By the time authors – who have acknowledged third-party financial support in their research papers submitted to a journal using the Pensoft-developed publishing platform: ARPHA – open their inboxes to the congratulatory message that their work has just been published and made available to the wide world, a similar notification will have also reached their research funder.
This automated workflow is already in effect at all journals (co-)published by Pensoft and those published under their own imprint on the ARPHA Platform, as a result of the new partnership with the OA Switchboard: a community-driven initiative with the mission to serve as a central information exchange hub between stakeholders about open access publications, while making things simpler for everyone involved.
All the submitting author needs to do to ensure that their research funder receives a notification about the publication is to select the supporting agency or the scientific project (e.g. a project supported by Horizon Europe) in the manuscript submission form, using a handy drop-down menu. In either case, the message will be sent to the funding body as soon as the paper is published in the respective journal.
“At Pensoft, we are delighted to announce our integration with the OA Switchboard, as this workflow is yet another excellent practice in scholarly publishing that supports transparency in research. Needless to say, funding and financing are cornerstones in scientific work and scholarship, so it is equally important to ensure funding bodies are provided with full, prompt and convenient reports about their own input.”
comments Prof Lyubomir Penev, CEO and founder of Pensoft and ARPHA.
“Research funders are one of the three key stakeholder groups in OA Switchboard and are represented in our founding partners. They seek support in demonstrating the extent and impact of their research funding and delivering on their commitment to OA. It is great to see Pensoft has started their integration with OA Switchboard with a focus on this specific group, fulfilling an important need,”
adds Yvonne Campfens, Executive Director of the OA Switchboard.
About the OA Switchboard:
A global not-for-profit and independent intermediary established in 2020, the OA Switchboard provides a central hub for research funders, institutions and publishers to exchange OA-related publication-level information. Connecting parties and systems, and streamlining communication and the neutral exchange of metadata, the OA Switchboard provides direct, indirect and community benefits: simplicity and transparency, collaboration and interoperability, and efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Pensoft is an independent academic publishing company, well known worldwide for its novel cutting-edge publishing tools, workflows and methods for text and data publishing of journals, books and conference materials.
All journals (co-)published by Pensoft are hosted on Pensoft’s full-featured ARPHA Publishing Platform and published in a way that ensures their content is as FAIR as possible, meaning that it is effortlessly readable, discoverable, harvestable, citable and reusable by both humans and machines.
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.
Published in two issues a year, the open-access scientific outlet covers research from all areas of palaeontology, including the taxonomy and systematics of fossil organisms, biostratigraphy, palaeoecology, and evolution. It deals with all taxonomic groups, including invertebrates, microfossils, plants, and vertebrates.
As a result of the move to ARPHA, Fossil Record utilises the whole package of ARPHA Platform’s services, including its fast-track, end-to-end publishing module, designed to appeal to readers, authors, reviewers and editors alike. A major advantage is that the whole editorial process, starting from the submission of a manuscript and continuing into peer review, editing, publication, dissemination, archiving and hosting, happens within the online ecosystem of ARPHA.
As soon as they are published, the articles in Fossil Record are available in three formats: PDF, machine-readable JATS XML and semantically enriched HTML for better and mobile-friendly reader experience.
The publications are equipped with real-time metrics on both article and sub-article level that allow easy access to the number of visitors, views and downloads for every article and each of it’s figures, tables or supplementary materials. In their turn, the semantic enhancements do not only allow for easy navigation throughout the text and quick access to cited literature and the article’s own citations, but also tag each taxon that appears in the paper to provide links to further information concerning its occurrences, genomics, nomenclature, treatments and more as available from various databases.
The first five papers – now available on the brand new journal website powered by ARPHA – already demonstrate the breadth of topics covered by Fossil Record, including systematics, paleobiogeography, palaeodiversity and morphology, as well as the international appeal of the scholarly outlet. The articles are co-authored by collaborative research teams representing ten countries and spanning three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa.
About the Natural History Museum of Berlin:
The “Museum für Naturkunde – Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Science” is an integrated research museum within the Leibniz Association. It is one of the most important research institutions worldwide in the areas of biological and geological evolution and biodiversity.
The Museum’s mission is to discover and describe life and earth – with people, through dialogue. As an excellent research museum and innovative communication platform, it wants to engage with and influence the scientific and societal discourse about the future of our planet, worldwide. Its vision, strategy and structure make the museum an excellent research museum. The Natural History Museum of Berlin has research partners in Berlin, Germany and approximately 60 other countries. Over 700,000 visitors per year as well as steadily increasing participation in educational and other events show that the Museum has become an innovative communication centre that helps shape the scientific and social dialogue about the future of our earth.
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.
The deadline for submission is 28 February 2022, with the issue scheduled for publication in August 2022.
The new special issue is expected to collate prominent contributors from the field of invasive ecology, thereby addressing existing gaps in the knowledge about both freshwater and terrestrial non-native species and their management.
The editors note that despite the current efforts and measures to monitor and tackle the spread of non-native species, and especially those posing imminent threat to local biodiversity and ecosystems, further expansion of such populations has increasingly been recorded in recent years. Of special concern are developing countries, where legislation for controlling non-native species is still lacking.
A major problem is that – as of today – we are still missing on risk screening studies needed to provide evidence for the invasiveness potential of many non-native species across several taxonomic groups, which would then be used to support specific conservation efforts. Unfortunately, this is particularly true for species inhabiting the world’s biodiversity hotspots, point out the editors.
Risk-based identification of non-native species is an essential process to inform policy and actions for conservation and management of biodiversity. Previously published papers on risk screening of aquatic non-native species, and especially those using the most widely-employed ‘-ISK’ decision-support toolkits, have attracted mounting interest from the wider scientific community.
The first papers of the journal of the Bavarian State Collection of Palaeontology and Geology in Munich since the move to Pensoft’s publishing platform are now online
The scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoft welcomes the latest addition to its diverse portfolio of scientific outlets – the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Zitteliana, which publishes research in the fields of paleontology and geobiology.
Zitteliana is a journal of the Bavarian State Collection of Palaeontology and Geology Munich, which is part of the State Natural History Collection of Bavaria (SNSB), a research institution for natural history comprising five state collections.
Published both online and in print, the journal contains original articles, short contributions and reviews on all aspects of palaeontology and geobiology, welcoming research on all regions of the Earth and all periods of geologic time. The journal invites both modern and traditional research outputs, including palaeobiology, geobiology, palaeogenomics, biodiversity, stratigraphy, sedimentology, regional geology, systematics, phylogeny, and cross-disciplinary studies of these areas.
Since its launch in 1961, the journal has changed its name several times (i.e. Mitteilungen der Bayerischen Staatssammlung fuer Palaeontologie und historische Geologie, Zitteliana A (Abhandlungen) and Zitteliana B (Mitteilungen)), and has extended both scope and thematic range to cover global research from all areas of palaeontology and geobiology.
“This year, Zittelliana is celebrating its 60th anniversary in brand new gear. The move to the innovative scholarly publisher Pensoft shows how tradition can work hand in hand with innovation and modernity. We are very excited about this relaunch and very much look forward to transforming Zitteliana into an internationally leading journal in Paleontology and Geobiology together with Pensoft,” the journal’s Editor-in-Chief, Professor Gert Woerheide adds.
After moving to Pensoft’s scholarly publishing platform ARPHA, and with a brand-new, user-friendly website, Zitteliana now takes full advantage of ARPHA’s signature fast-track, end-to-end publishing system, which significantly improves user experience for authors, reviewers and editors alike. The collaboration-focused platform supports manuscripts in all steps of the publishing process – submission, peer review, editing, publication, dissemination and archiving, all within its online environment. To the benefit of readers, published articles are then made available in PDF, machine-readable JATS XML formats, and semantically enriched HTML, which makes them much easier to discover, access, cite and reuse.
In addition, ARPHA Platform offers a long list of high-tech features and human-provided services such as advanced data publishing, linked data tables, semantic markup and enhancements, automated export of sub-article elements and data to aggregators, sub-article-level usage metrics, and web-service integrations with more than 40 world-class indexing and archiving databases.
Follow Zitteliana on Facebook and Twitter.Additional information: About Pensoft:
Pensoft is an independent academic publishing company, well-known worldwide for its innovations in the field of semantic publishing, as well as for its cutting-edge publishing tools and workflows. In 2013, Pensoft launched the first ever end to end XML-based authoring, reviewing and publishing workflow, as demonstrated by the Pensoft Writing Tool (PWT) and the Biodiversity Data Journal (BDJ), now upgraded to the ARPHA Publishing Platform. Flagship titles include: Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO), One Ecosystem, ZooKeys, Biodiversity Data Journal, PhytoKeys, MycoKeys and many more.About ARPHA:
ARPHA is the first end-to-end, narrative- and data-integrated publishing solution that supports the full life cycle of a manuscript, from authoring to reviewing, publishing and dissemination. ARPHA provides accomplished and streamlined production workflows that can be customized according to the journal’s needs. The platform enables a variety of publishing models through a number of options for branding, production and revenue models to choose from.
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 Crossref, Google Scholar, OpenCitations, Publons and Scibey, and archived in CLOCKSS, Portico 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.”
Given scientific conferences present academics with the fantastic opportunity to meet up and discuss their latest work, as well as share their vision for the future of their field, it’s no wonder that, historically, the majority of ground-breaking science can easily be traced back to a particular event.
This said, don’t you think that we need to do everything within our powers toensure the visibility, dissemination and long-term accessibility of research presented and linked to these wonderful drivers of scientific progress that conferences are? Similarly to the care conference organisers take to make sure the event runs smoothly and the attendants are happy with the programme and enjoy themselves, the organisational committee should also be thinking how to preserve all those promising pieces of research well after the event is over.
Here at Pensoft, an open-access scholarly publisher, founded by scientists, we’ve been contemplating for a while now how to encourage and support the community to efficiently open up the valuable outputs to researchers and readers well beyond the publication of abstracts in an abstract book of the conference.
As a result, we came up with several simple, yet efficient publishing solutions for scientific conferences to collect and contextualise various research outputseither presented at or resulting from the event.
Bear in mind that with any solution, all publications enjoy the benefits seen in conventional research papers, such as:
Crossref registration and individual DOI to ensure preservation;
Publication in PDF, semantically enhanced HTML and data-minable XML formats to improve readability, accessibility and findability;
Indexing and archiving at multiple, industry leading databases to increase visibility;
PR and social media promotion to boost outreach to various audiences.
Collections of conference abstracts, posters and presentations
Conference (video) abstracts, posters and presentations are easily the first to fall victims of the ephemerality of an event, yet these are too often the stepping stones to major scientific discoveries. This is why a few years back we launched ARPHA Conference Abstracts (ACA), where conference organisers can open their own collection and provide the participants with submission, review and publication of their abstracts ahead of the conference.
Furthermore, these abstracts can be handled editorially in sub-collections, e.g. the convenors of symposia or working groups within a conference will take care of the abstracts submitted to them, thus spreading the editorial workload across larger teams of editors and organisers.
Not only will conference organisers spare themselves the worries about providing a special platform for abstracts submissions, but this will also facilitate presenting authors, who will be able to easily point to their contribution before, during or after their presentations. On the contrary, the abstracts are assigned with DOIs, published in human-readable PDF and HTML and machine-actionable JATS XML, permanently preserved on ARPHA and Zenodo, and easy to find, access and cite, just like a conventional research paper, providing authors with full credit for their work early on.
Further, with ACA, the conference abstracts can be enhanced into what we call “extended abstracts”, meaning they can also include data, images, videos and multimedia. After the conferences, we can add video recordings of the presentations or graphic files of posters, so that these are visualised on the page of each abstract.
About the time we launched ACA, we also created ARPHA Proceedings, in order to also find a place for full-text conference papers. Similarly, the platform supports dedicated collections, where conference attendants are invited to submit and publish dynamically articles under the imprint of the event.
Conference papers in ARPHA Proceedings can also include data, figures and citations, and can also be updated with video recordings, posters and presentations following the conference.
Article topical collections and special issues resulting from conferences
Naturally, papers resulting from a particular conference are contextually linked, so a one-stop place to discover topical studies sharing one and the same topic would be greatly appreciated by readers and future researchers. In turn, this would lead to better viewership and citability of the papers in the collection.
With our user-friendly, dedicated workflow for special issues and permanent topical article collections, we’ve made it easy for guest editors across our journals to pitch and manage article collections, in order to bring together valuable and related studies. Using such a collection under the theme of your conference in a suitable journal, you can invite your conference’s participants or, better yet, all scientists working within the field, to submit their work in a nice package of topical science. We’d be happy to assist you with the identification of the most suitable journal for your conference, authors and goals.
Bringing together traditional and non-conventional research outputs, (e.g. research ideas, grant proposals, conference materials or workshop reports) with RIO Journal’s article collections
Undoubtedly, valuable research outcomes come in many shapes and sizes well beyond research papers, conference abstracts, posters and proceedings. We are firm supporters that every research item, even early and interim outputs, could be of value to the scientist next in line within a particular study.
This is why we launched the award-winning journal Research Ideas and Outcomes(RIO), where your collections can include both conventional and non-traditional research outputs, such as research ideas, posters, workshop reports, forum papers, policy briefs, software and data management plans to name a few. Furthermore, in RIO,you can even link articles or preprints published elsewhere to your collection via their metadata. Similarly to other Pensoft journals, in RIO, you will have the full control to whom you are opening your collection for submissions, allowing you to either limit it to the outcomes coming from your conference or welcome submissions from other researchers as well.
A permanent topical collection in RIO Journal may include a diverse range of both traditional and unconventional research outputs, as well as links to publications from outside the journal (see What can I publish on the journal’s website).
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.