In support of transparency and openness in scholarly publishing and academia, the scientific publisher and technology provider Pensoft joined the Journal Comparison Service (JCS) initiative by cOAlition S, an alliance of national funders and charitable bodies working to increase the volume of free-to-read research.
As a result, all journals published by Pensoft – each using the publisher’s self-developed ARPHA Platform – provide extensive and transparent information about their costs and services in line with the Plan S principles.
The JCS was launched to aid libraries and library consortia – the ones negotiating and participating in Open Access agreements with publishers – by providing them with everything they need to know in order to determine whether the prices charged by a certain journal are fair and corresponding to the quality of the service.
According to cOAlition S, an increasing number of libraries and library consortia from Europe, Africa, North America, and Australia have registered with the JCS over the past year since the launch of the portal in September 2021.
While access to the JCS is only open to librarians, individual researchers may also make use of the data provided by the participating publishers and their journals.
This is possible through an integration with the Journal Checker Tool, where researchers can simply enter the name of the journal of interest, their funder and affiliation (if applicable) to check whether the scholarly outlet complies with the Open Access policy of the author’s funder. A full list of all academic titles that provide data to the JCS is also publicly available. By being on the list means a journal and its publisher do not only support cOAlition S, but they also demonstrate that they stand for openness and transparency in scholarly publishing.
“We are delighted that Pensoft, along with a number of other publishers, have shared their price and service data through the Journal Comparison Service. Not only are such publishers demonstrating their commitment to open business models and cultures but are also helping to build understanding and trust within the research community.”
said Robert Kiley, Head of Strategy at cOAlition S.
Journals using the ARPHA Platform as a white-label publishing solution to publish their journal(s) under their own label should note that it is the responsibility of the journal owner publisher to submit journal data to the JCS. This means that it is only journals published on ARPHA and associated with Pensoft that have been automatically featured in the JCS.
However, the ARPHA team is ready to assist journals using the platform’s white-label publishing to provide details to cOAlition S and the JCS.
About cOAlition S:
On 4 September 2018, a group of national research funding organisations, with the support of the European Commission and the European Research Council (ERC), announced the launch of cOAlition S, an initiative to make full and immediate Open Access to research publications a reality. It is built around Plan S, which consists of one target and 10 principles. Read more on the cOAlition S website.
About Plan S:
Plan S is an initiative for Open Access publishing that was launched in September 2018. The plan is supported by cOAlition S, an international consortium of research funding and performing organisations. Plan S requires that, from 2021, scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants must be published in compliant Open Access journals or platforms. Read more on the cOAlition S website.
Hence, as a forward-looking, open science-driven journalResearch Ideas and Outcomes (RIO) took it as its own responsibility to encourage scientific project teams, conference organisers and research institutions to bring together unconventional research outputs (e.g. grant proposals, data management plans, project deliverables, policy briefs, conference materials) as well as traditional (e.g. research or review papers, monographs, etc.), including such published elsewhere. To do so, RIO now provides the platform ready to be used as a research knowledge hub, where published outcomes are preserved permanently and easier to share, disseminate, reference and reuse.
Hence, RIO stepped up its game by turning permanent article collections into a one-stop source of diverse research items, where project coordinators, conference organisers or research institutions can not only publish early, interim and conclusive research items as they emerge within a research project, a series of events or the continuous scientific efforts at their lab, but also link relevant publications (i.e. preprints, articles or other documents, published elsewhere) available elsewhere through their metadata. As a result, they will receive a one-stop source under their own branding for every piece of scientific contribution ready to present to funding bodies or prospective collaborators and future research teams.
Apart from bringing contextually linked research outcomes together, thus prompting findability, readership and citability en masse, RIO’s approach to collections ensures further accessibility by not only having RIO-published articles available in traditional PDF, semantically enriched HTML and minable XML format. The open-science journal has now made it possible for users to add to their collections preprints from ARPHA Preprints, as well as author-formatted PDFs (e.g. project deliverables, reports, policy briefs, etc.) and linked metadata to documents published elsewhere. Thanks to the integration of the journal with the general-purpose open-access repository Zenodo, all items in a collection are archived, and additionally indexed, disseminated and cited.
By focusing on article and preprint collections coming out from a research project, institution or conference, RIO provides a quite specific and unique combination of benefits to all actors of the research process: scientists, project coordinators, funders and institutions:
Project, institution or conference branding and promotion.
One-stop point for outputs of a research project, institution or conference.
Free publication of author-formatted project outputs (i.e. grant proposals, deliverables, reports, policy briefs, conference materials and others).
Inclusivity through adding articles, preprints and other documents published elsewhere as easy as entering the DOI number of the document.
Credit and recognition for the Collection and Guest editors, who take care to organise and manage the article collection.
Easier discoverability and usability of topically related studies to benefit both authors and readers.
Increased visibility of related papers in a collection, even when these might otherwise not have much exposure.
Simultaneous citation of multiple articles related to a certain subject.
Citation and referencing of the whole collection as a complete entity.
DOI and citation details for collections and individual articles.
How do project coordinators, funders and institutions benefit from a collection in RIO?
At the time a grant proposal is submitted to a research funder for evaluation, the team behind the proposed project has already put in considerable efforts, resulting in a unique idea with the potential to make a great stride towards the resolution of an outstanding problem in science, if only given the chance. However, too many of these ideas are bound to remain locked away in the archives of those funders, not because they are lacking in scientific value, but due to limited funds.
So, with its launch back in 2015, RIO Journal made it possible to publish and shed light on grant proposals and research ideas in general, similar early research outputs regardless of whether they are eventually funded or not, a novelty in scholarly publishing which earned RIO the SPARC Innovator Award Winner in 2016. To date, the journal has already published 75 grant proposals.
Then, imagine what a contribution to science it would make to bring together the whole continuum of knowledge and scientific work all the way from the grant proposal to data and software management plans, workshop reports, policy briefs and all interim and final deliverables produced within the span of the project!
On the other hand, funders are increasingly evaluating a prospective project’s impact based on its communication strategy. So, why not publish a grant proposal at the time of the submission of your proposal, in order to prove to the funding body that your project is serious about optimising its outreach to both the public and academia? Furthermore, by having an academic journal host any subsequent project deliverable, as a coordinator, you can rest assured that the communication activities of your project remain consistent and efficient.
In an excellent example of a project collection, the EU-funded ICEDIG (Innovation and Consolidation for Large Scale Digitisation of Natural Heritage), led by several major natural history institutions, including the Natural History Museum of London, Naturalis Biodiversity Center (the Netherlands), the French National Museum of Natural History and Helsinki University, brought together policy briefs, project reports, research articles and review papers, in order to provide a fantastic overview of their own research continuum. As a result, future researchers and various stakeholders can easily piece together the key components within the project, in order to learn from, recreate or even build on the experience of ICEDIG.
Similarly, conference organisers can make use of their own branded collections to overcome the ephemerality of presented research by collating virtually all valuable conference outputs, including abstracts, posters, presentations, datasets and full-text conference talks. For further convenience, a collection can be divided into subcollections, in order to organise the contribution by type or symposium. What particularly appeals to conference participants is the ARPHA Writing Tool, an intuitive collaborative online environment, which practically guides the user through each step: authoring, submission and pre-submission review, within a set of pre-designed, yet flexible templates available for each type of a conference output, thus sparing them the hassle to familiarise themselves with specific and perplexing formatting requirements
For institutions, RIO offers the opportunity to continuously provide evidence of the scholarly impact of their organisation. To better serve the needs of different labs or research teams, an institution can easily organise their outputs into various subcollections, and also customise their own article types, as well as the available usage tracking systems. Furthermore, by making use of the available pre-paid plans, institutions can support their researchers by covering fully or partially the publication charges at a discounted rate.
Find more information regarding the submission and review process, policies and pricing, visit RIO Journal’s website.
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
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)
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)
Similarly, the second newly launched Journal of European Landscapesis 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.
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.
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 ScienceOpenin 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
This new trial between the two high-tech innovators and Open Science proponents presents an important step forward to making research publications not only easier to find and access, but also more inviting to fellow scientists seeking new collaborations and platforms for voicing their ideas and expertise.
Currently, there are 168 and 948 article records fed to ScienceOpen straight from RIO and Check List respectively.
While the articles’ underlying data, such as author names, citations, keywords, journals and more, are automatically harvested and analyzed by ScienceOpen, so that research items can be easily interlinked, readers are encouraged to further provide context to the research items. The user-friendly intuitive interface invites them to add their comments, recommendations or open post-publication peer reviews, and even create their own topical collections regardless of affiliations and journals.
To make sure users land on the most relevant articles in what feels like the blink of an eye compared to traditional methods, ScienceOpen also accommodates an advanced multi-layer search engine relying on a total of 20 smart filters and six sorting parameters.
“We have long worked closely with ScienceOpen, as it only makes sense given our shared vision for the future of academia, so the present trial project happened very naturally,” says Prof. Lyubomir Penev, founder and CEO of ARPHA and its developer – scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoft. “Nowadays, we are well aware that scientific findings are of little merit if ‘living’ in a vacuum. Therefore, we need research articles to be as discoverable as possible, and, no less importantly, to be open to feedback and further work.”
“We are thrilled to add this new content to the ScienceOpen as we have both strong researcher communities in zoology and in scholarly communications within our broadly interdisciplinary content. The ARPHA platform is a natural fit to deliver rich metadata to our discovery services and we are very much looking forward to working with their team,” says Stephanie Dawson, CEO of ScienceOpen.
ScienceOpen is an independent start-up company based in Berlin and Boston, which explores new ways to open up information for the scholarly community. It provides a freely accessible search and discovery platform that puts research in context. Smart filters, topical collections and expert input from the academic community help users to find the most relevant articles in their field and beyond.
While research outputs are being published at a rate greater than ever, it is becoming more and more likely to simply pass by the study that is most relevant to your particular interest. This is where ReadCube comes to aid. Now, thanks to the new partnership between ARPHAand ReadCube, all articles in the journals published on Pensoft‘s ARPHA platform, have been indexed and therefore, easily discoverable via ReadCube’s free web, desktop and mobile apps.
“Our mission is to ensure that scholarly literature is not only easily discoverable but also that each article itself is seen as a conduit for deeper discovery, not simply an endpoint,” said Robert McGrath, CEO at ReadCube. “This collaboration with Pensoft supports both these objectives, and we are thrilled to have them as a partner.”
In addition to advanced searchability, all Pensoft articles are also available in ReadCube’s Enhanced PDF format. While maintaining the simple and clean look of a standard PDF at first glance, Enhanced PDFs offer interactive feature connecting the reader to relevant information around the article including supplements, article metric, annotation tools, clickable in-line references and even hyperlinked author names which redirect readers to the author’s historical publications.
“I am pleased to see all journals published on ARPHA, which is to say not only the ones published by Pensoft, but also those that use our white-label journal publishing platform, being indexed by ReadCube,” said Pensoft’s founder and CEO Prof Lyubomir Penev. “As a strictly open-access publisher and technological provider with a strong background in semantic content enrichment, Pensoft has always strived to keep research as accessible and discoverable as possible. We are very pleased to collaborate with like-minded people who have their own innovative view on science to be on hand to anyone who asks for it.”
ReadCube develops software to make the world of research more accessible and connected – serving researchers, publishers, academic and commercial organizations.
ReadCube’s web, desktop, and mobile reference management apps, including the ReadCube and Papers brands, dramatically improve the ways researchers find, organize, read, share, and cite research literature
ReadCube’s publisher solutions, adopted by over 70 partners to date, include indexing via Readcube Discover, enhanced PDF viewing and sharing via ReadCube Connect, and article-level ecommerce via ReadCube Checkout.
Research Ideas & Outcomes (RIO), a new open access journal, is formally announced. The new journal represents a paradigm shift in academic publishing: for the first time, RIO will publish research from all stages of the research cycle, across a broad suite of disciplines, from humanities to science.
Traditional journals accept only articles produced at the end of the research continuum, long after the core work has been completed. RIO will publish ideas and outputs from all stages of the research cycle: proposals, experimental designs, data, software, research articles, project reports, policy briefs, project management plans and more.
The journal takes another step ahead with a collaborative platform that allows all ideas and outputs to be labelled with Impact Categories based upon UN Millennium Development Goals(MDGs) and EU Societal Challenges. These categories provide social impact-based labelling to help funders, journalists and the wider public discover and finance relevant research as well as to foster interdisciplinary collaboration around societal challenges.
These game-changing ideas come packed with technical innovation and unique features. The journal is published through ARPHA, the first publishing platform ever to support the full life cycle of a manuscript: from authoring to submission, public peer review, publication and dissemination, within a single, fully-integrated online collaborative environment. The new platform will also allow for RIO to offer one of the most transparent, open and public peer review processes, thus building trust in the reviewed outcomes.
These features come à la carte: RIO will offer flexible pricing where authors can choose exactly which publishing services fit their needs and budget. All its contents – including reviews and comments, data and code – will receive a persistent unique identifier, will be permanently archived and made available under open licenses without any access embargo.
“RIO is not just about different kinds of submissions, though that is a crucial feature and certainly unique for publishing ongoing or even proposed research: it is also about linking those submissions together across the research cycle, about reducing the time from submission to publication, about collaborative authoring and reviewing, about mapping to societal challenges, about technical innovation, about enabling reuse and about giving authors more choice in what features they actually want from the journal.” said Dr. Daniel Mietchen, a founding editor of RIO.
“I’m proud to pioneer the first journal which can publish research from all stages of the research process,” said Prof. Lyubomir Penev, Co-Founder of RIO and Pensoft. “For the first time, researchers can get formal publication credit for previously ‘hidden’ parts of their work like written research proposals. We can publish all outputs in one journal; the same journal – RIO.“
RIO is scheduled to start accepting manuscripts in November 2015.