While insect populations continue to decline, taxonomic expertise in Europe is at serious risk, confirms data obtained within the European Red List of Insect Taxonomists, a recent study commissioned by the European Union.
Expertise tends to be particularly poor in the countries with the richest biodiversity, while taxonomists are predominantly male and ageing
While insect populations continue to decline, taxonomic expertise in Europe is at serious risk, confirms data obtained within the European Red List of Insect Taxonomists, a recent study commissioned by the European Union.
Scientists who specialise in the identification and discovery of insect species – also known as insect taxonomists – are declining across Europe, highlights the newly released report by CETAF, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Pensoft. The authors of this report represent different perspectives within biodiversity science, including natural history and research institutions, nature conservation, academia and scientific publishing.
Despite the global significance of its taxonomic collections, Europe has been losing taxonomic expertise at such a rate that, at the moment nearly half (41.4%) of the insect orders are not covered by a sufficient number of scientists. If only EU countries are counted, the number looks only slightly more positive (34.5%). Even the four largest insect orders: beetles (Coleoptera), moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera), flies (Diptera) and wasps, bees, ants and sawflies (Hymenoptera) are only adequately ‘covered’ in a fraction of the countries.
To obtain details about the number, location and productivity of insect taxonomists, the team extracted information from thousands of peer-reviewed research articles published in the last decade, queried the most important scientific databases and reached out to over fifty natural science institutions and their networks. Furthermore, a dedicated campaign reached out to individual researchers through multiple communication channels. As a result, more than 1,500 taxonomists responded by filling in a self-declaration survey to provide information about their personal and academic profile, qualification and activities.
Then, the collected information was assessed against numerical criteria to classify the scientists into categories similar to those used by the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM. In the European List of Insect Taxonomists, these range from Eroded Capacity (equivalent to Extinct) to Adequate Capacity (equivalent to Least Concern). The assessment was applied to the 29 insect orders (i.e. beetles, moths and butterflies etc.) to figure out which insect groups the society, conservation practitioners and decision-makers need not be concerned at this point.
On a country level, the results showed that Czechia, Germany and Russia demonstrate the most adequate coverage of insect groups. Meanwhile, Albania, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Luxembourg, Latvia, Ireland and Malta turned out to be the ones with insufficient number of taxonomists.
In most cases, the availability of experts seems to correlate to GDP, as wealthiest countries tend to invest more in their scientific institutions.
What is particularly worrying is that the lack of taxonomic expertise is more evident in the countries with the greatest species diversity. This trend may cause even more significant problems in the knowledge and conservation of these species, further aggravating the situation. Thus, the report provides further evidence about a global pattern where the countries richest in biodiversity are also the ones poorest in financial and human resources.
Other concerning trends revealed in the new report are that the community of taxonomists is also ageing and – especially in the older groups – male-dominated (82%).
“One reason to have fewer young taxonomists could be due to limited opportunities for professional training (…), and the fact that not all professional taxonomists provide it, as a significant number of taxonomists are employed by museums and their opportunities for interaction with university students is probably not optimal. Gender bias is very likely caused by multiple factors, including fewer opportunities for women to be exposed to taxonomic research and gain an interest, unequal offer of career opportunities and hiring decisions. A fair-playing field for all genders will be crucial to address these shortcomings and close the gap.”
comments Ana Casino, CETAF’s Executive Director.
The European Red List of Taxonomists concludes with practical recommendations concerning strategic, science and societal priorities, addressed to specific decision-makers.
The authors give practical examples and potential solutions in support of their call to action.
For instance, in order to develop targeted and sustainable funding mechanisms to support taxonomy, they propose the launch of regular targeted Horizon Europe calls to study important insect groups for which taxonomic capacity has been identified to be at a particularly high risk of erosion.
To address specific gaps in expertise – such as the ones reported in the publication from Romania – a country known for its rich insect diversity, yet poor in taxonomic expertise – the consortium proposes the establishment of a natural history museum or entomological research institute that is well-fitted to serve as a taxonomic facility.
Amongst the scientific recommendations, the authors propose measures to ensure better recognition of taxonomic work at a multidisciplinary level. The scientific community, including disciplines that use taxonomic research, such as molecular biology, medicine and agriculture – need to embrace universal standards and rigorous conduct for the correct citation of scientific publications by insect taxonomists.
Societal engagement is another important call. “It is pivotal to widely raise awareness of the value and impact of taxonomy and the work of taxonomists. We must motivate young generations to join the scientific community” points Prof. Lyubomir Penev, Managing Director of Pensoft.
“Understanding taxonomy is a key to understanding the extinction risk of species. If we strategically target the gaps in expert capacity that this European Red List identifies, we can better protect biodiversity and support the well-being and livelihoods of our societies. With the climate crisis at hand, there is no time left to waste,”
added David Allen from the IUCN Red List team.
“As a dedicated supporter of the IUCN Red List, I am inspired by this call to strengthen the capacity, guided by evidence and proven scientific methods. However, Europe has much more scientific capacity than most biodiversity-rich regions of the world. So, what this report particularly highlights is the need for massively increasing investment in scientific discovery, and building taxonomic expertise, around the world,”
said Jon Paul Rodríguez, Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission.
On this occasion full of sweet memories, we are also inviting you to complete this 3-minute survey. We would deeply appreciate your invaluable feedback!
It was in late 1992 when biologist and ecologist Prof Dr Lyubomir Penev in a collaboration with his friend Prof. Sergei Golovatch established Pensoft: a scholarly publisher with the ambition to contribute to novel and even revolutionary methods in academic publishing by applying its own approach to how science is published, shared and used. Inspired by the world’s best practices in the field, Pensoft would never cease to view the issues and gaps in scholarly publishing in line with its slogan: “by scientists, for scientists”.
As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Pensoft, we are asking ourselves: What’s a tree without its roots?
That’s why we’ve put up an attractive timeline of Pensoft’s milestones on our website, and complemented it with some key figures, in an attempt to translate those years into numbers. Yet, one can say only that much in figures. Below, we’ll give a bit more context and background about Pensoft’s key milestones.
1994: Pensoft publishes its first book & book series
In time for New Year’s Day in 1994, we published the first book bearing the name of Pensoft. The catalogue of the sheet weaver spiders (Lyniphiidae) of Northern Asia did not only set the beginning of the publishing activities of Pensoft, but also started the extensive Pensoft Series Faunistica, which continues to this day, and currently counts over 120 titles.
2003: Pensoft joins its first EU-funded research project
By 2003, we were well-decided to expand our activities toward participation in collaborative, multinational projects, thereby building on our mission to shed light and communicate the latest scientific work done.
By participating in the FP6-funded project ALARM (abbreviation for Assessing LArge-scale environmental Risks with tested Methods), coordinated by Dr. Joseph Settele from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (Germany), we would start contributing to the making of science itself in close collaboration with another 67 institutions from across Europe. Our role at ALARM during the five years of the duration of the project was to disseminate and communicate the project outcome. At the end of the project, we also produced the highly appreciated within the community Atlas of Biodiversity Risk.
As for today, 19 years later, Pensoft has taken part in 40 research projects as a provider of various services ranging from data & knowledge management and next-generation open access publishing; to communication, dissemination and (web)design; to stakeholder engagement; consultations; and event and project management.
Our project activities culminated last year, when we became the coordinator of a large and exciting BiCIKL project, dedicated to access to and linking of biodiversity data along the entire data and research life cycle.
2008: Pensoft launches its first scholarly journal to revolutionise & accelerate biodiversity research
Openly accessible and digital-first since the very start, the ZooKeys journal was born on a sunny morning in California during the Entomological Society of America meeting in 2007, when Prof Lyubomir Penev and his renowned colleague Dr Terry Erwin from the Smithsonian Institution agreed over breakfast that zoologists from around the world could indeed use a new-age taxonomic journal. What the community at the time was missing was a scholarly outlet that would not only present a smooth fast track for their research papers, while abiding by the highest and most novel standards in the field, but do so freely and openly to any reader at any time and in any place. Fast forward to 2021, ZooKeys remains the most prolific open-access journal in zoology.
With over 1,100 volumes published to date, ZooKeys is one of our most renowned journals with its own curious and intriguing history. You can find more about it in the celebratory blog post we published on the occasion of the journal’s 1,000th volume in late 2020.
At the time of writing, Pensoft has 21 journals under its own belt, co-publishes another 16, and provides its self-developed journal management platform ARPHA to another 35 scholarly outlets.
2010a: Pensoft launches its first journal publishing platform
By 2010, we realised that the main hurdle holding our progress as a next-age publisher of scientific knowledge was posed by the technology – or lack thereof – underlying the publishing process. We figured that – in our position of users – we were best equipped to figure what exactly this backbone structure should be made of.
This is when we released the publishing platform TRIADA, which was able to support both the editorial and the publication processes at our journals. This was also the point in time when we added “technology provider” to the Pensoft’s byline. Surely, we had so many ideas in our mind and TRIADA was only the beginning!
2010b: In the 50th issue of ZooKeys, Pensoft publishes the first semantically enhanced biodiversity research papers
Later the same year, TRIADA let us write some history. The 50th volume of ZooKeys wasn’t only special because of its number. It contained the first scholarly papers in the study of biodiversity featuring semantic enrichments.
The novelty that keeps a taxon only a click away from a list of related data, including its occurrences, genomics data, treatments, literature etc. is a feature that remains a favourite to our journals’ users to this very day. Unique to date, this workflow is one of the many outcomes of our fantastic long-time collaboration and friendship with Plazi.
2011: Journal of Hymenoptera Research becomes the first society journal to move to Pensoft
Three years after the launch of the very first Pensoft journal, we received a request from the International Society of Hymenopterists who wanted for their own journal: the Journal of Hymenoptera Research to follow the example of ZooKeys and provide to their authors, editors and readers a similar set of services and features designed to streamline biodiversity knowledge in a modern, user-friendly and highly efficient manner.
Ever since, the journal has been co-published by the Society and Pensoft, and enjoyed growing popularity and appeal amongst hymenopterists from around the world.
2013: Pensoft replaces TRIADA with its own in-house built innovative ARPHA Platform
As we said, TRIADA was merely the crude foundation of what was to become the ARPHA publishing platform: a publishing solution providing a lot more than an end-to-end entirely online environment to support the whole publishing process on both journal and article level.
On top of that, ARPHA’s publishing package includes a variety of automated and manually provided services, web service integrations and highly customisable features. With all of those, we aimed at one thing only: create a comprehensive scholarly publishing solution to our own dearest journals and all their users.
2013b: Pensoft develops an XML-based writing tool
Having just unveiled ARPHA Platform, we were quite confident that we have developed a pretty all-in publishing solution. Our journals would be launched, set up, hosted and upgraded safely under our watchful eye, while authors, editors and reviewers would need to send not a single email or a file outside of our collaborative environment from the moment they submit a manuscript to the moment they see it published, indexed and archived at all relevant databases.
Yet, we could still spot a gap left to bridge. The Pensoft Writing Tool (or what is now known as the ARPHA Writing Tool or AWT) provides a space where researchers can do the authoring itself prior to submitting a manuscript straight to the journal. It all happens within the tool, with co-authors, external collaborators, reviewers and editors all able to contribute to the same manuscript file. Due to the XML technology underlying AWT, various data(sets) and references can be easily imported in a few clicks, while a list of templates and content management features lets researchers spend their time and efforts on their scientific work rather than format requirements.
2015: Pensoft launches the open-science RIO Journal
Six years ago, amid heated discussions over the pros and cons of releasing scientific knowledge freely to all, we felt it’s time to push the boundaries even further.
No wonder that, at the time, a scholarly journal with the aim to bring to light ‘alternative’ research outputs from along the whole research process, such as grant proposals, project and workshop reports, data management plans and research ideas amongst many others, was seen as quite brave and revolutionary. Long story short, a year after its launch, RIO earned the honorary recognition from the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) to be named an Open Science Innovator.
Learn about the key milestones and achievements at RIO Journal to date – in addition to its future goals – in the special blog post and the editorial published on the occasion of the journal’s fifth anniversary.
2016: Pensoft provides ARPHA Platform as a white-label journal publishing solution for the first time
Led by our intrinsic understanding for scholars and smaller publishers, we saw the need of many journals and their owners to simultaneously secure a user-friendly and sustainable publishing solution for their scientific outlets. This is why we decided to also offer our ARPHA Platform as a standalone package of technology, services and features, dissociated with Pensoft as a publisher. This option is particularly useful for university presses, learned societies and institutions who would rather stick to exclusivity when it comes to their journal’s branding and imprint.
2017: Pensoft launches its conference-dedicated platforms for abstracts and proceedings
Another step forward to encompassing the whole spectrum of research outputs was to take care after conference materials: proceedings and abstracts. Once again, our thinking was that all scientific work and efforts need to be made openly available, accessible, reusable and creditable.
Both ARPHA Conference Abstracts and ARPHA Proceedings allow for organisers to conveniently bring the publications together in a conference-branded collection, thereby providing a one-stop permanent access point to all content submitted and presented at a particular event, alongside associated data, images, videos and multimedia, video recordings of conference talks or graphic files of poster presentations.
Publications at both platforms benefit from all key advantages available to conventional research papers at a Pensoft journal, such as registration at Crossref and individual DOI; publication in PDF, semantically enhanced HTML and data-minable XML formats; indexing and archiving at multiple major databases; science communications services.
2019: Pensoft develops the OpenBiodiv Knowledge Graph
As firm believers in the power and future of linked and FAIR data, at Pensoft we realise there is still a great gap in the way biodiversity data is collated, stored, accessed and made available to researchers and key stakeholders for further reuse.
In fact, this is an area within biodiversity research that is in dire need of a revolutionary mechanism to provide a readily available and convenient hub that allows a researcher to access all related data via multi-directional links interconnecting various and standardised databases, in accordance with the Web 2.0 principles.
As the first step in that direction, in 2019, we launched the OpenBiodiv Knowledge Graph, which began to collate various types of biodiversity data as extracted from semantically enhanced articles published by Pensoft and taxonomic treatments harvested by Plazi.
Since then, the OpenBiodiv Knowledge Graph has evolved into the Open Biodiversity Knowledgement Management System (OBKMS), which also comprises a Linked Open Dataset, an ontology and а website. Our work on the OBKMS continues to this day, fueled by just as much enthusiasm as in those early days in 2019.
2020: Pensoft launches ARPHA Preprints
By 2020, a number of factors and issues that had long persisted within scholarly publishing and academia had already triggered the emergence of multiple preprint servers. Yet, the onset of the unprecedented for our age COVID-19 pandemic, seemed like the final straw that made everyone realise we needed to start uncovering early scientific work, and we needed to do that fast.
At the time, we had already been considering applying the Pensoft approach to preprints. So, we came up with a solution that could seamlessly blend into our existing infrastructure.
Offered as an opt-in service to journals published on the ARPHA Platform, ARPHA Preprints allows for authors to check a box and post their manuscripts as a preprint as they are filling in the submission form at a participating journal.
Learn more about ARPHA Preprints on the ARPHA blog.
2021a: RIO Journal expands into a project-driven knowledge hub
Ever since its launch, RIO had been devised as the ultimate scholarly venue to share the early, intermediate and final results of a research project. While collections at the journal had already been put in good use, we still had what to add, so that we could provide a one-stop place for consortia to permanently store their outputs and make them easily discoverable and accessible long after their project had concluded.
With the upgraded collections, their owners received the oppotunity to also add various research publications – including scholarly articles published elsewhere, author-formatted documents and preprints. In the former case, the article is visualised within the collection at RIO via a link to its original source, while in the latter, it is submitted and published via ARPHA Preprints.
2021b: Pensoft becomes a coordinator of the BiCIKL project
Over the years, we have been partnering with many like-minded innovators and their institutions from across the natural science community. Surely, we hadn’t successfully developed all those technologies and workflows without their invaluable feedback and collaborations.
In 2021, our shared passion and vision about the future of research data availability and usage culminated in the project BiCIKL (abbreviation for Biodiversity Community Integrated Knowledge Library), which was granted funding by the European Commission and will run until April 2024.
Within BiCIKL, our team of 14 European institutions are deploying and improving our own and partnering infrastructures to bridge gaps between each other’s biodiversity data types and classes with the ultimate goal to provide flawless access to data across all stages of the research cycle. By the end of the project, together we will have created the first-of-its-kind Biodiversity Knowledge Hub, where a researcher will be able to retrieve a full set of linked and open biodiversity data.
Naturally, being a coordinator of such a huge endeavour towards revolutionising biodiversity science is a great honour by itself.
For us, though, this project has a special place in our hearts, as it perfectly resonates with the very reason why we are here: publishing and sharing science in the most efficient and user-friendly manner.
Led by our values that have always – above all – been grounded on collaboration, appreciation and friendship with no borders, at Pensoft, we wish to express our deepest regret, sympathy and support to all who have unwillingly been involved in the devastating humanitarian crisis, caused by the Russian invasion in Ukraine. We condemn all actions that have caused human lives to be lost or wrecked, families to be separated, homes to be demolished and millions to seek shelter!
This crisis has already had a devastating impact on scientific endeavors, collaboration and progress. Therefore, until the conflict is resolved, we offer our support to all our colleagues in science who have been affected by the war and stand up for peace, by providing:
Employment to Ukrainian refugees holding qualifications suitable for our company.
Waivers for publications by researchers affiliated with Ukrainian institutions.
We appeal to national leaders to end this conflict through negotiation in the name of global peace and humanity!
With over 2050 known species, Begonia is one of the largest plant genera. Since most begonias are small weeds, a begonia taller than a human is a very unusual sight. However, the newly discovered Begonia giganticaulis is one of the few exceptions.
In 2019, Dr. Daike Tian and his colleagues initiated a field survey on wild begonias in Tibet, China. On September 10, 2020, when Dr. Tian saw a huge begonia in full bloom during surveys in the county of Mêdog, he got instantly excited. After checking its flowers, he was confident it represented a new species.
From a small population with a few dozens of individuals, Dr. Tian collected two of the tallest ones to measure them and prepare specimens necessary for further study. One of them was 3.6 meters tall, the thickest part of its ground stem close to 12 cm in diameter. To measure it correctly, he had to ask the driver to stand on top of the vehicle. In order to carry them back to Shanghai and prepare dry specimens, Dr. Tian had to cut each plant into four sections.
To date, this plant is the tallest begonia recorded in the whole of Asia.
Begonia giganticaulis, recently described as a new species in the peer-reviewed journal PhytoKeys, grows on slopes under forests along streams at elevation of 450–1400 m. It is fragmentally distributed in southern Tibet, which was one of the reasons that its conservation status was assigned to Endangered according to the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria.
After being dried at a herbarium and mounted on a large board, the dried specimen was measured at 3.1 m tall and 2.5 m wide. To our knowledge, this is the world’s largest specimen of a Begonia species. In October 2020, the visitors who saw it at the first Chinese begonia show in Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden were shocked by its huge size.
Currently, the staff of Chenshan Herbarium is applying for Guinness World Records for this specimen.
Tian D-K, Wang W-G, Dong L-N, Xiao Y, Zheng M-M, Ge B-J (2021) A new species (Begonia giganticaulis) of Begoniaceae from southern Xizang (Tibet) of China. PhytoKeys 187: 189-205.https://doi.org/10.3897/phytokeys.187.75854
A collection of thirteen research papers has been published to address the conservation of saproxylic beetles and other insects listed in the Habitats Directive
With biodiversity loss well underway, conservation measures are urgent on a global scale and the European Union is no exception. However, for efficient strategies and actions to be put in place, plenty of information, acquired primarily through monitoring, is needed to identify priorities for the conservation of threatened species, also for the elusive saproxylic insects, an ecological group of species that depends on dead wood.
“No knowledge exists of the success rate of monitoring elusive invertebrates,” writes Dr. Arno Thomaes, Research Institute for Nature and Forest, Belgium, and his team in their paper assessing the feasibility of monitoring the European stag beetle. Having conducted their analysis, though, the scientists conclude that, “monitoring of stag beetles is feasible and the effort is not greater than that which has been found for other invertebrates.”
Alessandro Campanaro, a researcher at the “Bosco Fontana” National Center of Carabinieri, highlights the fundamental role of Citizen Science as an essential tool for acquiring data on species, while simultaneously increasing the public awareness about Natura 2000 and the role of saproxylic species in forests.
About the Life project MIPP
The main objective of the project MIPP is to develop and test methods for the monitoring of five beetle species listed in the Annexes II and IV of the Habitats Directive (Osmoderma eremita, Lucanus cervus, Cerambyx cerdo, Rosalia alpina, Morimus funereus).
Creating, reviewing, editing and publishing of collections of proceedings from conferences, symposia and workshops is now available with the ARPHA-Proceedings module via the publishing platform ARPHA.
Designed as a venue for conference organisers to streamline proceedings publications, while simultaneously giving credit to the authors and preserving their contributions in a format that makes them easy to find and read by both humans and machines, the ARPHA-Proceedings module can be regarded as a simplified and straightforward journal publishing process specialised for conference abstracts.
The workflow supports multiple proceedings collections. For instance, a proceedings publishing platform could be created for a particular conference taking place on a regular basis or for a number of conferences organised by an institution or a society. A fine example is the Proceedings of TDWG dedicated to the yearly Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) conference.
Within the platform, hierarchical article collections could also be established. Abstracts can be submitted to sub-collections dedicated to various workshops/symposia within a larger event. The different sub-collections can be handled by different editors, normally the workshop/symposia conveners.
The workflow used in the ARPHA-Proceedings module includes ARPHA Writing Tool, editorial/technical evaluation, publication and dissemination.
At any point and at no additional costs, the platform can be modified to feature additional article types (e.g. full-text papers, posters, talks etc.). It is for the conference organisers to decide whether these submissions are to undergo a conventional peer review process.
Abstracts can be enriched with citations, figures, tables, data and multimedia if the conference organisers decide to allow it.
Abstracts can be published straight on the platform as soon as an editor approves them, so that the publication is available online ahead of the conference.
Abstracts published in this way have all features common for regular articles published via ARPHA, including Digital Object Identifier (DOI); publication in HTML, PDF and machine-readable and harvestable XML; citation, indexing and archiving in various databases; dissemination and others.
Below you can find a practical guide to the submission process of a conference abstract and assigning it to a collection via the ARPHA-Proceedings module.
1. Log in at the platform’s website or ARPHA Writing Tool.
2. Click “Start a manuscript” to see the platform and article type options.
3. Select a venue and article type for your manuscript.
4. Click “Collections” on the navigation bar at the top. This is where you select the conference track to which you are assigning your manuscript (this does not guarantee acceptance in that track).
5. Fill in your abstract’s metadata by hovering over a category, and then clicking on the pencil icon. The fields “Title”, “Abstract”, “Keywords”, and “Presenting Author” are mandatory. The submitting author and affiliation are taken from the profile of the logged-in user. More authors can be added by clicking the icon beside “Authors” on the left-hand side. The corresponding author and the authors’ order can be changed from the same menu. The corresponding author must be available to communicate about the abstract until final acceptance for publication. The presenting author is the person who will actually be giving the talk/demonstration.
6. You may add references, figures, tables (if allowed on the particular platform) by clicking on the appropriate icon. You may also upload supplementary materials associated with the abstract.
7. Click “Validate”. An automated check will ensure that all mandatory fields are filled in and the abstract is assigned to a collection.
8. When you are ready to submit your abstract, click “Submit for technical review.” This will send the manuscript to the track editors, who will review it for relevance to the track. The button will be visible as soon as the validation has been successful.
9. The editors of the track to which you have submitted your abstract may accept or reject your submission, send feedback requesting changes or suggest submission to a different track.
10. Once the abstract is accepted, the ‘Submit to the journal’ button becomes visible in ARPHA Writing Tool. You need to click this button and go through a checklist of submission steps. The fourth and final step asks you to assign categories to your submission (optional). When the submission process is finalised, the abstract goes directly to production and publication, a DOI is assigned and the abstract cannot be further revised.
11. To see your manuscripts, go to the ARPHA Writing Tool’s website, log in and click the “See more” button, so that you can access your ARPHA dashboard.
On the right-hand side, you can see the stage each manuscript is currently at, along with the collection it has been assigned to (note that this does not mean that it has been approved for this collection).
If an abstract is at the Draft stage, it means that it is still being authored. Once submitted for Technical Review, it reaches the In pre-submission review stage where it stays until a Collection editor approves it for addition to a particular collection. In layout means that a manuscript is successfully submitted to the journal and awaiting publication.
12. If at any time you feel in need for further assistance, you can send an email to the journal’s technical staff via the system. Click “Helpdesk” on the top navigation bar to open a new window with an email form for you to fill in.
Please keep in mind that the stepwise instructions displayed are subject to slight modifications per request. Feel welcome to contact us with your personal platform’s needs!
Having long been indexed by the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature – Scopus, Pensoft journals published on the ARPHA journal publishing platform have now accommodated its latest handy products.
Both Scopus CiteScore and CiteScoreTracker have been integrated with journals published by Pensoft on ARPHA, so that evidence of their impact can be easily provided on a monthly, as well as yearly basis. The metrics are already visible on the homepages of 15 journals published by Pensoft.
Scopus calculates its CiteScore through a simple formula based on the average citations received per document.
The yearly CiteScore is how many times papers published in the previous three years with a single journal are cited in that particular year.
Meanwhile, the CiteScoreTracker provides an estimate on a monthly basis. Since the citation count builds up every month, it is still consistent with the complete year’s score, providing helpful information for a journal’s current performance. Furthermore, it ensures that journals which have only recently been indexed by Scopus are quick to receive their own CiteScore.
To provide an impact estimate as robust and reliable as possible, Scopus CiteScore relies on both the largest database of peer-reviewed literature, and inclusiveness of all publication types. While the latter is necessary in order to acknowledge the scientific value of all academic papers that have found their place in a scholarly journal, it also significantly reduces the risk of metrics manipulation.
To further illustrate the impact of Pensoft publications, a direct citation feed has recently been integrated that shows the number of Scopus citations for a particular publication. Accessible from a tab visible in each publication is a count of scholarly articles that have cited it in Scopus, in addition to previously integrated Crossref, Google Scholar and PubMed.
“Integrating Scopus CiteScore and CiteScoreTracker with all Pensoft journals and potentially with all journals published on ARPHA is what I believe to be of great benefit to all our present and future users, readers and editorial team,” says Pensoft’s founder and CEO Prof. Lyubomir Penev. “It is a fantastic way to keep a real-time track of our progress and impact in the scientific community.”
“We are delighted that Pensoft are including CiteScore metrics on their journal pages. They join a selection of early adopting publishers that recognise the need to provide their users with a range of indicators to better measure the impact of their journals,” says Chris James, Product Manager Research Metrics at Elsevier, who is responsible for CiteScore.
As much as research data sharing and re-usability is a staple in the open science practices, their value would be hugely diminished if their quality is compromised.
In a time when machine-readability and the related software are getting more and more crucial in science, while data are piling up by the minute, it is essential that researchers efficiently format and structure as well as deposit their data, so that they can make it accessible and re-usable for their successors.
Errors, as in data that fail to be read by computer programs, can easily creep into any dataset. These errors are as diverse as invalid characters, missing brackets, blank fields and incomplete geolocations.
To summarise the lessons learnt from our extensive experience in biodiversity data audit at Pensoft, we have now included a Data Quality Checklist and Recommendations page in the About section of each of our data-publishing journals.
We are hopeful that these guidelines will help authors prepare and publish datasets of higher quality, so that their work can be fully utilised in subsequent research.
At the end of the day, proofreading your data is no different than running through your text looking for typos.
Being the vertebrates with the highest metabolic rate thanks to their rapid wing flaps, the hummingbirds have evolved various types of feeding behaviour. While the nectar-feeders tend to go for food high in energy, strong competition affects greatly their preferences and behaviour towards either dominance, subordination, a strategy known as trapline and a fourth one named hide-and-wait, conclude the Brazilian scientists Lucas L. Lanna, Cristiano S. de Azevedo, Ricardo M. Claudino, Reisla Oliveira and Yasmine Antonini of Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto. Their conclusions following six months of observations in an Atlantic Forest remnant in southeastern Brazil are published in the open access journal Zoologia.
To test previous assumptions as well as their own hypotheses, the researchers placed artificial bird feeders filled with variable in concentration sugar-water solutions across four separate patches at the core of the forest fragment.
The scientists sought to find out whether the birds would show clear preference for the most sugary food source; whether larger size and heavier weight would guarantee better access to the most nutritious feeders; what strategies would be adopted by each species; and which ones would prove the dominant and most aggressive.
As expected, the scientists concluded that the birds prefer the most sugar-dense solutions. However, when subordinate species, such as the white-throated hummingbird and the versicoloured emerald, confronted dominant species guarding the most nutritious food sources, they would be either frightened or expelled following a short chase. Subsequently, these hummingbirds would resort to the feeders with low-sugar solutions.
In their turn, the Brazilian ruby and the violet-capped woodnymph proved to be the dominant and most aggressive species in the studied area. Upon seeing an ‘intruder’ in their territory, which might be either another species, or belonging to their own, they would vocalise their threats, alert them by perching by the feeder, or expel them following a short pursuit. However, they would only try to limit the access for subordinate hummingbirds if the energy that could be gained from the feeder exceeded the energy loss of the chase.
Contrary to another initial hypothesis, it was not the largest and heaviest species that were the dominant ones. There were two species of hermit hummingbirds which were the largest and the heaviest, however, they expressed no territorial or aggressive behaviour. Instead, they were recorded intruding in the territory of the two dominant hummingbird species. In their turn, the Brazilian ruby and the violet-capped woodnymph would often frighten them. Nevertheless, rather than fleeing, the ‘castaways’ were seen hiding in the shrubs, remaining quiet, and returning to the feeder as soon as the dominant bird was gone. This behaviour strategy, named hide-and-wait, has not been reported in hermit hummingbirds prior to this study, according to the authors.
Having reported all feeding strategies in their study, the scientists conclude that the dominant territorial species and the trapliners feed most frequently and most sufficiently, as they use the most sugary sources.
However, the authors note that the high abundance of food, as well as the presence of aggressive territorial species might have affected the hummingbirds’ behaviour and preferences.
Lanna LL, de Azevedo CS, Claudino RM, Oliveira R, Antonini Y (2017) Feeding behavior by hummingbirds (Aves: Trochilidae) in artificial food patches in an Atlantic Forest remnant in southeastern Brazil. Zoologia 34: 1-9. https://doi.org/10.3897/zoologia.34.e13228
Only a couple of months ago, we announced a whole set of exciting features newly applied to ARPHA Writing Tool, based on the feedback we received from our users. Now, we are delighted to announce that we are back with a fresh batch of updates.
We have become faster.ARPHA has been optimised, so that it is even easier to prepare your manuscript. Enjoy your references and whole datasets being delivered straight into your draft in the blink of an eye!
Speaking of references, we have updated our Reference Parser. Simply copy-paste a reference in the box and click Parse – ARPHA Writing Tool will have it ready to go on your list momentarily!
Yet, there’s even more to the reference-related updates! To double-check an in-text citation in your manuscript, all you need to do is hover over it to see the full-text reference it is linked to.
Our new toolbar and re-arranged functionalities make up for the better intuitivity of the ARPHA Writing Tool that welcomes you the moment you open a new manuscript.
Hover over the new toolbar and you will notice another new perk we have added for your convenience. Keyboard shortcuts are now implemented to the ARPHA Writing Tool to let you add smart objects as you type.
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