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:

***

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

Field research in Turkmenistan’s highest mountain reveals high biological diversity

Camera trap image of male Markhor Capra falconeri at the Koytendag State Nature Reserve
Photo by Koytendag State Nature Reserve

New open-access book presents a comprehensive report on the remarkable ecosystems of the Koytendag nature reserve

Situated in the extreme south-east of Turkmenistan: on the border with Uzbekistan and close to the border with Afghanistan, Koytendag presents one of the most distinct landscapes in Central Asia. Reaching elevations of up to 3,137 m, this is also the highest mountain in Turkmenistan.

Location of Koytendag
Image by Atamyrat Veyisov

Koytendag State Nature Reserve and its three Wildlife Sanctuaries: Hojapil, Garlyk and Hojaburjybelent, were established between 1986 and 1990 to protect and preserve the mountain ecosystem of the Koytendag region and maintain the ecological balance between the environment and increasing economic activities.

Since 2013, a series of scientific expeditions and assessments were coordinated and funded by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) to pave the way for the protection and preservation of the unique landscape and rare wildlife the site is recognised for.

As a result, the efforts of the conducted field studies of multidisciplinary international research teams are brought together in a comprehensive report, which is now openly available as an Advanced Book from the scientific publisher and technology provider Pensoft, edited by Geoff Welch (RSPB) and Prof. Pavel Stoev (National National Museum of Natural History of Bulgaria and Pensoft). Soon, the book will also be available in Russian.

The book is split into eight sections focused on different areas within the study of biodiversity: Flora, Surface dwelling invertebrates, Cave fauna, Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds and Mammals. An additional chapter is dedicated to the hydrogeology of the site because of its key role in supporting both the cave fauna and the local communities.

Entrance to the newly discovered record-breaking underground lake at the Koytendag State Nature Reserve
Photo by Mikhail Pereladov

In the summary of the report, the authors make a list of the most significant findings made during the research. These include the discovery of a cave hosting the largest underground lake in the whole North Eurasia (4,400 m2) and a total of 48 species of higher plants that can only be found in Koytendag. In terms of Koytendag’s surface-dwelling fauna, the report lists a number of species new to science: a scorpion (most likely yet unnamed species currently recognised as a species complex) and a spider. Meanwhile, a total of seven previously unknown species were found underground, including the very first exclusively subterranean animal found in the country: the insect-like ‘marvellous’ dipluran named Turkmenocampa mirabilis, and a strongly adapted to the underground waters of a desert sinkhole Gammarus troglomorphus. Additionally, the annual monitoring, conducted since 1995 by the reserve staff, report an encouraging increase in the populations of the rare markhors and mouflons. An intact predator-prey community was also identified as a result of observations of numerous Eurasian lynxes and grey wolves, as well as prey species.

Entrance of the cave Kaptarhana, (Lebap Province, Eastern Turkmenistan), where scientists discovered the first ever exclusively subterranean dweller for the country (find more here).
Photo by Aleksandr Degtyarev

Stephanie Ward, RSPB Central Asia Partner Development Officer, says:

“RSPB has been working in Turkmenistan under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government since 2004. In that time we have had the privilege of working with a team of talented and dedicated national experts across the diverse and inspiring nature of this fascinating country. Our work in Koytendag has captured the attention and interest of many international scientists who hope that their contemporary biodiversity research will help to deepen the understanding and therefore ensure protection of the unique wonders of this mountain ecosystem. As a potential UNESCO World Heritage Site, we will continue to collaborate with the Turkmen people on the research and promotion of Koytendag State Nature Reserve.

Book editor and member of the research team Prof. Pavel Stoev adds:

“Koytendag Mountain is among the least explored and, simultaneously, one of the most biologically diverse regions in Central Asia. The rapid assessments of its flora and fauna revealed a high number of highly specialised species, all of which have undergone a long evolution to adapt to the harsh environments of the mountain. The establishment of Koytendag State Nature Reserve and the associated wildlife sanctuaries is a step in the right direction for the protection of this unique biota.”

###

Cover of the book, available as an open-access Advanced book from: https://doi.org/10.3897/ab.e37858.

Original source:

Welch G, Stoev P (2019) A report of RSPB-supported scientific research at Koytendag State Nature Reserve, East Turkmenistan. Advanced Books. https://doi.org/10.3897/ab.e37858

Additional information:

This work was carried out under the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment Protection of Turkmenistan and the RSPB, within the Project on “Improvement of the status of birds and other biodiversity in Turkmenistan”.

About Koytendag State Nature Reserve:

Koytendag State Nature Reserve was established in 1986 to protect and preserve the mountain ecosystem of the Koytendag region and maintain the ecological balance between the environment and the increasing anthropogenic activities. Of particular importance was the protection of rare species, such as the markhor; important habitats, including pistachio and juniper forests; and the impressive dinosaur trackways at Hojapil.

Advanced Books publishing by Pensoft:

Launched by Pensoft and powered by the scholarly publishing platform ARPHA, the Advanced Books approach aims to issue new books or re-issue books previously only available in print or PDF. In the Advanced Books format, the publications are semantically enhanced and available in HTML and XML as well, in order to accelerate open access, data publication, mining, sharing and reuse. The Advanced books builds on the novel approaches developed by the Pensoft’s journals.



Journal of Hymenoptera Research links Crocodile Dundee, Toblerone, Game of Thrones & Alien

A myriad of species and genera new to science, including economically important wasps drawing immediate attention because of their amusing names and remarkable physical characters, in addition to work set to lay the foundations for future taxonomic and conservation research, together comprise the latest 64th issue of Journal of Hymenoptera Research (JHR).

The species Qrocodiledundee outbackense

Two genera (Qrocodiledundee and Tobleronius) named after the action comedy Crocodile Dundee and the chocolate brand Toblerone are only a couple of the 14 new genera from the monograph of the microgastrine wasps of the world’s tropical regions, authored by Dr Jose Fernandez-Triana and Caroline Boudreault of the Canadian National Collection of insects in Ottawa. In their article, the team also describes a total of 29 new species, where five of them carry the names of institutions holding some of the most outstanding wasp collections.

Another curiously named species of microgastrine wasp described in the new JHR issue, is called Eadya daenerys in reference to Daenerys Targaryen, a fictional character known from the best-selling book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, and the blockbuster TV show Game of Thrones. Discovered by University of Central Florida‘s Ryan Ridenbaugh, Erin Barbeau and Dr Barbara Sharanowski as a result of a collaboration between biocontrol researchers and taxonomists, the new species might not be in control of three dragons, nor a ruler or protector of whole nations. However, by being a potential biocontrol agent against a particular group of leaf beetle pests, it could spare the lives of many eucalyptus plantations around the world.

The species Tobleronius orientalis

Furthermore, a wasp named Dolichogenidea xenomorph, which parasitises other eucalyptus pests, is also named after a character from a sought-after franchise. The scriptwriters of the horror sci-fi movie series Alien are thought to have been thinking of parasitic wasps when they came up with the character Xenomorph, remind authors Erinn Fagan-Jeffries, Dr Steven Cooper and Dr Andrew Austin. Additionally, the team from University of Adelaide and the South Australian Museum point out that the species name translates to ‘strange form’ in Greek, which perfectly suits the characteristic remarkably long ovipositor of the new wasp.

The species Eadya daenerys

In another paper of the same journal issue, Dr. Jean-Luc Boevé, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Diego Domínguez, Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, Ecuador, and Dr David Smith, Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, USA, publish an illustrated list of the wasp-related sawflies, which they collected from northern Ecuador a few years ago. They also provide a checklist of the country’s species.

In conclusion, the fifth paper, authored by Serbian scientists Dr Milana Mitrovic Institute for Plant Protection and Environment, and Prof Zeljko

The species Dolichogenidea xenomorph

Tomanovic, University of Belgrade, studies ways to extract DNA from dry parasitoid wasps from the natural history archives decades after their preservation. In their work, they make it clear that such projects are of great importance for future taxonomic and conservation research, as well as agriculture.

***

The open access Journal of Hymenoptera Research is published bimonthly by the scholarly publisher Pensoft on behalf of the International Society of Hymenopterists.

***

Original sources:

Boeve; J, Dominguez D, Smith D (2018) Sawflies from northern Ecuador and a checklist for the country (Hymenoptera: Argidae, Orussidae, Pergidae, Tenthredinidae, Xiphydriidae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research 64: 1-24. https://doi.org/10.3897/jhr.64.24408

Ridenbaugh RD, Barbeau E, Sharanowski BJ (2018) Description of four new species of Eadya (Hymenoptera, Braconidae), parasitoids of the Eucalyptus Tortoise Beetle (Paropsis charybdis) and other Eucalyptus defoliating leaf beetles. Journal of Hymenoptera Research 64: 141-175. https://doi.org/10.3897/jhr.64.24282

Fagan-Jeffries EP, Cooper SJB, Austin AD (2018) Three new species of Dolichogenidea Viereck (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Microgastrinae) from Australia with exceptionally long ovipositors. Journal of Hymenoptera Research 64: 177-190. https://doi.org/10.3897/jhr.64.25219

Boeve; J, Dominguez D, Smith D (2018) Sawflies from northern Ecuador and a checklist for the country (Hymenoptera: Argidae, Orussidae, Pergidae, Tenthredinidae, Xiphydriidae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research 64: 1-24. https://doi.org/10.3897/jhr.64.24408

Mitrovic M, Tomanovic Z (2018) New internal primers targeting short fragments of the mitochondrial COI region for archival specimens from the subfamily Aphidiinae (Hymenoptera, Braconidae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research 64: 191-210. https://doi.org/10.3897/jhr.64.25399

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.”

###

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.

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.

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.

Celebration time: ZooKeys releases its 600th issue


zookeys 600 coverWith what already sounds like an annual tradition at this time of the year, we are delighted to announce yet another milestone that
ZooKeys just reached. Our 600th issue is now out and we are just as proud with it as we were exactly five years and a month ago, when we printed out our first three-digit issue number on a ZooKeys cover.

However, we feel nowhere near getting tired of counting pages, covers and issues, nor do we believe this will ever going to happen. Quite the contrary, every year we take more and more pleasure in adding new achievements next to the name of ZooKeys and Pensoft.   

Last year was no exception. During the past 13 months, we published a total of 673 articles, including research findings spectacular enough to reach out to not only the zoological fellowship, but to the wide audience from around the world. While our Impact Factor keeps on increasing, according to the figures Thomson Reuters released last week, we are gratified to observe our progressively growing impact on both the scholarly and the popular-science front.

Thanks to the discoveries, which found a suiting publication partner in ZooKeys, our authors and us made a lot of big headlines in outlets such as National Geographic, Science, CNN, BBC, Sky News, New York Times, Deutsche Welle, Der Standard, DR, Washington Post, Fox News, Huffington Post, The Guardian, NBC News, and a lot more. We had a bit of everything: record-breakers, species given mystic or splashy names and others bearing nerdy ones. Together, we also gave public voice to serious conservation issues, calling for immediate action.

Last June, we introduced you to the Hades centipede, known to be the world’s deepest-dwelling species of its kind. Who knew that the entrance to the Underworld is located in a Croatian cave?

Later on, in November, published with us snail species Acmella nana broke the World record for the tiniest land snail. Moreover, this happened only about a month after we published the previous ‘prizewinner’ Angustopila dominikae, and that one was already tiny enough to fit 10 of its shells within the eye of a needle at the very same time!  

Our pages, which have been and always will be openly available to read for anyone who is online, were also the first to let you know about the existence of the Johnny Cash tarantula, the (Edward) Snowden crayfish, the two daddy longlegs: Smeagol and the ‘Master-of-the-crypt’ Behemoth, the Chewbacca beetle and the Brad Pitt wasp, among many others.

About two months ago, graduate student Madhu Chetri spotted the ancient Himalayan woolly wolf in Nepal. The new knowledge about the beautiful and, sadly, Critically Endangered carnivore, which he acquired, will hopefully help in preventing its otherwise imminent extinction.

In the meantime, Deutsche Welle (DW) featured our Zorro fish along with the eight-legged Johnny Cash’s namesake in their rank list of the 7 “newcomer” species of the year.

While being in the spotlight is definitely a gratifying feeling, we also indulge in our successes achieved far from the eyes of the public, although we are certain that our authors will be just as excited to hear about. Such an accomplishment is our recently sealed partnership with open digital repository Zenodo, who are helping us, along with the rest of the journals, published by Pensoft, to keep our research findings safe and easily accessible by archiving all our articles in both PDF and XML format on the date of publication.

However, let’s not forget that nothing of all the above would be what it is without our authors, editors and reviewers, who have always done their best to keep ZooKeys at the World’s top open access academic journals. We’d especially like to thank our Most active authors, editors and reviewers for being substantial part of ZooKeys.

Research Ideas & Outcomes: New open-access journal to publish entire research cycles

Research Ideas & Outcomes (RIO), a new open access journal, is formally announced. The new journal represents a paradigm shift in academic publishing: for the first time, RIO will publish research from all stages of the research cycle, across a broad suite of disciplines, from humanities to science.

Traditional journals accept only articles produced at the end of the research continuum, long after the core work has been completed. RIO will publish ideas and outputs from all stages of the research cycle: proposals, experimental designs, data, software, research articles, project reports, policy briefs, project management plans and more.

The journal takes another step ahead with a collaborative platform that allows all ideas and outputs to be labelled with Impact Categories based upon UN Millennium Development Goals(MDGs) and EU Societal Challenges. These categories provide social impact-based labelling to help funders, journalists and the wider public discover and finance relevant research as well as to foster interdisciplinary collaboration around societal challenges.

These game-changing ideas come packed with technical innovation and unique features. The journal is published through ARPHA, the first publishing platform ever to support the full life cycle of a manuscript: from authoring to submission, public peer review, publication and dissemination, within a single, fully-integrated online collaborative environment. The new platform will also allow for RIO to offer one of the most transparent, open and public peer review processes, thus building trust in the reviewed outcomes.

These features come à la carte: RIO will offer flexible pricing where authors can choose exactly which publishing services fit their needs and budget. All its contents – including reviews and comments, data and code – will receive a persistent unique identifier, will be permanently archived and made available under open licenses without any access embargo.

“RIO is not just about different kinds of submissions, though that is a crucial feature and certainly unique for publishing ongoing or even proposed research: it is also about linking those submissions together across the research cycle, about reducing the time from submission to publication, about collaborative authoring and reviewing, about mapping to societal challenges, about technical innovation, about enabling reuse and about giving authors more choice in what features they actually want from the journal.” said Dr. Daniel Mietchen, a founding editor of RIO.

“I’m proud to pioneer the first journal which can publish research from all stages of the research process,” said Prof. Lyubomir Penev, Co-Founder of RIO and Pensoft. “For the first time, researchers can get formal publication credit for previously ‘hidden’ parts of their work like written research proposals. We can publish all outputs in one journal; the same journal – RIO.”

RIO is scheduled to start accepting manuscripts in November 2015.