-to-end, XML-based, authoring, reviewing and publishing workflow, now upgraded to the ARPHA Publishing Platform. As of today, ARPHA hosts over 50 open access, peer-reviewed scholarly journals: the whole Pensoft portfolio in addition to titles owned by learned societies, university presses and research institutions.

As part of the strategic collaboration, all Pensoft content and journals hosted on ARPHA are indexed in the ScienceOpen’s research and discovery environment, which puts them into thematic context of over 60 million articles and books. In addition, thousands of articles across more than 20 journals were integrated into a “Pensoft Biodiversity” Collection. Combined this way, the content benefits from the special infrastructure of ScienceOpen Collections, which supports thematic groups of articles and books equipped with a unique landing page, a built-in search engine and an overview of the featured content. The Collections can be reviewed, recommended and shared by users, which facilitates academic debate and increases the discoverability of the research.

The Pensoft Biodiversity collection on ScienceOpen.

“It is certainly great news and a much-anticipated milestone for Pensoft, ARPHA and our long-year partners and supporters from ScienceOpen to have brought our collaboration to a new level by indexing the whole ARPHA-hosted content at ScienceOpen,” comments Pensoft’s and ARPHA’s CEO and founder Prof. Lyubomir Penev. “Most of all, the integration between ARPHA and ScienceOpen at an infrastructural level means that we will be able to offer this incredible service and increased visibility to newcoming journals right away. On the other hand, by streaming fresh and valuable publicly accessible content to the ScienceOpen database, these journals will be further adding to the growth of science in the open.”

Stephanie Dawson, CEO of ScienceOpen says, “I am particularly excited to add new high-quality, open access biodiversity content from Pensoft Publishers to the ScienceOpen discovery environment as we have a very active community of researchers on ScienceOpen creating and sharing Collections in this field. We are looking forward to working with Pensoft’s innovative journals to support their open science goals.”

The collaboration reflects not only the commitment of both Pensoft and ScienceOpen to new methods of knowledge dissemination, but also the joint mission to champion open science through innovation. The two companies will cooperate at a strategic level in order to increase the international outreach of their content and services, and to make them even more accessible to the broad community.

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About ScienceOpen:

From promotional collections to Open Access hosting and full publishing packages, ScienceOpen provides next-generation services to academic publishers embedded in an interactive discovery platform. ScienceOpen was founded in 2013 in Berlin and Boston by Alexander Grossmann and Tibor Tscheke to accelerate research communication.

Bulgaria’s publishers and scholars gathered to discuss the move of the national scientific journals to the global scene

The event was co-organised by Pensoft and the Bulgarian National Science Fund (BNSF) at the Ministry of Education and Science

Over one hundred representatives of Bulgarian scholarly journals and academic institutions attended a seminar, organised by the scientific publisher and technology provider Pensoft and the Bulgarian National Science Fund (BNSF) at the Ministry of Education and Science of Bulgaria. The meeting, themed “The Bulgarian scholarly journals in the global scientific environment – advancements in the publishing model, technological modernisation, indexing, dissemination and promotion,” took place in Sofia in September. 

In his speech, Prof. George Vaysilov, Director of the BNSF, highlighted the crucial role of scholarly publishing reformation in Bulgaria. He also answered various questions concerning the funding available to scientific journals.

“These events are useful for the Bulgarian scientific journals and the Bulgarian National Science Fund” will continue to participate in their organisation,” he said.

Prof. George Vaysilov gave a welcome speech before answering various questions from the attendees.
Photo by Pensoft.

In their talks, the Pensoft team addressed key topics and innovations related to journal publishing, management, dissemination and marketing in the digital era. They also showcased how these challenges are approached at the journals published via the scholarly Pensoft-developed ARPHA Platform. 

Main topics in the discussions were „Plan S”, the ongoing initiative for a global transition to immediate Open Access (Gold Open Access); exclusive digitisation; interoperability, findability and accessibility to online research items and data; traditional and alternative metrics for tracking journal impact; as well as the specifics about journal indexing. 


“Technological modernisation of the publishing process in an Open Access and Open Science environment” was the theme of Prof. Lyubomir Penev’s presentation. 
Photo by Pensoft.

Prof. Lyubomir Penev, Director and founder of Pensoft and ARPHA, added:

“In our own lifetimes, we’ve been the witnesses of a tremendous technological breakthrough on a global level. Not only does academia need not be left behind – its place is at the very forefront of such a revolution. This is exactly what we intend to do with ARPHA: to provide an all-rounded platform coupled with all the associated services, in order to provide the technological backbone needed by historical, as well as recently launched journals to make a stand on the international scene. Having listened to the questions and concerns of the Bulgarian publishers, I am able to confirm that the situation is not that different to what we see everywhere: there is the evident understanding of the situation and desire for a change. What is necessary is only a bit of practical know-how.”

The revolution in scholarly publishing in recent years. A part of Prof. Lyubomir Penev’s presentation.
Photo by Pensoft.