Pensoft’s ARPHA Publishing Platform integrates with OA Switchboard to streamline reporting to funders of open research

By the time authors open their inboxes to the message their work is online, a similar notification will have also reached their research funder.

Image credit: OA Switchboard.

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.

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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.

About Pensoft:

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.

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The first Red List of Taxonomists in Europe is calling for the support of insect specialists

The Red List of Taxonomists portal, where taxonomy experts in the field of entomology can register to help map and assess expertise across Europe, in order to provide action points necessary to overcome the risks, preserve and support this important scientific community, will remain open until 31st October 2021.

About 1,000 insect taxonomists – both professional and citizen scientists – from across the European region have already signed up on the Red List of Taxonomists, a recently launched European Commission-funded initiative by the Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities (CETAF), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the scholarly publisher best-known for its biodiversity-themed journals and high-tech innovations in biodiversity data publishing Pensoft.

Insect taxonomists, both professional and citizen scientists, are welcome to register on the Red List of Taxonomists portal at: red-list-taxonomists.eu and further disseminate the registration portal to fellow taxonomists until 31st October 2021.

Within the one-year project, the partners are to build a database of European taxonomy experts in the field of entomology and analyse the collected data to shed light on the trends in available expertise, including best or least studied insect taxa and geographic distribution of the scientists who are working on those groups. Then, they will present them to policy makers at the European Commission.

By recruiting as many as possible insect taxonomists from across Europe, the Red List of Taxonomists initiative will not only be able to identify taxa and countries, where the “extinction” of insect taxonomists has reached a critical point, but also create a robust knowledge base on taxonomic expertise across the European region to prompt further support and funding for taxonomy in the Old Continent.

On behalf of the project partners, we would like to express our immense gratitude to everyone who has self-declared as an insect taxonomist on the Red List of Taxonomists registration portal. Please feel welcome to share our call for participation with colleagues and social networks to achieve maximum engagement from everyone concerned about the future of taxonomy!

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Read more about the rationale of the Red List of Taxonomists project.

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Follow and join the conversation on Twitter using the #RedListTaxonomists hashtag. 

Revolutionary method could bring us much closer to the description of hyperdiverse faunas

A novel approach relying on a short sequence of mitochondrial DNA in conjunction with a lateral image of the holotype specimen was proposed to greatly accelerate species identification and description, especially when it comes to hyperdiverse taxa, such as parasitic wasps.

At today’s rate, it could take another two millennia for science to document all currently existing species of multicellular life

Two hundred and sixty-one years ago, Linnaeus formalized binomial nomenclature and the modern system of naming organisms. Since the time of his first publication, taxonomists have managed to describe 1.8 million of the estimated 8 to 25 million extant species of multicellular life, somewhere between 7% and 22%. At this rate, the task of treating all species would be accomplished sometime before the year 4,000. In an age of alarming environmental crises, where taking measures for the preservation of our planet’s ecosystems through efficient knowledge is becoming increasingly urgent, humanity cannot afford such dawdling.

“Clearly something needs to change to accelerate this rate, and in this publication we propose a novel approach that employs only a short sequence of mitochondrial DNA in conjunction with a lateral image of the holotype specimen,”

explain the researchers behind a new study, published in the open-access journal Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift (DEZ).
Description rate of parasitic wasps species (superfamily
Ichneumonoidea).
Data from Taxapad (Yu et al. 2016).

In standardized practices, it is required that experts conduct plenty of time- and labor-consuming analyses, in order to provide thorough descriptions of both the morphology and genetics of individual species, as well as a long list of characteristic features found to differentiate each from any previously known ones. However, the scientists argue, at this stage, it is impossible to pinpoint distinct morphological characters setting apart all currently known species from the numerous ones not yet encountered. To make matters worse, finding human and financial resources for performing this kind of detailed research is increasingly problematic.

This holds especially true when it comes to hyperdiverse groups, such as ichneumonoid parasitoid wasps: a group of tiny insects believed to comprise up to 1,000,000 species, of which only 44,000 were recognised as valid, according to 2016 data. In their role of parasitoids, these wasps have a key impact on ecosystem stability and diversity. Additionally, many species parasitise the larvae of commercially important pests, so understanding their diversity could help resolve essential issues in agriculture.

Meanwhile, providing a specific species-unique snippet of DNA alongside an image of the specimen used for the description of the species (i.e. holotype) could significantly accelerate the process. By providing a name for a species through a formal description, researchers would allow for their successors to easily build on their discoveries and eventually reach crucial scientific conclusions.

“If this style were to be adopted by a large portion of the taxonomic community, the mission of documenting Earth’s multicellular life could be accomplished in a few generations, provided these organisms are still here,”

say the authors of the study.

To exemplify their revolutionary approach, the scientists use their paper to also describe a total of 18 new species of wasps in two genera (Zelomorpha and Hemichoma) known from Área de Conservación Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Currently, the team works on the treatment of related species, which still comprise only a portion of the hundreds of thousands that remain unnamed.

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Original source:

Meierotto S, Sharkey MJ, Janzen DH, Hallwachs W, Hebert PDN, Chapman EG, Smith MA (2019) A revolutionary protocol to describe understudied hyperdiverse taxa and overcome the taxonomic impediment. Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 66(2): 119-145. https://doi.org/10.3897/dez.66.34683

The world’s 3rd oldest entomological journal Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift (DEZ) turns 160 years

Near the closure of an extremely successful year at Pensoft, we’re pleased to be part of yet another great celebration – the 160th anniversary of the Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift (DEZ) journal.

Being the third oldest of world’s currently existing entomological periodicals, the Museum für Naturkunde’s historical journal has never ceased to progressively make a difference in the world of systematic entomology, as well as science in general.

Originally founded in the distant 1857 under the name of Berliner Entomologische Zeitschrift by the young and dedicated visionary Ernst Gustav Kraatz and the Berliner Entomologischer Verein (BEV) society, the journal was intended to turn into the publishing platform of the soon to be established German Entomological Society (Deutsche Entomologische Gesellschaft).  

The journal managed to overcome a number of perils, which dominated the first fifty years of its existence. Those included two world wars, splitting of the society and personal controversies. Nevertheless, the title was only to rise like a phoenix from the ashes. In retrospect, the journal has published the astonishing total of 22,613 species new to science.

Most of the credit to all those glorious defeats goes to the Kraatz, who promoted a number of nomenclature rules and practices in entomology that scientists abide by to this day.

Amongst the latest steps in building DEZ’s excellent and solid reputation was joining the ranks of openly accessible academic titles when it moved to Pensoft – a scholarly publisher well-known for its dedication to transparent and easily discoverable open science.

In an era, where specimens were commonly kept in personal collections and curators could deny or allow access to material at their sole discretion, Kraatz was already a fervent proponent of inclusive and facilitated access to knowledge. It was his desire to help any entomology aficionado that made him plan and eventually establish the Entomological National Museum to bring together the collections and libraries of all German entomologists. The institution is still standing today under the name of DEI – Deutsches Entomologisches Institut.

“It would have certainly pleased Gustav Kraatz that since the transfer of the DEZ to open access with Pensoft in 2014 all articles are freely accessible to anyone anywhere in the world, likewise facilitating the access to knowledge,” says the journal’s Editor-in-Chief Dr. Dominique Zimmermann.

Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift is the journal I’ve grown up with as entomologist some 30 years ago,” adds Prof. Lyubomir Penev, Pensoft’s founder and CEO. “At that time it was published in East Germany, hence it was easy to access, read and publish with if you were an Eastern European scientist. It’s delightful for me to be part of this iconic title’s journey on the road to next-generation technology, innovation and openness.”

At Pensoft, we would like to congratulate all editors, authors and reviewers of DEZ for yet another conquered milestone and express our deepest gratitude for sharing this marvelous achievement with us.

We are looking forward to many more decades of disseminating the finest of entomological research with the world!

A special Editorial was recently published in DEZ to celebrate the anniversary and conclude the journal for 2017.

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New blind and rare planthopper species and genus dwells exclusively in a Brazilian cave

This cave planthopper species new to science is only the second dwelling exclusively in the subterranean depths of Brazil from its family. Surviving without seeing the light of the day at any point of its life, this species has neither the eyes, nor the vivid colouration, nor the functional wings typical for its relatives.

Yet, these are only part of the reasons why the new planthopper needed to have a separate new genus established for itself. The new species is described by a research team from the Center of Studies on Subterranean Biology, Brazil, in the open access journal Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift.

The planthopper is called Iuiuia caeca, with the genus name (Iuiuia) referring to the locality, where it was found, and its species name (caeca) translating to ‘blind’ in Latin. It is predominantly yellowish insect that measures only 3 mm, which is small even by planthopper standards.

At first glance, the new cave planthopper appears as if it has been hiding from human eyes all along. So far, it has been located in a single cave in the Iuiú municipality, Bahia state, Brazil, where the team of Prof. Rodrigo Ferreira, Federal University of Lavras (UFLA), Brazil, spotted the insect. He then contacted cave planthopper specialist at the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, Prof. Hannelore Hoch, and collaboratively they decided to document and describe the new species. The limestone cave is yet to be fully explored since it floods during the rainy periods.Image 2

In the meantime, the cave’s only entrance is a small opening, which, on the other hand, clearly imposes a huge stability to the atmosphere. Moreover, although the researchers visited the cave on five occasions, they managed to find the species on two of them only. The planthopper was nowhere to be find in the neighbouring subterranean habitats either, which strongly suggests that it is a rare short-range endemic.

Being such a rarity, the blind new planthopper ought to be on the conservation radar. Although the scientists did not notice any signs of the cave having ever been visited by humans before; and its immediate surroundings have not been impacted by mining activities, yet, such threat is not to be excluded. In fact, the area is being currently evaluated for its potential for limestone extraction.

“It is to be hoped that legal measures for the conservation of the subterranean fauna of Brazil – which constitutes one of the country’s unique biological resources – will be developed and consequently reinforced,” conclude the authors.

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Original source:

Hoch H, Ferreira RL (2016) Iuiuia caeca gen. n., sp. n., a new troglobitic planthopper in the family Kinnaridae (Hemiptera, Fulgoromorpha) from Brazil. Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift63(2): 171-181. doi: 10.3897/dez.63.8432