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.
Long past are the days where a journal’s role was to merely provide a means to getting a piece of research work out of a drawer and into the wide world. Today, a modern journal with demonstrable online presence and a distinct ‘character’ may as well be seen as a social network in its own right, which brings together a community of frequent readers, authors, reviewers and dedicated editors.
At ARPHA, we believe that this is the time to support and give voice to these very special communities by getting to know each other and sharing and celebrating their achievements. After all, it’s strong and active communities that foster collaboration, recognition and real-life impact.
Revamped journal newsletters
Journal readers subscribe to New Article alertsto stay updated about new research papers as they are published in a trusted scholarly outlet. Yet, having subscribed to notifications from a particular title – or a selection of similar titles – means that those users – typically authors, editors or active researchers in the field – might also be interested in learning about the journal’s latest Scopus CitesCore or Impact Factor; article collections calling for contributions; or new additions to the editorial board. All of these could be extremely useful to consider before submitting a paper, applying for the editorial board or simply updating a “to-read” list.
Thanks to the visually appealing look and clickable section tabs, newsletter subscribers can easily navigate through the email and explore its content at a glance.
Find instructions about how to update your profile and set up your email alerts in the ARPHA Manual.
‘Post your news’ button
As wholesome communication is a two-way experience, we decided to support journals published on ARPHA in setting up the stage for their users to voice their activities. By adopting the Post your news button, many of the journals introduced a simple form accessible to registered users, where they can update the community about basically everything that’s relevant to the journal and its scope.
Particularly, the feature is useful to introduce new members of the editorial board; seek out collaborators; promote an upcoming scientific event; or celebrate the far-reaching impact and recognition of one’s research work published in the journal. Once approved by a moderator, the news item is featured in the journal’s designated News section on its website’s homepage and its newsletter.
A simple, yet effective way to celebrate the impact of a particular publication is having the journal’s editors pinpoint the paper as an Editor’s choice. While many journals have traditionally been awarding articles and their authors with similar recognitions, it is not often that anyone is aware of those outside of the editorial board and the awardees themselves.
As a practical solution, we introduced customisable badges that can be added next to an article’s title, and allow a journal’s editors to highlight the best contributions.
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.
Two years ago the publishing platform, developed by the scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoft, welcomedMoscow State University’s journal Population and Economics. Now, ARPHA announces the transfer of a second academic title published by the institution’s Faculty of Economics. The peer-reviewed, open-access BRICS Journal of Economics covers key economic issues of middle-income developing countries, primarily BRICS countries.
BRICS Journal of Economics is a fairly new scientific outlet launched in 2020 with the aim to provide a better understanding of the specifics of the BRICS countries (China, Russia, Brazil, India, and South Africa), as well as a broader knowledge about the prospects emerging in those constantly growing economies. It publishes four issues per year, where all articles are submitted in English and undergo double-blind peer review. Thanks to sponsorship available from one of the leading universal banks of Russia: VTB Bank, it runs a Diamond Open Access policy, where neither reading, nor publishing incurs any costs to readers and authors.
With its move to ARPHA, BRICS Journal of Economics is to utilise the whole package of ARPHA Platform’s signature services, including a fast-track, end-to-end publishing module, designed to appeal to readers, authors, reviewers and editors alike.
Soon, the journal will relaunch on its brand new ARPHA-powered website, where authors, editors and reviewers will find and track the progress of all of their tasks, files and correspondence, in addition to the infrastructure needed to complete every step along the editorial process. Put simply, once submitted, a manuscript has no need to leave the online, collaborative-friendly platform all the way to its publication, dissemination and archiving.
On their part, the readers of BRICS Journal of Economics will enjoy the publications in a conventional PDF format that allows easier storage, as well as semantically enriched HTML. The latter ensures a complete and mobile-friendly reading experience by relying on easier navigation and plenty of related additional linked information within the article’s text. Meanwhile, the third utilised format: the machine-readable JATS XML will make the publications much more visible and findable to both humans searching on the Internet and algorithms mining the web.
Amongst the other advantages provided by the journal is a full suite of various metrics designed to track the usage of both articles and sub-article elements, such as figures and tables, at any time.
About Faculty of Economics, Lomonosov Moscow State University:
Founded in 1941, the Faculty of Economics continues the centuries-old tradition of economic education in Russia, being one of the leading university-level centres in the field of Economics.
The faculty combines fundamental education and professional training in order to develop its students’ analytical skills and creative thinking, thereby helping its graduates to adapt quickly and successfully to the requirements of any job in the field of economics.
About Lomonosov Moscow State University:
Founded in 1755 by Russian polymath, scientist and writer Mikhail Lomonosov, the university is currently the highest-ranking Russian educational institution, according to the 2018 QS World University Rankings. It is also considered to be the most prestigious university in the former Soviet Union.
Every year Moscow University enrolls about 4 000 international students and postgraduates from all over the world.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Having long considered how to help authors at our client journals get their work out in the open as early as possible, and prompted by the current research ecosystem, we came up with a new landmark feature, the ARPHA Preprints, where the preparation and posting of a preprint would be as much of a hassle as ticking a couple of check-boxes. Posting a preprint is an optional service for both journals and authors.
ARPHA Preprints in short
ARPHA Preprints is a new platform designed by ARPHA and Pensoft to host pre-review manuscripts submitted to participating ARPHA-hosted journals. The key here is that it only takes a few clicks for the author to submit a preprint, and no more than a few days before the preprint becomes accessible on ARPHA Preprints, thus open to feedback and contribution by fellow scientists.
Once the associated manuscript successfully completes peer review in the ARPHA-hosted journal and gets published, the preprint will be conveniently linked to the formal paper, thus facilitating and prompting citation of peer-reviewed research.
Visit ARPHA Preprints website to see the growing list of ARPHA-hosted journals integrated with ARPHA Preprints to date.
ARPHA Preprints in practice
During submission at any of the journals that have been integrated with ARPHA Preprints, an author will come to a question asking them whether they wish to post a preprint. If they check that box and agree to the terms and conditions of posting a preprint, the platform will use the files uploaded to compile a preprint in PDF format. Here, the author will be able to preview the file and either agree they are happy with how it looks, or, alternatively, replace it with their own copy. The bottom line is, the manuscript and the preprint are submitted simultaneously.
At this point, it is only one to a few days keeping the preprint away from public knowledge. This time is needed for the submission to undergo a basic screening, meant to verify that it complies with the journal’s focus and scope, and does not contain offensive language, pseudoscience, plagiarism or any other unethical content.
When posted, preprints indicate the name of the journal, where the associated manuscript has been submitted. If published in that journal, this status changes to Published, while a link and citation details to the formal publication are provided via DOI and the Citation tab, respectively. This means that whenever a reader finds information in the preprint he/she would like to cite in their own work, he/she will have easy to spot, intuitive access to the peer-reviewed paper. If the manuscript is rejected on this occasion, the preprint is disassociated from the journal to prevent potential issues with future resubmission.
Preprints are open to public as well as private comments, in order to encourage constructive feedback and contribution well before the formal publication sees the light of the day.
ARPHA Preprints extra perks
Preprints posted on ARPHA Preprints are:
Registered with CrossRef and assigned with their own digital object identifier (DOI) to ensure scientific record and permanent availability;
Indexed in several indexing services covering preprints to increase findability;
Now, VCS is officially online with the publication of its first six research articles and an exhaustive editorial, written by its four Chief Editors: Prof Dr Florian Jansen, Dr Idoia Biurrun, Prof Dr Jürgen Dengler and Dr Wolfgang Willner. They explain the mission and key features of the new journal. They also address the advantages and challenges of Open Access and share the ways VCS is to handle those.
VCS focuses on vegetation typologies and vegetation classification systems, their methodological foundation, development and application at any organisational and spatial scale. No restrictions are imposed on the methodological approaches used.
Apart from original research papers that develop new vegetation typologies, the journal publishes applied studies that use such typologies, for example, in vegetation mapping, ecosystem modelling, nature conservation, land use management, or monitoring. Particularly encouraged are methodological studies that design and compare tools or algorithms for vegetation classification and mapping, vegetation databases and nomenclatural principles. Papers dealing with conceptual and theoretical bases of vegetation survey and classification are also welcome.
“We are delighted to welcome the latest journal by IAVS to the families of ARPHA and Pensoft. We are eager to support this wonderful Open Science initiative to facilitate access and uptake of research in this emerging field of vegetation science,”
comments Prof Lyubomir Penev, founder and CEO of ARPHA and Pensoft.
Amongst the appealing features of the new journal are its two permanent special collections: Ecoinformatics and Phytosociological Nomenclature. The former invites papers presenting vegetation-plot databases and other ecoinformatics data sources relevant for vegetation classification as well as concepts, methods and tools for using these, while the latter focuses on nomenclature issues of syntaxa.
Another novelty introduced by VCS is the implementation of double-blind peer review meant to reduce potential biases in academia.
Proving the international focus of VCS, the first published articles cover research from five continents.
A Chinese study, conducted by the team of Dr Cindy Q. Tang (Yunnan University) analyses the forest structure, regeneration and growth trends of the commercially, culturally and economically important Yunnan pine tree.
The research team of Maged Abutaha (Desert Research Center) provides the first phytosociological classification of the vegetation units of Gebel Elba – an important arid mountain in Egypt – and the environmental factors controlling their distribution.
In their paper, Dr John Hunter (University of New England) and Vanessa Hunter use unsupervised techniques to produce a hierarchical classification of montane mires within the New England Tablelands Bioregion (NETB) of eastern Australia.
A Finite Mixture Model is proposed as an additional approach for classifying large datasets of georeferenced vegetation plots from complex vegetation systems by a large research team, led by Dr Fabio Attorre of the Sapienza University of Rome.
A description of the remaining native vegetation of the Espinal province in central Argentina, presented by a research team, led by Dr Sebastián Zeballos (Instituto Multidisciplinario de Biología Vegetal, UNC-CONICET), calls for conservation measures to be taken to preserve the remaining forest patches. They also urge for the establishment of new protected natural areas.
“We would like to see more profound vegetation studies from species-rich regions, from both natural and anthropogenically influenced vegetation types,”
say the editors.
Thanks to support from IAVS, VCS will be offering particularly attractive article processing charges (APCs) for submissions during the first two years. Moreover, significant discounts are available for IAVS members, members of the Editorial team and authors from low-income countries or with other financial constraints.
Check out the official blog of the International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS), where authors in any of the three IAVS journals are invited to submit blog contributions providing further insights into their work.
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.
Neotropical Biology & Conservation welcomes research and review articles, short communications and commentaries on the biology and behaviour of organisms from the tropical ecoregions of the Americas and the entire South America. Special emphasis is given to papers that demonstrate the application of conservation principles for natural resource management and policy. Manuscripts can be published in Portuguese, as well as English, where an English-language abstract is mandatory.
Beyond Neotropical Biology & Conservation‘s new glossy and user-friendly appearance, the Pensoft-developed scholarly platform ARPHA provides its signature fast-track, end-to-end publishing system to the benefit of its users: authors, reviewers and editors alike. Thereby, each submitted manuscript is carried through the review, editing, publication, dissemination and archiving stages without leaving ARPHA’s collaboration-centred online environment. The articles are available in PDF and machine-readable XML formats, so that they are easy to discover, access, cite and reuse.
Editor-in-Chief of Neotropical Biology & Conservation Dr Ana Maria Leal-Zanchet, says:
“It’s an honour for the Editorial board of Neotropical Biology & Conservation that the journal becomes a member of the Pensoft/ARPHA team. This journal was born as Acta Biologica Leopoldensia, which was published by Unisinos between 1979 and 2005. Since 2006 Neotropical Biology & Conservation continued the tradition of this former journal, publishing articles from all around Brazil, and even enhancing its coverage to other parts of the Neotropics. In recent years, the scientific community that uses our journal as a venue to disseminate their research results has been continuously increasing. We maintain our commitment to disseminate scientific findings through open access and to continue pursuing a sustainable international growth. I am sure that the user-friendly ARPHA’s publishing system and the great support of the Pensoft team will please authors, reviewers and the Editorial board of the journal, enhancing the efficiency, quality and swiftness of publishing, as well as the international visibility of Neotropical Biology & Conservation.”
ARPHA’s and Pensoft’s founder and CEO Prof Lyubomir Penev says:
“I’m delighted to welcome Neotropical Biology & Conservation to the Pensoft/ARPHA family, where the journal not only feels at home amongst predominantly biodiversity-themed titles, but also comes to complement another two Brazil-born journals: Check List, which publishes biogeographical data, especially for the use of biodiversity conservation, and Zoologia: mostly focusing on systematics, evolution and taxonomy in the field of Zoology. With this kind of background and the constantly expanding high-tech functions of ARPHA, I’m certain that we are fully equipped to build on the image and success of Neotropical Biology & Conservation.”
What’s on in the first issue?
Amongst the 11 articles in the first issue of Neotropical Biology & Conservation, there is the study by Dr Lucas Porto (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul) and Dr Ana Maria Rui (Universidade Federal de Pelotas), which observes Crab-eating and Pampas foxes in southern Brazil for a year to compare the diets and habitat uses of the two sympatric species. Curiously, the canids demonstrated a high overlap of their diets at all times, with the exception of autumn.
Another paper, authored by a research team from the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Goiano and the Federal University of Goiás, describes the frequency, occurrence status and activity period of the most common medium- and large-sized mammals living in the world’s most biodiverse savanna: Brazil’s Cerrado. Namely, subjects of the study were the Giant anteater, Nine-banded armadillo, South American tapir, Crab-eating fox and Lowland paca, where the largest species were found to have the greatest variation in time period of activity.