Natural History Museum of Berlin’s Fossil Record journal started publishing on ARPHA Platform

Fossil Record – the paleontological scholarly journal of the Natural History Museum of Berlin (Museum für Naturkunde Berlin) published its first articles after moving to the academic publisher Pensoft and its publishing platform ARPHA in late 2021. The renowned scientific outlet – launched in 1998 – joined two other historical journals owned by the Museum: Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift and Zoosystematics and Evolution, which moved to Pensoft back in 2014.

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.

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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. 

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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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.