Pensoft welcomes SNSB’s paleontology and geobiology journal Zitteliana to its portfolio

The first papers of the journal of the Bavarian State Collection of Palaeontology and Geology in Munich since the move to Pensoft’s publishing platform are now online

The scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoft welcomes the latest addition to its diverse portfolio of scientific outlets – the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Zitteliana, which publishes research in the fields of paleontology and geobiology.

Zitteliana is a journal of the Bavarian State Collection of Palaeontology and Geology Munich, which is part of the State Natural History Collection of Bavaria (SNSB), a research institution for natural history comprising five state collections.

Published both online and in print, the journal contains original articles, short contributions and reviews on all aspects of palaeontology and geobiology, welcoming research on all regions of the Earth and all periods of geologic time. The journal invites both modern and traditional research outputs, including palaeobiology, geobiology, palaeogenomics, biodiversity, stratigraphy, sedimentology, regional geology, systematics, phylogeny, and cross-disciplinary studies of these areas.

Since its launch in 1961, the journal has changed its name several times (i.e. Mitteilungen der Bayerischen Staatssammlung für Paläontologie und historische Geologie, Zitteliana A (Abhandlungen) and Zitteliana B (Mitteilungen)), and has extended both scope and thematic range to  cover global research from all areas of palaeontology and geobiology.

“This year, Zittelliana is celebrating its 60th anniversary in brand new gear. The move to the innovative scholarly publisher Pensoft shows how tradition can work hand in hand with innovation and modernity. We are very excited about this relaunch and very much look forward to transforming  Zitteliana into an internationally leading journal in Paleontology and Geobiology together with Pensoft,” the journal’s Editor-in-Chief, Professor Gert Wörheide adds.

After moving to Pensoft’s scholarly publishing platform ARPHA, and with a brand-new, user-friendly website, Zitteliana now takes full advantage of ARPHA’s signature fast-track, end-to-end publishing system, which significantly improves user experience for authors, reviewers and editors alike. The collaboration-focused platform supports manuscripts in all steps of the publishing process – submission, peer review, editing, publication, dissemination and archiving, all within its online environment. To the benefit of readers, published articles are then made available in PDF, machine-readable JATS XML formats, and semantically enriched HTML, which makes them much easier to discover, access, cite and reuse.

In addition, ARPHA Platform offers a long list of high-tech features and human-provided services such as advanced data publishing, linked data tables, semantic markup and enhancements, automated export of sub-article elements and data to aggregators, sub-article-level usage metrics, and web-service integrations with more than 40 world-class indexing and archiving databases.

The journal’s first papers published with Pensoft are already publicly available. One of the studies, authored by Norbert Wannenmacher, Volker Dietze, Matthias Franz of the state office for geology, resources and mining at Freiburg’s regional council, and Günter Schweigert of the Stuttgart State Museum of Natural History, describes three new fossil species from south-western Germany.

Zitteliana is the latest in a series of biodiversity-themed journals to join the Pensoft family – earlier this year the ichthyology journal Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria signed with the scholarly publisher and moved on to ARPHA Platform.

Follow Zitteliana on Facebook and Twitter.

Additional information:

About Pensoft:

Pensoft is an independent academic publishing company, well-known worldwide for its innovations in the field of semantic publishing, as well as for its cutting-edge publishing tools and workflows. In 2013, Pensoft launched the first ever end to end XML-based authoring, reviewing and publishing workflow, as demonstrated by the Pensoft Writing Tool (PWT) and the Biodiversity Data Journal (BDJ), now upgraded to the ARPHA Publishing Platform. Flagship titles include: Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO), One Ecosystem, ZooKeys, Biodiversity Data Journal, PhytoKeys, MycoKeys and many more.

About ARPHA:

ARPHA is the first end-to-end, narrative- and data-integrated publishing solution that supports the full life cycle of a manuscript, from authoring to reviewing, publishing and dissemination. ARPHA provides accomplished and streamlined production workflows that can be customized according to the journal’s needs. The platform enables a variety of publishing models through a number of options for branding, production and revenue models to choose from.

Contacts:

Prof. Dr. Gert Wörheide, Editor-in-Chief of Zitteliana
woerheide@snsb.de

Lyubomir Penev, founder and CEO at Pensoft and ARPHA
l.penev@pensoft.net

Centrally-managed collections & Peer review flexibility at RIO

RIO updated its article collection approach to evolve into a “project-driven knowledge hub”, where a project coordinator, institution or conference organiser can create and centrally manage a collection under their own logo.

In 2015, Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO) was launched to streamline dissemination of scientific knowledge throughout the research process, recognised to begin with the inception of a research idea, followed by the submission of a grant proposal and progressing to, for example, data / software management plans and mid-stage project reports, before concluding with the well-known research and review paper.


In order to really expedite and facilitate access to scientific knowledge, the hurdles for engagement with the process need to be minimized for readers, authors, reviewers and editors alike. RIO aims to lay the groundwork for constructive scientific feedback and dialogue that would then lead to the elaboration and refinement of the research work well in its early stage. 

Recently, RIO published its 300th article – about a software for analyzing time series data from a microclimate research site in the Alps – and at that occasion, the RIO team wrote an editorial summarizing how the articles published in RIO so far facilitate engagement with the respective research processes. One of the observations in this regard was that while providing access to the various stages of the research cycle is necessary for meaningful engagement, there is a need for the various outcomes to be packed together, so that we can provide a more complete context for individual published outcomes.

Read the new editorial celebrating RIO’s 5th anniversary and looking back on 300 publications. 

RIO introduced updates to its article collection approach to evolve into a “project-driven knowledge hub”, where a project coordinator, research institution or conference organiser can create and centrally manage a collection under their own logo, so that authors can much more easily contribute. Further, research outputs published elsewhere – including preprints – are also allowed, so that the collection displays each part of the ‘puzzle’ within its context. In this case, the metadata of the paper, i.e. title, authors and publication date, are displayed in the article list within the collection, and link to the original source.

Apart from allowing the inclusion of the whole diversity of research outcomes published in RIO or elsewhere, what particularly appeals to projects, conferences and institutions is the simplicity of opening and managing a self-branded collection at RIO. All they need to do is pay a one-time fee to cover the setup and maintenance of the collection, whereas an option with an unlimited number of publications is also available. Then, authors can add their work – subject to approval by the collection’s editor and the journal’s editorial office – by either starting a new manuscript at RIO and then assigning it to an existing collection; pasting the DOI of a publication available from elsewhere; or posting an author-formatted PDF document to ARPHA Preprints, as it has been submitted to the external evaluator (e.g. funding agency). In the latter two cases, the authors are charged nothing, in order to support greater transparency and contextuality within the research process.

Buttons on RIO Journal’s homepage allow users to create a new collection or add a document to an existing collection by either submitting a new manuscript via RIO Journal or pasting a DOI link of a publication from elsewhere, thus allowing for the collection to link to the original source and display the article’s metadata, i.e. title, authors and publication date.

Find more information about how to edit a collection at RIO and the associated benefits and responsibilities on RIO’s website.

Another thing we have revised at RIO is the peer review policy and workflow, which are now further clarified and tailored to the specificity of each type of research outcome.

Having moved to entirely author-initiated peer review, where the system automatically invites reviewers suggested by the author upon submission of a paper, RIO has also clearly defined which article types are subject to mandatory pre-publication peer review or not (see the full list). In the latter case, RIO no longer prompts the invitation of reviewers. Within their collections, owners and guest editors can decide on the peer review mode, guided by RIO’s existing policies.

While pre-publication peer review is not always mandatory, all papers are subject to editorial evaluation and also remain available in perpetuity for post-submission review. In both cases, reviews are public and disclose the name of their author by default. In turn, RIO registers each review with its own DOI via CrossRef, in order to recognise the valuable input and let the reviewers easily refer to their contributions. 

Both pre- and post-publication reviews at RIO are openly published alongside the paper and bear their own DOI. All papers in RIO remain available for post-publication review in perpetuity (see example).

For article types where peer review is mandatory (e.g. Research Idea, Review article, Research Article, Data Paper), authors are requested to invite a minimum of three suitable reviewers upon the submission of the paper, who are then automatically invited by the system. While significantly expediting the editorial work on a manuscript, this practice doesn’t compromise the quality of peer review in the slightest, since the editor is still overlooking the process and able to invite additional reviewers anytime, if necessary. 

For article types where peer review is not mandatory (e.g. Grant Proposal, Data Management Plan, Project Report and various conference materials), all an author needs to do is provide a statement about the review status of their paper, which will be made public alongside the article. Given that such papers have usually already been scrutinised by a legitimate authority (e.g. funding agency or conference committee), it only makes sense to not withhold their publication and duplicate academic efforts.

By the time it is submitted to RIO, a Grant Proposal like this one has often already been assessed by a legitimate funder, so it only makes sense to not undergo the process again at RIO and thereby slowing down its public dissemination.

Additionally, where the article type of a manuscript requires pre-publication review, RIO encourages the authors to click a checkbox during the submission and post their pre-review manuscript as a preprint on ARPHA Preprints, subject to a quick editorial screening, which would only take a few days.

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Further reading:

Data checking for biodiversity collections and other biodiversity data compilers from Pensoft

Guest blog post by Dr Robert Mesibov

Proofreading the text of scientific papers isn’t hard, although it can be tedious. Are all the words spelled correctly? Is all the punctuation correct and in the right place? Is the writing clear and concise, with correct grammar? Are all the cited references listed in the References section, and vice-versa? Are the figure and table citations correct?

Proofreading of text is usually done first by the reviewers, and then finished by the editors and copy editors employed by scientific publishers. A similar kind of proofreading is also done with the small tables of data found in scientific papers, mainly by reviewers familiar with the management and analysis of the data concerned.

But what about proofreading the big volumes of data that are common in biodiversity informatics? Tables with tens or hundreds of thousands of rows and dozens of columns? Who does the proofreading?

Sadly, the answer is usually “No one”. Proofreading large amounts of data isn’t easy and requires special skills and digital tools. The people who compile biodiversity data often lack the skills, the software or the time to properly check what they’ve compiled.

The result is that a great deal of the data made available through biodiversity projects like GBIF is — to be charitable — “messy”. Biodiversity data often needs a lot of patient cleaning by end-users before it’s ready for analysis. To assist end-users, GBIF and other aggregators attach “flags” to each record in the database where an automated check has found a problem. These checks find the most obvious problems amongst the many possible data compilation errors. End-users often have much more work to do after the flags have been dealt with.

In 2017, Pensoft employed a data specialist to proofread the online datasets that are referenced in manuscripts submitted to Pensoft’s journals as data papers. The results of the data-checking are sent to the data paper’s authors, who then edit the datasets. This process has substantially improved many datasets (including those already made available through GBIF) and made them more suitable for digital re-use. At blog publication time, more than 200 datasets have been checked in this way.

Note that a Pensoft data audit does not check the accuracy of the data, for example, whether the authority for a species name is correct, or whether the latitude/longitude for a collecting locality agrees with the verbal description of that locality. For a more or less complete list of what does get checked, see the Data checklist at the bottom of this blog post. These checks are aimed at ensuring that datasets are correctly organised, consistently formatted and easy to move from one digital application to another. The next reader of a digital dataset is likely to be a computer program, not a human. It is essential that the data are structured and formatted, so that they are easily processed by that program and by other programs in the pipeline between the data compiler and the next human user of the data.

Pensoft’s data-checking workflow was previously offered only to authors of data paper manuscripts. It is now available to data compilers generally, with three levels of service:

  • Basic: the compiler gets a detailed report on what needs fixing
  • Standard: minor problems are fixed in the dataset and reported
  • Premium: all detected problems are fixed in collaboration with the data compiler and a report is provided

Because datasets vary so much in size and content, it is not possible to set a price in advance for basic, standard and premium data-checking. To get a quote for a dataset, send an email with a small sample of the data topublishing@pensoft.net.


Data checklist

Minor problems:

  • dataset not UTF-8 encoded
  • blank or broken records
  • characters other than letters, numbers, punctuation and plain whitespace
  • more than one version (the simplest or most correct one) for each character
  • unnecessary whitespace
  • Windows carriage returns (retained if required)
  • encoding errors (e.g. “Dum?ril” instead of “Duméril”)
  • missing data with a variety of representations (blank, “-“, “NA”, “?” etc)

Major problems:

  • unintended shifts of data items between fields
  • incorrect or inconsistent formatting of data items (e.g. dates)
  • different representations of the same data item (pseudo-duplication)
  • for Darwin Core datasets, incorrect use of Darwin Core fields
  • data items that are invalid or inappropriate for a field
  • data items that should be split between fields
  • data items referring to unexplained entities (e.g. “habitat is type A”)
  • truncated data items
  • disagreements between fields within a record
  • missing, but expected, data items
  • incorrectly associated data items (e.g. two country codes for the same country)
  • duplicate records, or partial duplicate records where not needed

For details of the methods used, see the author’s online resources:

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Find more for Pensoft’s data audit workflow provided for data papers submitted to Pensoft journals on Pensoft’s blog.

Vegetation Classification and Survey (VCS), the new journal of the Int’l Association for Vegetation Science

The journal is to launch with a big editorial and several diverse, high-quality papers over the next months

In summer 2019 IAVS decided to start a new, third association-owned journal, Vegetation Classification and Survey (VCS), next to Journal of Vegetation Science (JVS) and Applied Vegetation Science (AVS).

Vegetation Classification and Survey (VCS) is an international, peer-reviewed journal of plant community ecology published on behalf of the International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS) together with its sister journals, Journal of Vegetation Science (JVS) and Applied Vegetation Science (AVS). It is devoted to vegetation survey and classification at any organizational and spatial scale and without restriction to certain methodological approaches.

The journal publishes original papers that develop new vegetation typologies as well as applied studies that use such typologies, for example, in vegetation mapping, ecosystem modelling, nature conservation, land use management or monitoring. Particularly encouraged are methodological studies that design and compare tools for vegetation classification and mapping, such as algorithms, databases and nomenclatural principles. Papers dealing with conceptual and theoretical bases of vegetation survey and classification are also welcome. While large-scale studies are preferred, regional studies will be considered when filling important knowledge gaps or presenting new methods. VCS also contains Permanent Collections on “Ecoinformatics” and “Phytosociological Nomenclature”.

VCS is published by the innovative publisher Pensoft as a gold open access journal. Thanks to support from IAVS, we can offer particularly attractive article processing charges (APCs) for submissions during the first two years. Moreover, there are significant reductions for IAVS members, members of the Editorial Team and authors from low-income countries or with other financial constraints (learn more about APCs here).

Article submissions are welcomed at: https://vcs.pensoft.net/

Post by Jürgen Dengler, Idoia Biurrun, Florian Jansen & Wolfgang Willner, originally published on Vegetation Science Blog: Official blog ot the IAVS journals.

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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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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.

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From a bulletin to a modern open access journal: Italian Botanist in Pensoft’s portfolio

Established in the distant 1888, the Italian Botanical Society has gone a long way towards publishing its achievements and research. Originated as a bulletin within an Italian journal, they have been growing ever since to now form a new international journal in its own right. Covering both Italian and international research in botany and mycology, the online open access journal Italian Botanist, published by Pensoft, is now officially launched via its first papers.

Although what was later to become Italian Botanist, published its first issue as an independent journal, called Informatore Botanico Italiano in 1969, the publications were still rather bulletin-style. It consisted of a mixture of administrative and scientific proceedings of the Society, the yearbook of the members, as well as scientific notes.

Nevertheless, such a major transition has been set to change everything fundamentally. Establishing its name, the journal started picking up, so that it was not long before the scientific contributions were prevailing. Impressively, for the Society’s centenary the journal published a celebratory 331-page contribution.

Gradually, its scope was expanded to cover several scientific fields. It hosted several themed columns, including cytotaxonomic contributions on the Italian flora, relevant new floristic records for Italy, conservational issues concerning the Italian flora and mycology.

However, the Directive Council of the Italian Botanical Society has not seemed to be ready to give up on their journal’s evolution. Last year, the botanists decided that they need to transform the journal to an an online, open access journal written in English and called Italian Botanist, in order to boost the scientific value and international visibility of Informatore Botanico Italiano.

italian botanist editorial PR

Under the name Italian Botanist, the journal has now joined Pensoft’s portfolio of peer-reviewed open access journals, all of which take advantage of the advanced technologies and innovations developed by the publisher.

The new journal’s scope ranges from molecular to ecosystem botany and mycology. The geographical coverage of Italian Botanist is specially focused on the Italian territory, but studies from other areas are also welcome.

Staying faithful to its spirit and philosophy, it keeps its column-format, with each issue to contain five columns, namely Chromosome numbers for the Italian flora, Global and Regional IUCN Red List Assessments, Notulae to the Italian flora of algae, briophytes, fungi and lichens, Notulae to the Italian native vascular flora and Notulae to the Italian alien vascular flora.

“Our hope is that this renewed version of the journal will serve the Italian – and foreign – botanical community more efficiently and provide readers worldwide with an easier access to knowledge concerning the Italian flora,” says Italian Botanist‘s Editor-in-Chief Lorenzo Peruzzi.

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Original source:

Peruzzi L, Siniscalco C (2016) From Bullettino della Società Botanica Italiana to Italian Botanist, passing through Informatore Botanico Italiano. A 128 years-long story. Italian Botanist 1: 1-4. doi: 10.3897/italianbotanist.1.8646