About

Focus and Scope

ARPHA Conference Abstracts (ACA) is an innovative open access publishing platform for conference abstracts in any field of science. Abstracts are authored, submitted, reviewed, edited and published within a single online collaborative environment.

Conference collections of abstracts can be divided in sub-collections, edited and managed by different conference conveners and editors. Each conference collection and each separate abstract is published under DOI in both, human- (semantic HTML, PDF) and machine-readable (XML) formats.  

The platform does not publish conventional research articles or full-text papers. The abstracts, however, can be enriched with data, citations, figures and tables on agreement with the publisher. Video recordings, posters and presentations can be uploaded in bulk and visualized on the abstract pages after the end of the conference.


Unique features

ACA demonstrates several innovations in both the technological and social aspects of the academic publishing practices. These are some of the features that make the journal unique in its field:

  • The journal is published on ARPHA, the first online collaborative platform and workflow ever to support the full lifecycle of a manuscript, from writing through submission, peer-review, publication and dissemination.

  • Most structural elements of the published article – text, tables, figures, etc. are treated and stored as data.

  • The online, collaborative, manuscript-authoring ARPHA Writing Tool provides a large set of pre-defined, but flexible, article templates covering most important types of research outcomes. Within ARPHA, authors may work collaboratively on a manuscript and invite external contributors, such as mentors, potential reviewers, linguistic and copy editors, colleagues, who may correct and comment on the text before submission.

  • A rich set of functionalities of the ARPHA Writing Tool allows for search and import of literature and data references, cross-referencing of in-text citations of literature, tables, images and supplementary material. The tool has an automated technical validation step which will save your time by checking your manuscript for consistency.

  • Аll reviews on a manuscript are consolidated into a single online file which makes the process of editing straightforward, easy and comfortable. The journal allows also a post-publication review.

  • After the end of the conference, the presentations, Video recordings and posters can be uploaded and visualized at the respective abstract pages.


How It Works

Authoring and submission of abstracts

To write and submit a conference abstract to ACA, the authors need to:

  1. Log in at the journal’s website.
  2. Create a new Conference abstract manuscript via the ARPHA Writing Tool by clicking the "Start a Conference Abstract" button on the journal’s homepage.
  3. Fill in the mandatory metadata along with the text of the abstract.
  4. Assign their manuscript to an existing collection by clicking on the Collections-button located in the top menu. (Note:  If the authors have assigned the abstract to a wrong collection, the editors can change it during the technical evaluation process, prior to the submission to ACA.)
  5. Pass the validation (i.e. automated check for empty mandatory fields).
  6. Have their conference abstract accepted for a particular collection from the respective editor (this may take several iterations depending on the collection editor’s comments and subsequent decision) (note: not all collections require approval of the abstracts assignment. For most of them it is done automatically).
  7. Submit their conference abstract for publication to the journal.

Extended guidelines with screenshots are available in this blog. The reader may also consult a shortened guidelines version below.

Manuscripts intended for submission to ACA, should be written in the collaborative online ARPHA Writing Tool. ARPHA provides flexible abstract templates upon clicking on the "Start a Conference Abstract" button. ARPHA further provides a rich set of functionalities, which makes the collaborative work easy and comfortable for both the authors and their peers. The authoring process in ARPHA is described in fine detail in the Tips and Tricks menu of the writing tool.

Abstracts in ACA are being grouped in separate collections and/or sub-collections, which on the other hand are edited and managed by different conference conveners and editors. Assigning an abstract to a collection from a preset list of collections open at the time of submission is mandatory. To assign a manuscript to a certain collection of proceedings, authors can request it be added to that collection still during the authoring process in the ARPHA Writing Tool. The abstract will be accepted to a collection as soon as one of the editors handling the relevant collection approves it (whereas a convener/editor’s approval is needed).

ARPHA Writing Tool provides an automated technical pre-submission validation to save your time by checking your manuscript for consistency. By clicking at the Validation button, an automated technical check will run through the submission and alert the author if there are any mandatory elements missing. If any technical problems are detected by the system, a pop-up window will indicate each issue encountered. Clicking on the links for each error will guide the author to the relevant place, where the issue should be addressed.

In addition, a pre-submission technical and editorial review is performed by the editors against formal checklist criteria such as: technical consistency, language, ethical issues, correspondence to the journal’s criteria for publication, focus and scope. The editors of ACA can re-iterate the technical evaluation process several times until the manuscript reaches an acceptable level of quality to be submitted to ACA.


Policies

General Statement

The journal policies and guidelines are mandatory. Exceptions to elements of the policies may be granted in specific cases, but will require justification that will be made public together with the article.

License and Copyright Agreement

In submitting the manuscript to the journal, the authors certify that:

  • They are authorized by their co-authors to enter into these arrangements.
  • The work described has not been formally published before (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture, review, thesis, or overlay journal), that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication has been approved by all the author(s) and by the responsible authorities – tacitly or explicitly – of the institutes where the work has been carried out.
  • They secure the right to reproduce any material that has already been published or copyrighted elsewhere.
  • They agree to the following license and copyright agreement:

Copyright

Licensing for Data Publication

Pensoft’s  journals use a variety of waivers and licenses, that are specifically designed for and appropriate for the treatment of data:

Other data publishing licenses may be allowed as exceptions (subject to approval by the editor on a case-by-case basis) and should be justified with a written statement from the author, which will be published with the article.

Open Data and Software Publishing and Sharing

The journal strives to maximize the replicability of the research published in it. Authors are thus required to share all data, code or protocols underlying the research reported in their articles. Exceptions are permitted, but have to be justified in a written public statement accompanying the article.

Datasets and software should be deposited and permanently archived in appropriate, trusted, general, or domain-specific repositories (please consult http://service.re3data.org and/or software repositories such as GitHubGitLabBioinformatics.org, or equivalent). The associated persistent identifiers (e.g. DOI, or others) of the dataset(s) must be included in the data or software resources section of the article. Reference(s) to datasets and software should also be included in the reference list of the article with DOIs (where available). Where no domain-specific data repository exists, authors should deposit their datasets in a general repository such as ZENODODryadDataverse, or others.

Small data may also be published as data files or packages supplementary to a research article, however, the authors should prefer in all cases a deposition in data repositories.

Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses present on the journal’s website will be used exclusively for the purposes of the journal.

Author Policies

It is a responsibility of the corresponding author that all named authors have agreed to its submission.

The Corresponding Author’s Role and Responsibilities are to:

  1. Inform all co-authors of the submission of the manuscript to the journal (note: each co-author will receive a confirmation email upon submission and will need to confirm their authorship).
  2. Manage all correspondence between the journal and all co-authors, keeping the full co-author group apprised of the manuscript progress.
  3. Designate a substitute correspondent for times of unavailability.
  4. Ensure payment of the publication charges at the point of Editorial Acceptance, or before that in case some specific services have been purchased (e.g., conversion to ARPHA or linguistic editing).
  5. Ensure that the manuscript is in full adherence with all the journal policies (including such items as publication ethics, data deposition, materials deposition, etc).
  6. Post Publication: Respond to all queries pertaining to the published manuscript, provide data and materials as requested.
  7. The submission must be created (and completed) by one of the co-authors, not by an agency, or by some other individual who is not one of the co-authors.

Commenting Policies

All public comments follow the normal standards of professional discourse. All commenters are named, and their comments are associated to the journal profile. The journal does not allow anonymous or pseudonymous commenting or user profiles.

The journal does not tolerate language that is insulting, inflammatory, obscene or libelous. The journal reserves the right to remove all or parts of Comments to bring them in line with these policies. The journal is the final arbiter as to the suitability of any comments.

Conflicts of Interest

The journal requires that all parties involved in a publication (i.e. the authors, reviewers and academic editors) should transparently declare any potential Conflicts of Interest (also known as Competing Interests). The disclosure of a Conflict of Interest does not necessarily mean that there is an issue to be addressed; it simply ensures that all parties are appropriately informed of any relevant considerations while they work on the submission.

Potential Conflicts of Interest should be declared even if the individual in question feels that these interests do not represent an actual conflict. Examples of Conflicts of Interest include, but are not limited to: possible financial benefits if the manuscript is published; patent activity on the results; consultancy activity around the results; personal material or financial gain (such as free travel, gifts, etc.) relating to the work, and so on.

While possible financial benefits should appear here, actual funding sources (institutional, corporate, grants, etc.) should be detailed in the funding disclosure statement.

Funding Disclosure

The journal requires that authors declare the funding which made their work possible, including funding programmes, projects, or calls for grant proposals (when applicable).


Terms of Use

This document describes the Terms of Use of the services provided by the ARPHA Conference Abstracts platform, hereinafter referred to as "the Platform" or "this Platform". All Users agree to these Terms of Use when signing up to this Platform. Signed Platform Users will be hereinafter referred to as "User" or "Users".

The publication services to the Platform are provided by Pensoft Publishers Ltd., through its publishing platform ARPHA, hereinafter referred to as "the Provider".

The Provider reserves the right to update the Terms of Use occasionally. Users will be notified via posting on the site and/or by email. If using the services of the Platform after such notice, the User will be deemed to have accepted the proposed modifications. If the User disagrees with the modifications, he/she should stop using the Platform services. Users are advised to periodically check the Terms of Use for updates or revisions. Violation of any of the terms will result in the termination of the User's account. The Provider is not responsible for any content posted by the User in the Platform.

Account Terms

  1. For registration in this Platform or any of the services or tools hosted on it, Users must provide their full legal name, a valid email address, postal address, affiliation (if any),  and any other information requested.
  2. Accounts created via this Platform automatically sign in the User to the ARPHA Platform.
  3. Users are responsible for maintaining the security of their account and password. The Platform cannot and will not be liable for any loss or damage from failure to comply with this security obligation.
  4. Users are solely responsible for the content posted via the Platform services (including, but not limited to data, text, files, information, usernames, images, graphics, photos, profiles, audio and video clips, sounds, applications, links and other content) and all activities that occur under their account.
  5. Users may not use the service for any illegal or unauthorised purpose. Users must not, in the use of the service, violate any laws within their jurisdiction (including but not limited to copyright or trademark laws).
  6. Users can change or pseudonomyse their personal data, or deactivate their accounts at any time through the functionality available in the User’s personal profile. Deactivation or pseudonomysation will not affect the appearance of personal data in association with an already published work of which the User is author, co-author, editor, or reviewer.
  7. Users can report to the Platform uses of their personal data, that they might consider not corresponding to the current Terms of Use.
  8. The User’s personal data is processed by the Platform on the legal basis corresponding to Article 6, paragraph 1, letters a, b, c and f. of the General Data Protection Regulation (hereinafter referred to as GDPR) and will be used for the purpose of Platform’s services in accordance with the present Terms and Use, as well as in those cases expressly stated by the legislation.
  9. User’s consent to use the information the Platform has collected about the User corresponds to Article 6(1)(a) of the GDPR.
  10. The ‘legitimate interest’ of the Platform to engage with the User and enable him/her to participate in Platform’s activities and use Platform's services correspond to Article 6(1)(f) of the GDPR.

Services and Prices

The Provider reserves the right to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, the services provided by the Platform. Plans and prices are subject to change upon 30 days notice from the Provider. Such notice may be provided at any time by posting the changes to the relevant service website.

Ownership

The Authors retain full ownership to their content published in the Platform. We claim no intellectual property rights over the material provided by any User in this Platform. However, by setting pages to be viewed publicly (Open Access), the User agrees to allow others to view and download the relevant content. In addition, Open Access articles might be used by the Provider, or any other third party, for data mining purposes.

The Provider reserves the rights in its sole discretion to refuse or remove any content that is available via the Website.

Copyrighted Materials

Unless stated otherwise, the Platform website may contain some copyrighted material (for example, logos and other proprietary information, including, without limitation, text, software, photos, video, graphics, music and sound - "Copyrighted Material"). The User may not copy, modify, alter, publish, transmit, distribute, display, participate in the transfer or sale, create derivative works or, in any way, exploit any of the Copyrighted Material, in whole or in part, without written permission from the copyright owner. Users will be solely liable for any damage resulting from any infringement of copyrights, proprietary rights or any other harm resulting from such a submission.

Exceptions from this rule are e-chapters or e-articles published under Open Access (see below), which are normally published under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license (CC-BY), or Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (CC-BY), or Creative Commons Public Domain license (CC0).

Open Access Materials

This Platform is a supporter of open science. Open access to content is clearly marked, with text and/or the open access logo, on all materials published under this model. Unless otherwise stated, open access content is published in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence (CC-BY). This particular licence allows the copying, displaying and distribution of the content at no charge, provided that the author and source are credited.

Privacy Statement

  1. Users agree to submit their personal data to this Platform, hosted on the ARPHA Platform provided by Pensoft.
  2. The Platform collects personal information from Users (e.g., name, postal and email addresses, affiliation) only for the purpose of its services.
  3. All personal data will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of the website and will not be made available for any other purpose or to third parties.
  4. In the case of co-authorship of a work published through the Platform services, each of the co-authors states that they agree that their personal data be collected, stored and used by the Platform.
  5. In the case of co-authorship, each of the co-authors agrees that their personal data publicly available in the form of a co-authorship of a published work, can be distributed to external indexing services and aggregators for the purpose of the widest possible distribution of the work they co-author.
  6. When one of the co-authors is not registered in the Platform, it is presumed that the corresponding author who is registered has requested and obtained his/her consent that his/her personal data will be collected, stored and used by the Platform.
  7. The registered co-author undertakes to provide an e-mail address of the unregistered author, to whom the Platform will send a message in order to give the unregistered co-author’s explicit consent for the processing of his/her personal data by the Platform.
  8. The Platform is not responsible if the provided e-mail of the unregistered co-author is inaccurate or invalid. In such cases, it is assumed that the processing of the personal data of the unregistered co-author is done on a legal basis and with a given consent.
  9. The Platform undertakes to collect, store and use the provided personal data of third parties (including but not limited to unregistered co-authors) solely for the purposes of the website, as well as in those cases expressly stated by the legislation.
  10. Users can receive emails from Platform and its hosting platform ARPHA, provided by Pensoft, about activities they have given their consent for. Examples of such activities are:
    • Email notifications to authors, reviewers and editors who are engaged with authoring, reviewing or editing a manuscript submitted to the Platform.
    • Email alerts sent via email subscription service, which can happen only if the User has willingly subscribed for such a service. Unsubscription from the service can happen through a one-click link provided in each email alert notification.
    • Information emails on important changes in the system or in its Terms of Use which are sent via Mailchimp are provided with "Unsubscribe" function.
  11. Registered users can be invited to provide a peer review on manuscripts submitted to the Platform. In such cases, the users can decline the review invitation through a link available on the Platform’s website.
  12. Each provided peer review can be registered with external services (such as Publons). The reviewer will be notified if such registration is going to occur and can decline the registration process.
  13. In case the Platform starts using personal data for purposes other than those specified in the Terms of Use, the Platform undertakes to immediately inform the person and request his/her consent.
  14. If the person does not give his/her consent to the processing of his or her personal data pursuant to the preceding paragraph, the Platform shall cease the processing of the personal data for the purposes for which there is no consent, unless there is another legal basis for the processing.
  15. Users can change/correct their personal data anytime via the functionality available in the User’s profile. Users can request the Platform to correct their personal data if the data is inaccurate or outdated and the Platform is obliged to correct the inaccurate or outdated personal data in a timely manner.
  16. Users may request the Platform to restrict the use of their personal data insofar as this limitation is not contrary to the law or the Terms of Use.
  17. Users may request their personal data to be deleted (the right to be forgotten) by the Platform, provided that the deletion does not conflict with the law or the Terms of Use.
  18. The User has the right to be informed:
    • whether his or her personal data have been processed;
    • for which purposes the Platform processes the personal data;
    • the ways in which his/her personal data are processed;
    • the types of personal data that Platform processes.
  19. The user undertakes not to interfere with and impede the Platform’s activities in the exercise of the provided rights.
  20. In case of non-fulfillment under the previous paragraph, the Platform reserves the right to delete the user's profile.

Disclaimer of Warranty and Limitation of Liability

Neither Pensoft and its affiliates nor any of their respective employees, agents, third party content providers or licensors warrant that the Platform service will be uninterrupted or error-free; nor do they give any warranty as to the results that may be obtained from use of the Platform, or as to the accuracy or reliability of any information, service or merchandise provided through Platform.

Legal, medical, and health-related information located, identified or obtained through the use of the Service, is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for qualified advice from a professional.

In no event will the Provider, or any person or entity involved in creating, producing or distributing Platform or the contents included therein, be liable in contract, in tort (including for its own negligence) or under any other legal theory (including strict liability) for any damages, including, but without limitation to, direct, indirect, incidental, special, punitive, consequential or similar damages, including, but without limitation to, lost profits or revenues, loss of use or similar economic loss, arising from the use of or inability to use the Platform. The User hereby acknowledges that the provisions of this section will apply to all use of the content on Platform. Applicable law may not allow the limitation or exclusion of liability or incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitation or exclusion may not apply to the User. In no event will Pensoft’s total liability to the User for all damages, losses or causes of action, whether in contract, tort (including own negligence) or under any other legal theory (including strict liability), exceed the amount paid by the User, if any, for accessing Platform.

Third Party Content

The Provider is solely a distributor (and not a publisher) of SOME of the content supplied by third parties and Users of the Platform. Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers and Users, are those of the respective author(s) or distributor(s) and not of the Provider.


Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement

General

The publishing ethics and malpractice policies follow the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing (joint statement by COPE, DOAJ, WAME, and OASPA), the NISO Recommended Practices for the Presentation and Identification of E-Journals (PIE-J), and, where relevant, the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals from ICMJE.

Privacy statement

The personal information used on this website is to be used exclusively for the stated purposes of each particular journal. It will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party. 

Open access

Pensoft and ARPHA-hosted journals adhere strictly to gold open access to accelerate the barrier-free dissemination of scientific knowledge. All published articles are made freely available to read, download, and distribute immediately upon publication, given that the original source and authors are cited (Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0)).

Open data publishing and sharing

Pensoft and ARPHA encourage open data publication and sharing, in accordance with Panton’s Principles and FAIR Data Principles. For the domain of biodiversity-related publications Pensoft has specially developed extended Data Publishing Policies and Guidelines for Biodiversity Data. Specific data publishing guidelines are available on the journal website. 

Data can be published in various ways, such as preservation in data repositories linked to the respective article or as data files or packages supplementary to the article. Datasets should be deposited in an appropriate, trusted repository and the associated identifier (URL or DOI) of the dataset(s) must be included in the data resources section of the article. Reference(s) to datasets should also be included in the reference list of the article with DOIs (where available). Where no discipline-specific data repository exists authors should deposit their datasets in a general repository such as, for example Zenodo or others. 

Submission, peer review and editorial process

The peer review and editorial processes are facilitated through an online editorial system and a set of email notifications. Pensoft journals’ websites display stepwise description of the editorial process and list all necessary instructions and links. These links are also included in the respective email notification.

General: Publication and authorship

  • All submitted papers are subject to a rigorous peer review process by at least two international reviewers who are experts in the scientific field of the particular paper. 

  • The factors that are taken into account in review are relevance, soundness, significance, originality, readability and language. 

  • The journals allow a maximum of two rounds of review of a manuscript. The ultimate responsibility for editorial decisions lies with the respective Subject Editor and, in some cases, with the Editor-in-Chief. All appeals should be directed to the Editor-in-Chief, who may decide to seek advice among the Subject Editors and Reviewers.

  • The possible decisions include: (1) Accept, (2) Minor revisions, (2) Major revisions, (3) Reject, but re-submission encouraged and (5) Reject. 

  • If Authors are encouraged to revise and re-submit a submission, there is no guarantee that the revised submission will be accepted. 

  • The paper acceptance is constrained by such legal requirements as shall then be in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. 

  • No research can be included in more than one publication.

Responsibility of Authors

  • Authors are required to agree that their paper will be published in open access under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0) license.

  • Authors must certify that their manuscripts are their original work. 

  • Authors must certify that the manuscript has not previously been published elsewhere. 

  • Authors must certify that the manuscript is not currently being considered for publication elsewhere. 

  • Authors should submit the manuscript in linguistically and grammatically correct English and formatted in accordance with the journal’s Author Guidelines.

  • Authors must participate in the peer review process. 

  • Authors are obliged to provide retractions or corrections of mistakes. 

  • All Authors mentioned are expected to have significantly contributed to the research. 

  • Authors must notify the Editors of any conflicts of interest. 

  • Authors must identify all sources used in the creation of their manuscript. 

  • Authors must report any errors they discover in their published paper to the Editors.

  • Authors should acknowledge all significant funders of the research pertaining to their article and list all relevant competing interests.   

  • Other sources of support for publications should also be clearly identified in the manuscript, usually in an acknowledgement (e.g. funding for the article processing charge; language editing or editorial assistance).

  • The Corresponding author should provide the declaration of any conflicts of interest on behalf of all Authors. Conflicts of interest may be associated with employment, sources of funding, personal financial interests, membership of relevant organisations or others.

Responsibility of Reviewers

  • The manuscripts will be reviewed by two or three experts in order to reach first decision as soon as possible. Reviewers do not need to sign their reports but are welcome to do so. They are also asked to declare any conflicts of interests.

  • Reviewers are not expected to provide a thorough linguistic editing or copyediting of a manuscript, but to focus on its scientific quality, as well as for the overall style, which should correspond to the good practices in clear and concise academic writing. If Reviewers recognize that a manuscript requires linguistic edits, they should inform both Authors and Editor in the report.

  • Reviewers are asked to check whether the manuscript is scientifically sound and coherent, how interesting it is and whether the quality of the writing is acceptable.

  • In cases of strong disagreement between the reviews or between the Authors and Reviewers, the Editors can judge these according to their expertise or seek advice from a member of the journal's Editorial Board.

  • Reviewers are also asked to indicate which articles they consider to be especially interesting or significant. These articles may be given greater prominence and greater external publicity, including press releases addressed to science journalists and mass media.

  • During a second review round, the Reviewer may be asked by the Subject Editor to evaluate the revised version of the manuscript with regards to Reviewer’s recommendations submitted during the first review round.

  • Reviewers are asked to be polite and constructive in their reports. Reports that may be insulting or uninformative will be rescinded.

  • Reviewers are asked to start their report with a very brief summary of the reviewed paper. This will help the Editors and Authors see whether the reviewer correctly understood the paper or whether a report might be based on misunderstanding.

  • Further, Reviewers are asked to comment on originality, structure and previous research: (1) Is the paper sufficiently novel and does it contribute to a better understanding of the topic under scrutiny? Is the work rather confirmatory and repetitive? (2) Is the introduction clear and concise? Does it place the work into the context that is necessary for a reader to comprehend the aims, hypotheses tested, experimental design or methods? Are Material and Methods clearly described and sufficiently explained? Are reasons given when choosing one method over another one from a set of comparable methods? Are the results clearly but concisely described? Do they relate to the topic outlined in the introduction? Do they follow a logical sequence? Does the discussion place the paper in scientific context and go a step beyond the current scientific knowledge on the basis of the results? Are competing hypotheses or theories reasonably related to each other and properly discussed? Do conclusions seem reasonable?  Is previous research adequately incorporated into the paper? Are references complete, necessary and accurate? Is there any sign that substantial parts of the paper were copies of other works?

  • Reviewers should not review manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.

  • Reviewers should keep all information regarding papers confidential and treat them as privileged information. 

  • Reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments. 

  • Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors.

  • Reviewers should also call to the Editors’ attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.

Responsibility of Editors

  • Editors in Pensoft’s journals carry the main responsibility for the scientific quality of the published papers and base their decisions solely on the papers' importance, originality, clarity and relevance to publication's scope.

  • The Subject Editor takes the final decision on a manuscript’s acceptance or rejection and his/her name is listed as "Academic Editor" in the header of each article.

  • The Subject Editors are not expected to provide a thorough linguistic editing or copyediting of a manuscript, but to focus on its scientific quality, as well as the overall style, which should correspond to the good practices in clear and concise academic writing. 

  • Editors are expected to spot small errors in orthography or stylistic during the editing process and correct them.

  • Editors should always consider the needs of the Authors and the Readers when attempting to improve the publication. 

  • Editors should guarantee the quality of the papers and the integrity of the academic record. 

  • Editors should preserve the anonymity of Reviewers, unless the later decide to disclose their identities. 

  • Editors should ensure that all research material they publish conforms to internationally accepted ethical guidelines. 

  • Editors should act if they suspect misconduct and make all reasonable attempts to obtain a resolution to the problem. 

  • Editors should not reject papers based on suspicions, they should have proof of misconduct.

  • Editors should not allow any conflicts of interest between Authors, Reviewers and Board Members.

Human and animal rights

The ethical standards in medical and pharmacological studies are based on the Helsinki declaration (1964, amended in 1975, 1983, 1989, 1996 and 2000) of the World Medical Association and the Publication Ethics Policies for Medical Journals of the World Association of Medical Journals (WAME).

Authors of studies including experiments on humans or human tissues should declare in their cover letter a compliance with the ethical standards of the respective institutional or regional committee on human experimentation and attach committee’s statement and informed consent; for those researchers who do not have access to formal ethics review committees, the principles outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki should be followed and declared in the cover letter. Patients’ names, initials, or hospital numbers should not be used, not in the text nor in any illustrative material, tables of databases, unless the author presents a written permission from each patient to use his or her personal data. Photos or videos of patients should be taken after a warning and agreement of the patient or of a legal authority acting on his or her behalf.

Animal experiments require full compliance with local, national, ethical, and regulatory principles, and local licensing arrangements and respective statements of compliance (or approvals of institutional ethical committees where such exists) should be included in the article text.

Informed consent

Individual participants in studies have the right to decide what happens to the identifiable personal data gathered, to what they have said during a study or an interview, as well as to any photograph that was taken. Hence it is important that all participants gave their informed consent in writing prior to inclusion in the study. Identifying details (names, dates of birth, identity numbers and other information) of the participants that were studied should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and genetic profiles unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the participant (or parent or guardian if the participant is incapable) gave written informed consent for publication. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve in some cases, and informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic profiles, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning.

The following statement should be included in the article text in one of the following ways:

  • "Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study."

  • "Informed consent was obtained from all individuals for whom identifying information is included in this article." (In case some patients’ data have been published in the article or supplementary materials to it).

Conflict of interest

During the editorial process, the following relationships between editors and authors are considered conflicts of interest: Current colleagues, recent colleagues, recent co-authors, and doctoral students for which editor served as committee chair. During the submission process, the authors are kindly advised to identify possible conflicts of interest with the journal editors. After manuscripts are assigned to the handling editor, individual editors are required to inform the managing editor of any possble conflicts of interest with the authors. Journal submissions are also assigned to referees to minimize conflicts of interest. After manuscripts are assigned for review, referees are asked to inform the editor of any conflicts that may exist.

Appeals and open debate

We encourage academic debate and constructive criticism. Authors are always invited to respond to any editorial correspondence before publication. Authors are not allowed to neglect unfavorable comments about their work and choose not to respond to criticisms. 

No Reviewer’s comment or published correspondence may contain a personal attack on any of the Authors. Criticism of the work is encouraged. Editors should edit (or reject) personal or offensive statements. Authors should submit their appeal on editorial decisions to the Editorial Office, addressed to the Editor-in-Chief or to the Managing Editor. Authors are discouraged from directly contacting Editorial Board Members and Editors with appeals.

Editors will mediate all discussions between Authors and Reviewers during the peer review process prior to publication. If agreement cannot be reached, Editors may consider inviting additional reviewers if appropriate. 

The Editor-in-Chief will mediate all discussions between Authors and Subject Editors.

The journals encourage publication of open opinions, forum papers, corrigenda, critical comments on a published paper and Author’s response to criticism.

Misconduct

Research misconduct may include: (a) manipulating research materials, equipment or processes; (b) changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the article. A special case of misconduct is plagiarism, which is the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results or words without giving appropriate credit. Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion. If misconduct is suspected, journal Editors will act in accordance with the relevant COPE guidelines

Responses to possible misconduct

All allegations of misconduct must be referred to the Editor-In-Chief. Upon the thorough examination, the Editor-In-Chief and deputy editors should conclude if the case concerns a possibility of misconduct. All allegations should be kept confidential and references to the matter in writing should be kept anonymous, whenever possible.

Should a comment on potential misconduct be submitted by the Reviewers or Editors, an explanation will be sought from the Authors. If it is satisfactory and the issue is the result of either a mistake or misunderstanding, the matter can be easily resolved. If not, the manuscript will be rejected or retracted and the Editors may impose a ban on that individual's publication in the journals for a certain period of time. In cases of published plagiarism or dual publication, an announcement will be made in both journals explaining the situation.

When allegations concern authors, the peer review and publication process for their submission will be halted until completion of the aforementioned process. The investigation will be carried out even if the authors withdraw the manuscript, and implementation of the responses below will be considered.

When allegations concern reviewers or editors, they will be replaced in the review process during the ongoing investigation of the matter. Editors or reviewers who are found to have engaged in scientific misconduct should be removed from further association with the journal, and this fact reported to their institution.

Retraction policies

Article retraction

According to the COPE Retraction Guidelines followed by this Journal, an article can be retracted because of the following reasons:

  • Unreliable findings based on clear evidence of a misconduct (e.g. fraudulent use of the data) or honest error (e.g. miscalculation or experimental error).
  • Redundant publication, e.g., findings that have previously been published elsewhere without proper cross-referencing, permission or justification.
  • Plagiarism or other kind of unethical research.

Retraction procedure

  • Retraction should happen after a careful consideration by the Journal editors of allegations coming from the editors, authors, or readers.
  • The HTML version of the retracted article is removed (except for the article metadata) and on its place a retraction note is issued.
  • The PDF of the retracted article is left on the website but clearly watermarked with the note "Retracted" on each page.
  • In some rare cases (e.g., for legal reasons or health risk) the retracted article can be replaced with a new corrected version containing apparent link to the retracted original version and a retraction note with a history of the document.

Expression of concern

In other cases, the Journal editors should consider issuing an expression of concern, if evidence is available for:

  • Inconclusive evidence of research or publication misconduct by the authors.
  • Unreliable findings that are unreliable but the authors’ institution will not investigate the case.
  • A belief that an investigation into alleged misconduct related to the publication either has not been, or would not be, fair and impartial or conclusive.
  • An investigation is underway but a judgement will not be available for a considerable time.

Correction

Journal editors should consider issuing a correction if:

  • A small portion of an otherwise reliable publication proves to be misleading (especially because of honest error).
  • The author / contributor list is incorrect (i.e. a deserving author has been omitted or somebody who does not meet authorship criteria has been included).
  • Other reasons that do not qualify as a sound evidence for retraction or expression of concern.

Science Communication

Authors are welcome to join forces with Pensoft’s and ARPHA’s PR team to communicate and promote their research papers, thereby further increasing the visibility and impact of their work.

While we use our journal’s social media channels (e.g. Twitter and Facebook) to post hand-crafted social media content for each article upon its publication, we offer a range of PR services in order to communicate especially significant scientific findings to a wider audience, such as: Custom social media content, Tailored PR campaign* and Guest blog post (details below).

Please contact our PR department at dissemination@pensoft.net and pressoffice@pensoft.net to discuss the most suitable approach for your research. We look forward to hearing details about your study and why it should be considered of public interest.

*The Tailored PR campaign is a paid service (for pricing, refer to Article Processing Charges -> Additional Services).

However, we would be happy to consider discounts and even full waivers for studies of particular interest for science and society.

 

Custom social media content (Free service)

Authors are welcome to propose custom social media content to be distributed via the journal’s social media channels, regardless of whether they have already sought any other of our science communication services.

 Social media posts are expected to:

  • Be up to two sentences long or 280 characters (including links) for Twitter;

  • Be written in a conversational tone;

  • Contain minimal jargon;

  • Include the DOI link of the article;

  • Provide additional information about the study, which is not immediately evident in the text of the article (i.e. the post should not duplicate the title or the abstract);

  • Include attractive non-copyright imagery.

To further increase the outreach of the posts, we strongly suggest that you also send us up to 10 social media accounts (e.g. co-authors, affiliations, funding bodies etc.), relevant to the study.

Please note that our PR team reserves the right to edit your text at our discretion.

To request our Custom social media content service, contact our PR department at dissemination@pensoft.net and pressoffice@pensoft.net.

 

Tailored PR campaign (Paid service*)

  • Press release issued via the global science news service Eurekalert! and others (e.g. CORDIS), where appropriate;

  • News announcement personally advertised to our own contacts from the world’s top-tier news media;

  • News announcement disseminated via the journal’s and Pensoft’s social media channels;

  • Blog post issued on Pensoft’s blog (based on the announcement OR written by the author);

  • Additional social media content distributed via the journal’s and Pensoft’s channels;

  • Tracking and sharing of third-party users’ online content concerning the study.

To ensure that we cover all key findings in our announcements, we encourage authors to prepare a brief press release draft using the template and guidelines provided.

Please note that our PR team reserves the right to edit your text at our discretion. No press announcements will be issued until we receive the author’s final approval to do so. The Tailored PR campaign service is only available for studies published within the past 3 months.

To request our Tailored PR campaign service, contact our PR department at dissemination@pensoft.net and pressoffice@pensoft.net. Alternatively, select the service upon submitting your manuscript and we will be in touch once your paper is accepted for publication.

*For pricing, refer to Article Processing Charges -> Additional Services. Discounts and waivers for studies deemed of particular interest for science and society are available.

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Examples

Pensoft’s PR campaigns regularly make the headlines in top-tier media. Below, you can find examples associated with studies from across our journal portfolio:

  

Guest blog post (Free service)

  • Blog post written by the author of the study and issued on Pensoft’s blog;

  • Blog post disseminated via the journal’s and Pensoft’s social media channels;

  • Additional social media content distributed via the journal’s and Pensoft’s channels;

  • Tracking and sharing of third-party users’ online content concerning the study.

Blog post drafts are expected to:

  • Be written in free-text format;

  • Be written from the author’s own point of view, using conversational tone and minimal jargon;

  • Include at least one commentary quote from an author or a person relevant to the study;

  • Present some curious background information, meant to place the discovery in the right context;

  • Include attractive non-copyright imagery, featuring author attribution.

Guest blog posts are not necessarily associated with studies published in a set time period, as long as their content remains relevant.

Please note that our PR team reserves the right to edit your text at our discretion. No blog posts will be issued until we receive the author’s final approval to do so.

To request our Guest blog post service, contact our PR department at dissemination@pensoft.net and pressoffice@pensoft.net.