Celebrating 30 years of scholarly publishing at Pensoft!

As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Pensoft, we are asking ourselves: What’s a tree without its roots? Here, we’ll tell you the story of Pensoft.

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

Website: https://zookeys.pensoft.net/

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

Explore the 50th ZooKeys issue.

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

Website: https://jhr.pensoft.net/

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.

Impact Factor and CiteScore trend for Journal of Hymenoptera Research since 2015.

2013: Pensoft replaces TRIADA with its own in-house built innovative ARPHA Platform

Website: https://arphahub.com/

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

Website: https://arpha.pensoft.net/

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

Website: https://riojournal.com/

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.

The first to seek out this publishing solution of ours was The Vilnius Gediminas Technical University Press and its Business: Theory and Practice journal.

2017: Pensoft launches its conference-dedicated platforms for abstracts and proceedings 

Website: https://ap.pensoft.net/

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. 

Learn more about the upgraded collections module on our blog and explore the collections on RIO’s website. 

Research projects with collections in RIO Journal.

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.

Visit the BiCIKL website, explore the news section and follow @BiCIKL_H2020 on Twitter.

***

To stay up to date with the highlights from our various activities at Pensoft, subscribe for our monthly newsletter and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn

Pensoft’s statement on the war in Ukraine

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!

The tallest begonia species in all Asia found in Tibet, China

Chinese researchers have discovered the tallest Begonia recorded in Asia. The plant belongs to a new species aptly called Begonia giganticaulis and was described in the open-access journal PhytoKeys. In Tibet’s Mêdog county, China, the team found a Begonia so tall that they had to stand on top of their vehicle to measure it. The plant was 3.6 meters tall, with the thickest part of its ground stem close to 12 cm in diameter.

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.

A Begonia giganticaulis plant is cut up for easier transportation
A Begonia giganticaulis plant is cut up for easier transportation. Photo by Daike Tian

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.

The research team pose with a specimen of Begonia giganticaulis at the first Chinese begonia show in Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden.
The research team pose with a specimen of Begonia giganticaulis at the first Chinese begonia show in Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden. Photo by Meiqin Zhu

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.

Research article:

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

Special Nature Conservation issue: Monitoring protected insects in the European Union

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.

Monitoring and conservation of elusive invertebrates is a particularly complex task, as shown in the papers comprising the special issue “Monitoring of saproxylic beetles and other insects protected in the European Union,” supported by the EU’s LIFE Programme and published in the open access journal Nature Conservation. This special issue was produced in the framework of the Life Project “Monitoring of insects with public participation” (LIFE11 NAT/IT/000252 MIPP) and is a direct result of a European Workshop held in Mantova in May, 2017.

Colonel Franco Mason, project manager of the MIPP project, notes that the European Workshop was aimed primarily at monitoring of saproxylic beetles. The project MIPP resulted in two special issues: “Monitoring of saproxylic beetles and other insects protected in the European Union” and “Guidelines for the Monitoring of saproxylic beetles and other insects protected in the European Union“. The first one is now available in the open access journal Nature Conservation.

This is a female European stag beetle equipped with a radio transmitter in order to detect oviposition sites.
This is a female European stag beetle equipped with a radio transmitter in order to detect oviposition sites.

“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.

###

 

Additional information:

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).

ARPHA-Proceedings Module: Streamline conference abstracts authoring, editing and publication

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.

Home awt

 

2. Click “Start a manuscript” to see the platform and article type options.

start a manuscript

 

3.  Select a venue and article type for your manuscript.

select platform and article type

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).

Collection tab

Select collections 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.

Mandatory fields

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.

figures references etc

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.

submit to the journal

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.

see more in AWT

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).

user dashboard

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.

Helpdesk

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!

Scopus CiteScore metrics integrated with Pensoft journals

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.

cited tab

 

“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.

Data Quality Checklist and Recommendations at Pensoft

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.

 

We would like to use the occasion to express our gratitude to Dr. Robert Mesibov, who prepared the checklist and whose expertise in biodiversity data audit has contributed greatly to Pensoft through the years. Continue reading “Data Quality Checklist and Recommendations at Pensoft”

Feeding strategies in competing hummingbird species observed in a small area in Brazil

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.

FEMALE Clytolaema rubricauda fêmeaIn 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.

###

Original source:

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

Brazilian Zoologia joins Pensoft’s portfolio of open access journals

In a new partnership between Sociedade Brasileira de Zoologia (Brazilian Society of Zoology) and the academic publisher Pensoft, one of the most prestigious scientific journals in South America, Zoologia joins Pensoft’s portfolio of open access peer-reviewed journals.

In 1982, Sociedade Brasileira de Zoologia‘s launched the Revista Brasileira de Zoologiajournal, which resulted in 25 volumes published bimonthly. Then, to broaden its visibility and step on the international stage, the journal broaden its scope to cover zoological research from outside the county, and changed its name to Zoologia in 2009 and completed 33 volumes this year.

The next step forward for Zoologia is the recently signed partnership with Pensoft, which makes it the first South American journal published by Pensoft – known for its innovations in scholarly publishing. The collaboration will provide a brand new, modern and technologically advanced look and feel for Zoologia, following the already successful format, provided by Pensoft’s publishing platform ARPHA (abbreviation standing for Authoring, Reviewing, Publishing, Hosting and Archiving).

webdesignZoologia will not only be smooth and nice to look at and navigate around, but will also provide high-tech perks, ensuring that the user experience for all authors, readers and editors remains as immaculate as possible at all times. Fast-track and convenient publishing is provided thanks to ARPHA, which takes care of a manuscript through all stages from authoring and reviewing to dissemination and archiving, as well as publications in three formats (PDF, XML, HTML) and full of semantic enhancements.

Having been completely revamped on the outside, Zoologia keeps its academic excellence and well-deserved reputation. The journal’s scientific scope covers various areas of original zoological research, including systematics, evolution, taxonomy, nomenclature, biogeography, biology, ecology, conservation, applied zoology, and others, published by both Brazilian and international authors. Extensive reviews or articles on current topics in zoology are published by invitation in the Invited Review section. Zoologia is to continue issuing at least six volumes a year on a bimonthly basis.

“I am truly delighted to welcome Zoologia to Pensoft’s family,” says Pensoft’s founder and CEO Prof. Lyubomir Penev. “With a strong background in zoological sciences, we have been looking forward to extending our outreach to South America, a well-known home to numerous biodiversity hotspots and excellent taxonomic traditions. It is a great success that this is now happening thanks to our partnership with no other but Zoologia.”

“This is an important step in the efforts to further professionalize and increase worldwide visibility of Zoologia that has been underway since 2008,” says Walter Boeger, the Editor-in-chief of the journal.

“Brazil is one of the hotspots in animal diversity in the world and the research in zoology is exceptional and of international excellence. The Sociedade Brasileira de Zoologia would like Zoologia to be the main gateway for these studies and other, of similar profile, performed with animals from all parts of the world,” proposes Luciane Marinoni, the president of SBZ. “We predict that this will happen in the near future following this important partnership.”

The first batch of research papers published in the revamped Zoologia are now available on the new website.

###

Follow Zoologia on Twitter | Facebook.

Faster, Better, Stronger: New batch of updates now available in ARPHA Writing Tool

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.

Here’s what we recently got in store for all authors in Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO), Biodiversity Data Journal, One Ecosystem and BioDiscovery, all powered by the innovative end-to-end journal publishing platform ARPHA and making use of the new-age ARPHA Writing Tool:

  • 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!      

parser

 

parser2

 

  • 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.

hover

 

  • 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.

toolbar2

 

  • 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.
  • Get a stronger grip on your figures! Two new buttons let you re-order your figures either by number, or by order of appearance. Alternatively, enter editing mode and simply drag and drop any figure wherever you wish.

drag and drop figures

 

We thank you for your continuous feedback which helps us focus on tailoring the ARPHA Writing Tool according to the needs and taste of our clients.    

We are already working hard on the next updates, so keep an eye on us!  

In the meantime, please feel welcome to test our new features and let us know what you think. We will be happy to address any comments and requests on info@arphahub.com.