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.

Pensoft to publish the paleontology and geobiology journal Zitteliana on behalf of SNSB

Following the recent contract between the State Natural History Collection of Bavaria (Staatliche Naturwissenschaftliche Sammlungen Bayerns or SNSB) and the scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoft, the scholarly peer-reviewed, open-access journal on paleontology and geobiology Zitteliana will be published on the technologically advanced scholarly publishing platform ARPHA.

Expected later in 2020, Zitteliana will not only benefit from its own sleek-looking and user-friendly website, but will also enjoy a long list of services and high-tech features and human-provided services delivered from ARPHA’s signature fast-track, end-to-end publishing system. 

One thing that will greatly appeal to submitting authors, editors and reviewers is that the collaboration-focused ARPHA Platform supports manuscripts all the way from submission, peer review, editing, publication, dissemination and archiving within its online environment. On the other hand, to the benefit of readers, after publication, the articles are made available in PDF, machine-readable JATS XML formats, and semantically enriched HTML, which prompts discoverability, accessibility, citability and reusability. In addition, the journals will use all unique services offered by ARPHA, such as data publishing, linked data tables, semantic markup and enhancements, automated export of sub-article elements and data to aggregators, web-service integrations with more than 40 world-class indexing and archiving databases, sub-article-level usage metrics, and more.

Zitteliana is a scholarly journal covering all fields of paleontology and geobiology by the Bavarian State Collection of Palaeontology and Geology (SNSB): a research institution for natural history in Bavaria, comprising five State Collections. Initially limited to publications studying either the materials deposited in SNSB’s own collections, or topics related to the geology and palaeontology of Bavaria and adjacent regions, these days, Zitteliana welcomes articles in all fields of paleontology and geobiology. Encouraged are submissions on paleobiology, numerical paleontology, paleobiogeography, paleogenomics, palaeooceanography, biosedimentology, multiproxy and sequential stratigraphy, biodiversity research, and actuopaleontology, as well as contributions to the journal’s traditionally well-represented topics, such as paleontological taxonomy, systematics, phylogeny, and regional geology.

“It’s a great delight for Pensoft to be partnering such a prominent natural history institution like the SNSB and publish this particular journal of theirs. With our joint expertise and devotion, I am certain that we will successfully address major needs of the research community: readers, authors and their affiliates alike,”

says Pensoft and ARPHA’s founder and CEO Prof. Lyubomir Penev.

The SNSB is the latest major German research institution to collaborate with Pensoft and choose ARPHA Platform for its journals. Since 2014, the Natural History Museum Berlin has trusted the publisher with its historical titles: Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift and Zoosystematics and Evolution. In 2017, Evolutionary Systematics, another prominent journal with a legacy in the field of zoology by the University of Hamburg followed suit. In 2020, we will be also seeing the move of three journals by the Senckenberg Nature Research Society: Arthropod Systematics & Phylogeny, Vertebrate Zoology and Geologica Saxonica.

About SNSB:

The Bavarian Natural History Collections (Staatliche Naturwissenschaftliche Sammlungen Bayerns, SNSB) are a research institution for natural history in Bavaria. They encompass five State Collections (zoology, botany, paleontology and geology, mineralogy, anthropology and paleoanatomy), the Botanical Garden Munich-Nymphenburg and eight museums with public exhibitions in Munich, Bamberg, Bayreuth, Eichstätt and Nördlingen.

Research conducted by over 30 permanent and 30 third-party funded scientists, currently employed at the SNSB, focuses mainly on the past and present bio- and geodiversity and the evolution of animals and plants. To achieve this, the institution keeps large scientific collections (more than 30,000,000 specimens). The collections and museums also play an instrumental role in public and academic education.

Pensoft signs with Senckenberg Nature Research Society to publish three journals on ARPHA

Recently, the scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoft signed with one of the largest natural research associations in Germany: the Senckenberg Nature Research Society, to publish three journals: Arthropod Systematics & PhylogenyVertebrate Zoology and Geologica Saxonica on behalf of the Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden, one of the oldest natural-science museums in the world.

Expected to move to the Pensoft-developed technologically advanced scholarly publishing platform ARPHA later in 2020, the three academic outlets will not only acquire their own glossy and user-friendly websites, but will also take advantage from ARPHA’s signature fast-track, end-to-end publishing system, which is to benefit all journal users: authors, reviewers and editors alike. In addition, the journals will use all unique services offered by ARPHA, such as data publishing, linked data tables, semantic markup and enhancements, automated export of sub-article elements and data to aggregators, web-service integrations with more than 40 world-class indexing and archiving databases, sub-article-level usage metrics, and more.

Thereby, each submitted manuscript will be carried through the review, editing, publication, dissemination and archiving stages without leaving ARPHA’s collaboration-centred online environment. The articles are to be available in PDF, machine-readable JATS XML formats, and semantically enriched HTML for better reader experience to ensure they are easy to discover, access, cite and reuse.

Arthropod Systematics & Phylogeny succeeded the historical Entomologische Abhandlungen, formerly published by the Museum of Zoology, Dresden, in 2006. Its scope covers the taxonomy, morphology, anatomy, phylogeny, historical biogeography and palaeontology of arthropod taxa.

Similarly, Vertebrate Zoology was preceded by Zoologische Abhandlungen, also formerly published by the Museum of Zoology, Dresden. It deals with research on the taxonomy, morphology, anatomy, phylogeny, historical biogeography and palaeontology of vertebrates.

Meanwhile, Geologica Saxonica – Journal of Central European Geology, began its life in distant 1876, when it was founded under the name Mitteilungen aus dem Koniglichen Mineralogisch-Geologischen und Prahistorischen Museum by German geologist Hanns Bruno Geinitz, renowned for his work on the Carboniferous and Cretaceous rocks and fossils of Saxony.

“At Pensoft, we take pride in our latest partnership with the world-renowned natural history association of Senckenberg. We are certain that our collaboration will bring many advantages to the research community: readers, authors and their affiliates alike,”

comments Pensoft and ARPHA’s founder and CEO Prof. Lyubomir Penev.

Senckenberg is not the first prestigious German research institution to enter into an agreement with Pensoft. Since 2014, the Natural History Museum Berlin has trusted the publisher with its own historical titles in the Biology domain: Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift and Zoosystematics and Evolution. In 2017, Evolutionary Systematics, another prominent journal with a legacy in the field of Zoology by the University of Hamburg followed suit. Zitteliana, a historical scholarly journal covering all fields of paleontology and geobiology by the State Natural History Collection of Bavaria (SNSB) is to also join the journal portfolio of Pensoft and ARPHA Platform in the next months.

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About Senckenberg:

Senckenberg, Research Institutes and Natural History Museums, conduct research in bio- and geoscience. Major research fields are biodiversity and ecosystem research and the research on the entire Earth-Human-Earth system. Senckenberg headquarters are located in Frankfurt am Main, but research on marine, terrestrial and climate systems is also housed at additional nine locations throughout Germany: in Dresden, Gelnhausen, Gorlitz, Hamburg, Messel, Muncheberg, Tubingen, Weimar and Wilhelmshaven. Senckenberg employs about 1,000 people, including 300 scientists. Senckenberg scientists are active in projects worldwide, most of which are international collaborations with universities and other research institutions. Senckenberg hosts biological and geological research collections with more than 35 million series.

Acta Biologica Sibirica signs with Pensoft and moves to ARPHA

Acta Biologica Sibirica, an open-access, peer-reviewed journal of Altai State University, with its content on original research in the field of experimental and field biology, moves to Pensoft and the publisher’s scholarly platform ARPHA. The journal has been published since 2015 and follows all the standards in modern biological research and Open Access policy. The first papers published in 2020 are already available on a brand new user-friendly website, running on ARPHA publishing platform.

Acta Biologica Sibirica 
Credit: Acta Biologica Sibirica and Pensoft 
License: CC-BY 4.0
The first papers in 2020 of Acta Biologica Sibirica, journal of Altai State University, are published on the innovative ARPHA publishing platform and already available online on a user-friendly brand new website
Credit:Acta Biologica Sibirica and Pensoft
License: CC-BY 4.0

Acta Biologica Sibirica is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal on the biodiversity of Siberia and the adjacent lands by Altai State University. Since 2015, it has been publishing  original research in the field of experimental and field biology. 

Starting from 2020, Acta Biologica Sibirica moves to the full-featured technologically advanced platform ARPHA and will be published in collaboration with the scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoft.

Pensoft’s original publishing system ARPHA allows Acta Biologica Sibirica to publish original research papers, reviews, short communications, letters and discussion papers, book reviews and memorial articles. The scholarly platform was designed to facilitate authors in the manuscript writing, submission and review process as end-to-end experience, including publication of the data and multimedia content in the form, suitable for both enhanced high-tech human and machine discoverability of the scholarly outputs.

Acta Biologica Sibirica accepts for publication papers in taxonomy, phylogeny, biogeography, faunistics, floristics, biological systematics, nature conservation and protected areas. In the fields of faunistics and floristics there are several types of articles, available for submission: floral and faunal lists on any region of the world, faunal and floral discoveries (e.g. species newly recorded in a particular region, additions to previously published inventories), papers on methodology of faunal and floral studies.

«Our basic task is to turn our journal into a high-quality world-class publication. Without the help of modern publishers, this is almost impossible. The choice of the publisher was perfectly logical – the reputation of Pensoft Publishers and its founder, the famous Bulgarian zoologist Lubomir Penev, is impeccable. To stand in one cohort with powerful publications with a long history is an honor for us. High standards of editing and reviewing manuscripts, the absolute level of originality and scientific novelty – these are the criteria on which we will rely»,

comments the Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Professor of Altai University Roman Yakovlev.

«At Pensoft, we are delighted to initiate this wonderful partnership with yet another renowned research institution in Russia, namely Altai State University. With our long-year experience in zoological and biodiversity research publishing and dissemination, I am certain that the journal has found a fitting place in the family of Pensoft and ARPHA»,

comments Prof. Lyubomir Penev, CEO and founder of Pensoft and ARPHA.

The first papers of 2020 are already available online on the new website of Acta Biologica Sibirica.

Within the pioneering papers published in the renewed journal, there is a research article about the first result of DNA-studies on the Central Asiatic owlet moths in the genus Euchalcia. The studied specimens were collected in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan during the expeditions of the Russian Entomological Society in 2017-2019. When comparing a specific mitochondrial gene (cytochrome C oxidase subunit I or COI) between various species, the scientists revealed that the difference amongst European Euchalcia species is smaller than the one amongst high-mountainous Central Asiatic species.

Another study records the first occurrence of the moorland clouded yellow in Altai Region. The butterfly was found to share a mitochondrial barcode with some specimens from mountain populations from the Alps and the Czech Republic.

Colias palaeno, male, vicinity of Ozerki village, Talmenskiy district, Altai region, Russia 
Credit: Nazar A. Shapoval
License: CC-BY 4.0
Colias palaeno, male, vicinity of Ozerki village, Talmenskiy district, Altai region, Russia
Credit: Nazar A. Shapoval
License: CC-BY 4.0

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Follow Acta Biologica Sibirica on Twitter and Facebook.

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Additional information

About Altai State University:

Altai State University is one of the leading Russian classical higher education institutions established in 1973. It is a major educational, research and cultural center located in the Asian part of the country, integrated into the international academic community, training the intellectual elite and conducting high-impact research.

The unique geographical position of Altai region, located in the center of Asia predestinates the University’s mission – to appear as an international research and educational center that integrates, develops and spreads the modern Western, Russian and Asian knowledge in education, science and culture within the Asian region.

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.

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.

Contacts:

Prof. Lyubomir Penev, founder and CEO at ARPHA and Pensoft
Email: penev@pensoft.net

Prof. Alex Matsyura, Editor-in-Chief of Acta Biologica Sibirica
Email: amatsyura@gmail.com

Prof. Roman Yakovlev, Editor-in-Chief of Acta biologica sibirica 
Email: yakovlev_asu@mail.ru


Viticulture Data Journal: Non-conventional papers foster Open Science & sustainability

Non-conventional, yet pivotal research results: data, models, methods, software, data analytics pipelines and visualisation methods, related to the field of viticulture, find a place in a newly launched, open-access and peer-reviewed Viticulture Data Journal.

Non-conventional, yet pivotal research results: data, models, methods, software, data analytics pipelines and visualisation methods, related to the field of viticulture, find a place in a newly launched, open-access and peer-reviewed Viticulture Data Journal (VDJ). The journal went live with the publication of an introductory editorial and a data paper.

The publishing venue is one of the fruits borne during the collaboration between scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoft, its self-developed ARPHA Platform and the EU project AGINFRA+, whose mission is to provide a sustainable channel and data infrastructure for the use of cooperating, but not fully connected user communities working within the agricultural and food sciences. 

The novel journal brings together a wide range of topics related to the field of viticulture: from genetic research, food safety of viticultural products to climate change adaptation of grapevine varieties through grape specific research. Amongst these are:

  • Phenotyping and genotyping
  • Vine growth and development
  • Vine ecophysiology
  • Berry yield and composition
  • Genetic resources and breeding
  • Vine adaptation to climate change, abiotic and biotic stress
  • Vine propagation
  • Rootstock and clonal evaluation
  • Effects of field practices (pruning, fertilization etc.) on vine growth and quality
  • Sustainable viticulture and environmental impact
  • Ampelography
  • Plant pathology, diseases and pests of grapevine
  • Microbiology and microbiological risk assessment
  • Food safety related to table grapes, raisins, wine, etc.

With the help of the ARPHA Platform’s signature writing tool, authors are able to use a set of pre-defined, yet flexible manuscript templates: Data Paper, Methods, Emerging Techniques, Applied Study, Software Description, R Package and Commentary. Furthermore, thanks to the advanced collaborative virtual environment provided by the tool, authors, but also reviewers, editors and other invited contributors enjoy the convenience of working within the same consolidated online file all the way from the authoring and peer review stages to copy editing and publication.

“The Viticulture Data Journal was created to respond to the major technological and sociological changes that have influenced the entire process of scholarly communication towards Open Science,”

explain the editors.

“The act of scientific publishing is actually the moment when the long effort of researchers comes to light and can be assessed and used by other researchers and the wider public. Therefore, it is little wonder that the main arena of transition from Open Access to Open Science was actually the field of academic publishing,”

they add.

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The first research publication made available in VDJ is a data paper by the research team from Agricultural University of Athens: Dr Katerina Biniari, Ioannis Daskalakis, Despoina Bouza and Dr Maritina Stavrakaki. In their study, they assess and compare both the qualitative and quantitative characters of the grape cultivars ‘Mavrodafni’ and ‘Renio’, grown in different regions of the Protected Designation of Origin Mavrodafni Patras (Greece). The associated dataset, containing the mechanical properties, the polyphenolic content and the antioxidant capacity of skin extracts and must of berries of the two cultivars, is available to download as supplementary material from the article.  

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During the AGINFRA+ project, ARPHA has been extended to be used from the AGINFRA+ Virtual Research Environment (VRE), which would allow the authors to use the VRE as an additional gate to the AWT and the journal, as well as to benefit from the integration of AWT with several other services offered by the AGINFRA+ platform. The AGINFRA+ platform has been designed as a Gateway providing online access through a one-stop endpoint to services, aiming at the integration of the traditional narrative of research articles with their underlying data, software code and workflows.

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Viticulture Data Journal is indexed by Altmetric, CrossRef, Dimensions, EBSCOhost, Google Scholar, Mendeley, Microsoft Academic, Naviga (Suweco), OCLC WorldCat, OpenAIRE, OpenCitations, ReadCube, Ulrichsweb™, Unpaywall; and archived at CLOCKSS and Zenodo

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Follow Viticulture Data Journal on Twitter and Facebook.

All Pensoft journals indexed in Transpose to support transparency in journal policies

All open-access, peer-reviewed academic titles of Pensoft‘s, as well as those using the white-label publishing solution provided by the scholarly publishing platform ARPHA, have their journal policy data fed into the Transpose database, in order to increase their discoverability and transparency.

Thanks to the recent integration with the community-sourced initiative Transpose, details about each journal’s approach to peer review, co-review and preprint publication can be easily accessed, navigated and compared through a user-friendly interface. Visitors can also query the data by journal title, publisher, ISSN or DOI, and apply several filters.

Having estimated that almost 1/3 of the top-cited journals across disciplines do not provide clearly basic information about their editorial policies, including whether they operate blind peer review or not, the team behind Transpose launched the forward-thinking community-sourced initiative with the aim to advance practices in academia and increase awareness and transparency amongst authors, editors and many other stakeholder groups. To highlight the essentiality of free and easy access to editorial policies for a wide range of actors, Transpose have published user testimonials on their website coming from various points of view, including early researchers, supervisors, project investigators, funders, publishing staff, and others.


Recent integration of the scholarly publishing platform ARPHA and Transpose results in the editorial policies of all ARPHA-hosted journals being fed into the associated database. Thus, various stakeholders from across the academic landscape are provided with an easy access to details about the peer review, co-review and preprint policies at each journal via a user-friendly interface.

Pensoft and ARPHA’s founder and CEO Prof. Lyubomir Penev says:

“Having been Open Science advocates from the very beginning, at Pensoft and ARPHA, we have always supported our clients and users in being as transparent as possible. Favourite examples are the open-science journal Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO), welcoming continuously updatable publications from across the whole research cycle, and Rethinking Ecology, launched to voice innovative and even bold ideas for the purposes of taking swift actions towards the conservation of the environment. The former operates public pre- and post-publication peer review to support efficient collaboration in research, while the latter relies on double-blind peer reviews, in order to encourage researchers of various experience and background to share their inventive ideas in ecology. Obviously, journal policies are and should be crucial when it comes to picking a specific journal over another regardless of the perspective. This is why I am certain that joining Transpose is doing good for all ARPHA-hosted journals, as well as the academic community.”

ASAPbio‘s Executive Director and member of the team behind Transpose, Dr Jessica Polka adds:

“We’re thrilled to incorporate data from Pensoft into Transpose. Making policy information clear and easy to find ensures that authors and reviewers can work with journals that best align with their values — and that scholarly work can be fairly interpreted by everyone, including general readers.”

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Additional information:

About Transpose:

Transpose is an initiative to build a database of journal policies. It focuses on three areas: open peer review, co-reviewing, and detailed pre-printing policies. It welcomes contributions from anyone, but seeks verification from journals and publishers. The goal of Transpose is to foster new practices while increasing awareness among authors, editors, and other stakeholders, and we seek to provide resources to assist journals in setting, sharing, and clarifying their policies.

Austrian Herpetological Society’s journal Herpetozoa moves to Pensoft’s ARPHA platform

Newly published research articles demonstrate numerous innovative features to the benefit of readers, authors and all other users

Published since 1988 by the Austrian Herpetological Society (ÖGH, Österreichische Gesellschaft für Herpetologie), the renowned peer-reviewed, open-access Herpetozoa is added to the growing portfolio of international scientific journals published on the ARPHA scholarly platform, as a result of a new partnership with scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoft.

Follow Herpetozoa on Twitter and Facebook.

As before, Herpetozoa welcomes original research articles, short contributions and reviews covering all aspects of the study of amphibians and reptiles. The papers are published in English, whereas a translation of the abstract into German may also be included. The journal operates a single-blind peer review policy.

Thanks to the fast-track and convenient publishing provided by ARPHA, each manuscript is carried through all stages from submission and reviewing to dissemination and archiving without ever leaving the platform’s collaboration-friendly online environment.

Right underneath the new sleek look and feel welcoming users from the journal’s homepage, there are a lot of high-tech perks to benefit authors, readers, reviewers and editors alike.

Furthermore, all publications are available in three formats (PDF, XML, HTML), complete with a whole set of semantic enhancements, so that the articles are easy to find, access and harvest by both humans and machines.


Editor-in-Chief of Herpetozoa, Dr Günter Gollmann states:

“We decided to move to Open Access online publishing to increase the visibility of our journal, and to speed up the publication process. The highly attractive presentation provided by Pensoft should boost attention for the papers we publish. While Herpetozoa welcomes contributions of any length on all topics in herpetology, I hope that authors will appreciate the suitability of the new format for data-rich studies in natural history. Such research is often dismissed as “too descriptive” by other international journals, but is essential for conservation of biodiversity.”

ARPHA’s and Pensoft’s founder and CEO Prof Lyubomir Penev says:

“I am pleased to see Herpetozoa having found its new home on the ARPHA platform amongst all Pensoft journals and other highly reputed academic titles from around the globe. With our own strong background in zoological sciences, I am certain that our partnership with Herpetozoa will be quick to prove fruitful to both of us, but most importantly, to all readers, authors, editors and reviewers alike.”

With its move to the open-access, technologically advanced scholarly publishing platform, Herpetozoa lines up next to historical and well-known society journals, including Deutsche Entomologische ZeitschriftAlpine Entomology (previously Journal of the Swiss Entomological Society), Journal of Hymenoptera ResearchZoologia and others, which have all chosen to modernise with the help of ARPHA.

What’s new on Herpetozoa?

Amongst the first batch of articles published in Herpetozoa in partnership with ARPHA/Pensoft, there is an Italian study tracking the long-disputed origin of the Mediterranean-native common chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleo) back to its ancestors in North Africa and the Middle East. Another paper by a research team from Romania compares the effects of carnivore, vegetarian and omnivorous diets on the growth, development and mortality in tadpoles of the common toad. In their study of the South American frog species Leptodactylus fuscus, scientists from Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul (Brazil) compare the diet of a population living in the wild with another one, which inhabits an urban environment. Their aim was to determine the impact urbanisation could be having on this otherwise abundant amphibian.

Distribution of the common chameleon in Salento (southern Italy) in 2018. Black dots represent observation localities (Basso et al. 2019).
Study openly accessible at:
https://doi.org/10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e35611

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Herpetozoa is indexed in Biological AbstractsBIOSIS (Previews)Current Contents – AgriculturalScience Citation Index (Expanded)Web of ScienceZoological Record (Plus). Currently, its Journal Impact Factor stands at 1.125.

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About the Austrian Herpetological Society:

The Austrian Herpetological Society (Österreichische Gesellschaft für Herpetologie, ÖGH) was founded in 1984 to advance all branches of herpetology. The society supports scientific research and promotes conservation of amphibians and reptiles, as well as their habitats. To raise public awareness of these animal groups, ÖGH organizes meetings and excursions and publishes the journals Herpetozoa and ÖGH-Aktuell.

Rebranded Social Psychological Bulletin opens up to the world with PsychOpen GOLD & ARPHA

Formerly known as Psychologia Spoleczna, the scholarly journal is now publishing exclusively in English and is free to both readers and authors after joining the PsychOpen GOLD platform based on ARPHA

Social Psychological Bulletin (SPB), formerly known as the Polish-born Psychologia Spo?eczna, has rebranded and evolved to reflect its new international outlook and dedication to social psychological research and open science practices.

In line with its renowned legacy, the peer-reviewed journal welcomes original empirical research, theoretical review papers, scientific debates, and methodological contributions in the field of basic and applied social psychology.

However, from now on, accepted articles are to be exclusively in English and openly accessible from day one of publication. Furthermore, authors are able to publish with SPB free of charge in the name of socially committed and responsible research.

The journal places special emphasis on what its Editors-in-Chief Drs Michal Parzuchowski and Marcin Bukowski call “the updated FOCI” – an abbreviation for Focused on people, Open, Committed and Integrative.

The changes meant to lead up to the journal’s long-term progress, also outlined in the latest Editorial, come as a result of SPB joining two prime movers in the open science field – the Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information (ZPID) with its unique publication platform, PsychOpen GOLD, and Pensoft with its innovative journal publishing and management system, ARPHA.

Since 2012, PsychOpen GOLD – The European Open Access Publishing Platform for Psychology – allows for both journals and authors to increase the visibility and accessibility of novel psychological research in the spirit of open science practices free of charge.

In the new pilot project, ZPID’s PsychOpen GOLD also collaborates with the technologically advanced academic journal and book publishing platform ARPHA in order to further facilitate and increase visibility of the novel findings of societal value.

As a result of the partnership, SPB will make use of the long list of high-tech and user-friendly innovations, provided by ARPHA, which go far beyond the brand new sleek look and feel of the journal.

“We proudly present the new SPB journal to the scientific community, representing a major breakthrough in open access publishing in psychology,” says ZPID director Prof. Dr. Michael Bosnjak. “SPB on PsychOpen GOLD assisted by ARPHA is now up and running at record speed.”

“It’s really exciting to announce our partnership with ZPID, PsychOpen GOLD and SPB, in this collaborative venture to advance accessibility and visibility of research with such an impact on our own society,” says Prof. Lyubomir Penev, founder and CEO of ARPHA Platform and its developer – Pensoft Publishers. “At ARPHA and Pensoft, we have always worked towards next-age innovations in Open Science – be it improved accessibility, findability, usability or collaboration – so it only makes sense to join in this amazing initiative to open up the latest fine research in psychology.”

The journal’s first thematic issue comprises 10 forum papers (by Dariusz Doli?ski, Arie Kruglanski, Adam Factor & Katarzyna Jasko; Leonel Garcia-Marques & Mario Ferreira; Wolfgang Stroebe; Karl Halvor Teigen; Jolanda Jetten & Alexander S. Haslam; Miros?aw Kofta; Bogdan Wojciszke & Konrad Bocian; and Klaus Fiedler) dedicated to discussions on behavior and its measurement as triggered by Prof. Dariusz Dolinski’s article “Is Psychology Still a Science of Behaviour?”.

In his paper, Doli?ski calculates that the number of articles in a recent volume of the flagship Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (2017) presenting studies in which the dependent variable consisted of a real behavior was 4 out of 49 (8.2%). Out of a total number of 290 studies presented in this volume, a mere 18 (6,2%) addressed behaviour.

He argues that in addition to studying phenomena like stereotypes, attitudes, and values – which he dubs the “what, how, and why people think”, social psychology needs to also remain dedicated to the “what, why and how people act”, i.e. things such as aggression, altruism, and social influence.

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Follow the discussion in the second 2018 issue of Social Psychological Bulletin on the journal’s new website.

Follow SPB on Twitter and Facebook.

Russia’s NaRFU moves its Arctic Environmental Research journal to new-age ARPHA Platform

In its latest issue, the Northern (Arctic) Federal University’s open-access journal demonstrates a brand new look and a range of high-tech innovations

Formerly known as Bulletin of the Pomor University and Bulletin of the Northern (Arctic) Federal University, the open-access peer-reviewed journal published by Russia’s Northern (Arctic) Federal University (NArFU) recently changed its name to Arctic Environmental Research (AER) to accentuate its international relevance. Now, it also accommodates a whole set of novelties and innovations as a result of its move to the journal platform ARPHA.

Its first issue in collaboration with the revolutionary publishing solution, developed by scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoft, is already live on the journal’s new website.

Launched in 2012, AER continues to provide a scholarly venue for publication of research findings related to the Arctic and adjacent areas, in order to draw attention to the most relevant, promising and interesting findings from the region, and facilitate exchange of scientific information on an international level.

Traditionally, the journal covers a wide range of disciplines, including geology, geodesy and cartography, geoinformatics, geoecology, engineering geology, permafrost and soil science, prospecting and exploration of solid minerals, oil and gas fields, biogeography, botany, microbiology, zoology, genetics, ecology, hydrobiology, parasitology, mycology, soil science, biological resources. Its focus is placed on original research based on field or laboratory experiments and mathematical modeling of processes taking place in high latitudes.

Thanks to its collaboration with ARPHA platform, the journal has already implemented a long list of high-tech perks in addition to its brand new sleek and modern look and feel.

To the benefit of authors, reviewers, editors and readers alike, the fast-track and convenient publishing workflow provided by ARPHA takes care for each manuscript all the way from submission and reviewing to dissemination and archiving without ever leaving the platform’s singular collaboration-friendly online environment.

Once published, all articles in AER are to be available in three formats (PDF, XML, HTML), enriched with a whole set of semantic enhancements, so that the articles are easy to discover, access and harvest by both humans and machines.

Amongst the high-tech widgets at disposal to anyone who accesses an article in the revamped journal are the article-level metrics available thanks to the partnership between ARPHA and the revolutionary discovery and analytics tools Dimensions and Altmetric. By searching through millions of research articles, grant applications, clinical trials, as well as policy documents, news stories, blogs and social media posts, they allow for each article’s references and citations in both the academic and the public sphere to be monitored in real time.

“I am truly delighted to welcome Arctic Environmental Research to ARPHA’s family,” says ARPHA’s and Pensoft’s founder and CEO Prof. Lyubomir Penev. “Being proven pioneers on the scholarly publishing scene in addition to our strong presence in environmental science, at ARPHA we believe that our white-label publishing solution makes a perfect match for forward-thinking institutions such as the NArFU and AER.

“We are starting our cooperation with the scholarly publisher and technology provider Pensoft and moving to the journal ARPHA platform,” says NArFU’s Vice rector for scientific work and AER’s Deputy Editor-in-Chief Dr. Boris Filippov. “We believe that it will help us fulfil the aims of AER, i.e. draw the scientists’ attention to the most relevant, interesting, and promising areas of research in the Arctic and adjacent territories, as well as promote information exchange in the international scientific arena.”

AER is the fourth Russian journal to find its new publishing home with ARPHA Platform after Comparative CytogeneticsResearch results in Pharmacology and Russian Journal of Economics. Several new titles are expected to join them later this year.

Economics journals hosted on ARPHA to have their content indexed at RePEc

The first to take advantage of the service is the most recent addition to the journal platform’s portfolio — Russian Journal of Economics

Following the recent integration between ARPHA and the collaborative project RePEc (Research Papers in Economics), journals publishing in economics will have their articles indexed in RePEc decentralised bibliographic database upon moving to the technologically advanced platform.

Working with 50,000 registered authors from around the globe, having indexed about 2.3 million research publications from 2,800 journals, and serving over 80,000 email subscriptions on a weekly basis, RePEc’s services are set to further increase the discoverability and creditability of economics papers published in any ARPHA-hosted journal.

The collaboration was inspired by the recent move of the open access peer-reviewed Russian Journal of Economics to ARPHA. Shortly after appearing on the journal’s new website provided by the platform, RuJE’s first 2018 issue, themed ‘The Austrian School of Economics: Its Reception in European Countries,’ was also available via the RePEc’s web interfaces, including IDEAS.

“Having added yet another web-service integration to the list, ARPHA once more demonstrates its flexibility and customer-oriented approach when it comes to providing a new home for journals looking to step up and provide all those innovative and high-tech features to their users,” says ARPHA’s and Pensoft’s founder and CEO Prof. Lyubomir Penev. “In times where the findability of a research publication is almost as important as its quality, I am certain that our integration with RePEc will significantly benefit our clients specialising in economics.”

Speaking in Novosibirsk, Russia, the founder of RePEc, Thomas Krichel noted, “When I set out what would become RePEc in the early 1990, my vision was of a non-proprietary system that all could contribute to, and that all could use freely. My particular concern was to level the playing field between publishers. Open access content is particularly valuable. I am pleased that ARPHA has chosen that publishing avenue.”

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Additional information:

About RePEc:

RePEc (Research Papers in Economics) is a collaborative effort of hundreds of volunteers in 96 countries to enhance the dissemination of research in economics and related sciences.

The heart of the project is a decentralised bibliographic database of working papers, journal articles, books, books chapters and software components, all maintained by volunteers. The collected data are then used in various services that provide the collected metadata to users or enhance it.

So far, over 1,900 archives from 96 countries have contributed about 2.3 million research pieces from 2,800 journals and 4,500 working paper series. About 50,000 authors have registered and 75,000 email subscriptions are served every week.

RePEc grew out of the NetEc project founded by Thomas Krichel in 1993.