About

Focus and Scope

Focus

BioDiscovery is an international, open access, online, peer-reviewed journal for the communication of primary research from any scientific discipline in the field of life sciences and medicine. Main characteristics of the journal are:

  • High quality of published papers, controlled by distinguished world-class researchers. Closed and open peer review systems
  • Rapid publication. Articles are published online immediately after manuscript acceptance
  • No limit in manuscript length. Large reviews and monograph-type papers will be published as special journal issues and assigned ISBN numbers
  • Open access - all published papers can be freely copied, downloaded, printed and distributed at no charge for the reader. Authors retain copyright
  • Worldwide dissemination of the journal content to indexing databases and archiving in open-repositories
  • Possibility for post-publication comments on articles
  • Very competitive publication charges

Annual ‘Most Cited Paper of the Year Award’ comprising of a certificate given at the Annual BioDiscovery Conference, where the corresponding author of the winning paper will be sponsored to participate.

Scope

The aim of BioDiscovery is to provide a platform for scientists in all areas of biology and medicine to promote, share and discuss new ideas and developments. 

BioDiscovery considers for publication original, high quality research which contributes significantly for the development of the knowledge in biology and medicine. Articles submitted to BioDiscovery benefit from its broad scope and readership, and dedicated media promotion. We have a rapid turnaround time of 3 weeks from submission to first decision.

Indexed: DOAJ, Sherpa/Romeo, Google Scholar, OpenAIRE, Mendeley

Archived: ZENODO, CLOCKSS


Criteria for Publication

Manuscripts will be accepted for publication in BioDiscovery only if the following criteria are fulfilled:

  • Papers and associated data must be novel and contribute to a better understanding of the topic under scrutiny. Studies that have already been published or submissions that are currently under consideration for publication elsewhere will not be accepted for publication.
  • Previously published information should be considered and cited in compliance with the good academic practice. References should be complete and accurate, where possible including DOIs or links to the article. All figures included in manuscripts should be copyright free and duly acknowledge the original source.
  • All data underpinning an article, including data tables on which graphs are produced, must be published alongside the paper, e.g. as supplementary files, or links to external repositories where data are deposited, and contain sufficient metadata to facilitate data discovery.
  • Manuscripts should be concisely written, in a good academic style, and follow a logical sequence. The voice - active or passive - and the tense used should be consistent throughout the manuscript. Results should be clearly and concisely described and supported by the data published with the article, or data published elsewhere but linked to the article.
  • This journal has well-defined policies for English language editing. Involving mandatory outsourced language editing services would considerably increase the price of the Article Processing Charges, which would become an additional obstacle for persons and institutions to publish in the journal. Therefore we rely both on the conscience of our authors to provide stylistically written texts and our editors and reviewers to filter out badly written manuscripts.
  • Manuscripts must be submitted in English. Authors should confirm the English language quality of their texts or alternatively request thorough linguistic editing prior to peer-review at a price. Manuscripts written in poor English are a subject of rejection prior to peer-review.

Unique Publishing Features

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

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

  • In addition to conventional research articles, BioDiscovery allows publishing research outputs along all stages of the research cycle, such as Clinical Studies, Clinical Trials, Replication Studies, Data Papers, Case Studies, Methods, Review Articles, Reserach Articles and even single media articles.

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

  • Authors are requested to supply all data underlying given research as supplementary files to allow reproduction of experiments and re-use of data.

  • The journal is using entirely XML-based workflow; typesetting is completely avoided because authoring, publishing and reviewing all occur in the same, entirely Web-based system.

  • The online, collaborative, manuscript-authoring platform ARPHA provides a large set of pre-defined, but flexible, article templates covering all types of 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.

  • Authors and reviewers may opt for entirely open review process. Furthermore, authors are given the option to submit reviews or supporting statements from experts in the subject along with their submission (pre-submission reviews) for editor’s consideration to facilitate the manuscript evaluation and speed up the publishing process. All reviews are consolidated into a single online file which makes the process of editing straightforward, easy and pleasant. The journal allows also a post-publication review.

  • Low cost, decoupled and transparent publishing services


What Can I Publish

BioDiscovery considers the following categories of papers for publication:

  • Clinical Studies
  • Clinical Trials
  • Screening Data 
  • Drug Testing
  • Replication Studies
  • Research Articles 
  • Review Articles
  • Opinion Articles
  • Case Studies
  • Data Papers
  • Software Descriptions
  • Data Management Plans
  • Software Management Plans
  • Single-media Publications
  • Methods
  • Project Reports
  • Conference Abstracts
  • Correspondences
  • Research Posters
  • Research Presentations
  • Biographies
  • Book Reviews
  • Corrigenda
  • Editorials
  • Commentaries
  • Short Communications
  • Hypotheses

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.


Article Charges


Core Charges

Core services included in our Article Processing Charges:

  • Manuscript authoring in the ARPHA Writing Tool
  • Online collaboration with your co-authors and peers during authoring
  • Data import tools for references, figures, tables and supplementary materials
  • Automated technical validation for consistency
  • Technical and editorial checks provided by BioDiscovery
  • Semantic tagging and cross-linking of content
  • Pre-submission peer review, organized by the author (optional)
  • Pre-publication peer review
  • Community-driven post-publication peer review (optional)
  • Automated registration of peer reviews at Publons
  • Publication in semantically enhanced HTML, PDF and JATS XML formats
  • Machine-readable, harvestable content via JATS XML and Web services
  • Publication of a revised version of your article upon request
  • Articles can be easily returned into editing mode and re-published with CrossMark DOI 
  • Archiving in trusted international repositories
  • Active dissemination via social networks and email alerts
  • Extensive article and sub-article usage metrics and citation counts
Article size
(Character count including spaces)

Via ARPHA Writing Tool
(use the Start a Manuscript button)

Via file submission
(use the Submit a Manuscript button)

Small (up to 13,000)€ 199€ 199 + € 50 (conversion fee)
Standard (13,000-65,000)€ 499€ 499 + € 100 (conversion fee)
Large (65,000-130,000)€ 899€ 899 + € 150 (conversion fee)
Above 130,000Ask for a quoteAsk for a quote

Please note that the above prices do not include VAT (Value Added Tax). VAT is applicable only for VAT NON-registered customers based within the European Union.


Special Issues

Special issues enable conference organizers or project coordinators to publish a number of articles under a common theme and editorship. Depending on the number of articles to be included, Pensoft offers discounts on APCs as described in the table below.

 

Small

Medium

Large

Number of articles

< 10

10 – 20

21 +

Discount on APCs

5%

10%

15%

PR campaign

By agreement

By agreement

Included

Institutional branding

By agreement

By agreement

Included

We are happy to discuss alternative arrangements if there is a better way to suit your needs for a special issue. Please do not hesitate to contact us!


Discounts and Waivers

  • Discount of 10 % is offered to:
    • Scientists working privately.
    • Graduate and PhD students if they are first authors of a manuscript. 
    • Scientists living and working in lower middle-income countries (http://data.worldbank.org/income-level/lower-middle-income) if they are sole authors of a manuscript, or authors' research is funded primarily (50% or more of the work contained within the article) by an institution or organization from the eligible countries. 
    • Discounts are also offered to our editors and reviewers, for more information see here
  • Waivers  (once per year per (co-) author for manuscripts no larger than 10 printed pages, or for the first 10 pages of a larger manuscript) are offered to:
    • Retired scientist who are editors or active reviewers for this journal (1-3 reviews provided in the year before the manuscript submission). 
    • Scientists living and working in low-income countries (http://data.worldbank.org/income-level/low-income), if they are sole authors of a manuscript, or authors' research is funded primarily (50% or more of the work contained within the article) by an institution or organization from the eligible countries.

The journal offers also various institutional programs and membership plans to support Open Access scientific publishing. To be eligible, the author must be a corresponding author affiliated with the institution or agency.

Discounts and waivers do not accumulate. 

Please note that conversion costs for manuscripts submitted as files are not covered by promotions and waivers.

Promotions, discounts and waivers do not include conversion costs when manuscripts are submitted in a file format.


Additional Services (Optional)

Optional service

Price

Notes

Linguistic services

€ 15 per 1800 characters

For texts that require additional editing by a native English speaker

Tailored PR campaign

€ 150*

Press release, dedicated media and social networks promotion

Tailored PR campaign + Video interview

€ 450

Video interview organized by the Editorial Office

Paper reprints

At cost

On demand

*This service can be discounted or waived for articles of outstanding importance for the science and society

Please note that the above prices do not include VAT (Value Added Tax). VAT is applicable only for VAT NON-registered customers based within the European Union.


Institutional and Other Membership Plans

Our plans provide additional flexibility and affordability for institutions, research groups, consortia, conference organizers and other larger research teams and organizations. Affiliated authors can publish in any Pensoft journal by using a streamlined payment interface. Pensoft’s plans are a great way to support open access publishing, while also simplifying budgeting, invoicing, and author reimbursement procedures. We offer three plans to choose from, however, if they do not quite suit your needs, we would be happy to discuss alternative arrangements with you. Please do not hesitate to contact us for a preliminary conversation about our plans!

Key benefits

Annual membership

  • Flat rate - publish all you can
  • Cost based on the size and publishing pattern of your organization
  • Beginning of year budgeting
  • One invoice / no billing during the year

Pre-paid plans

  • Discount on APCs
  • Deposit funds up-front and spend without a time limit
  • Add funds to your account at any time
  • Choose whether to cover full (discounted) cost of publishing or split costs with authors

Direct billing

  • No up-front payments
  • One monthly invoice for all publications by affiliated authors
  • Regular reports to track publication pattern and expenses

Additional services we can provide upon request

  • PR campaigns for specific publications or sets of publications, including press releases and video interviews
  • Institutional branding – including institutional logos on published papers, dedicated webpages, institutional online collections of articles
  • Research output reporting, detailing number and types of publications, expenses, views, and downloads

Please find more details about each individual plan below. If you would like to recommend Pensoft’s plans to your institution you can fill out this simple form or contact us at info@pensoft.net and we will forward your recommendation with some additional information.


Annual Memberships

Annual memberships allow institutions to plan their publishing expenses in the beginning of the fiscal year by providing unlimited publishing in all Pensoft journals in exchange for a flat annual payment. The cost of membership depends on the total publishing output capacity of the institution and its historical publishing pattern in Pensoft journals. We will adjust the cost of your membership annually.


Pre-Paid Plans

Pre-paid plans allow institutions and / or research groups to deposit a certain amount of funds with Pensoft and make them available to affiliated researchers for covering Article Processing Charges (APCs) in any Pensoft journal. Member institutions decide whether to cover APCs in full or share the expenses with the authors. Depending on the amount members are prepared to commit, Pensoft is offering a discount on APCs per the table below. Additional funds can be added to an account at any point in time within the calendar year of purchasing the plan, while leftover funds are preserved until spent.

 

Economy

Standard

Premium

Minimum deposit

€ 1,000 – 3,000

€ 3,000 – 5,000

€ 5,000 +

Discount on APCs

0%

5%

10%


Direct Billing

The direct billing plan allows institutions to reduce the complexity of billing and reimbursements. It consolidates all Pensoft invoices for articles authored by researchers affiliated with an institution into a single monthly bill that is sent directly to the institution.


How It Works

Authoring a manuscript in the ARPHA Writing Tool 

How can I decide which article type to choose?

How can I cite references, figures and tables?

Pre-submission technical validation 

Pre-submission, author-facilitated, external peer-review

Submission  

Authoring a manuscript in the ARPHA Writing Tool 

For manuscripts intended for submission to BioDiscovery, we offer the authors to write in the online collaborative ARPHA Writing Tool. ARPHA provides flexible article templates to be selected in the tool after clicking on the "Start a manuscript" button. ARPHA further provides a rich set of functionalities, which makes the collaborative work of the authors and their peers easy and pleasant. The authoring process in ARPHA is described in fine detail in the Tips and Tricks menu of the writing tool.

Alternatively, manuscripts can be submitted as text (e.g., MS Word, RTF, ODT) files that shall be converted to the ARPHA publishing platform by the BioDiscovery’s Editorial Office. Please note that the conversion comes at a small additional cost, therefore the Article Processing Charges (APC) are higher in case the manuscript is submitted as a text file.

There are NO author guidelines in BioDiscovery with regard to text formatting. The ARPHA Writing Tool will guide you during the authoring and submission process. Please consider Tips and Tricks if you need some assistance or contact helpdesk@pensoft.net. There is only a few simple rules to follow, so please please read carefully the half page of text below before you start your manuscript!

1. How can I decide which article type to choose?

The article templates in ARPHA are created to facilitate the structured publishing of science content and ease discoverability and machine-readability of your work. You can change the article templates, add new sections or subsections or move them within the manuscript. However, we would recommend to use these changes only in case of necessity. There is also free text manuscript template, which may be used for editorials, correspondence, opinion papers, and others.

2. How can I cite references, figures and tables?

  • Please do not insert in-text citations of references, figures or tables manually! The citations will be inserted automatically at the place of your cursor through the "Cite a figure", "Cite a table", "Cite a reference" or "Cite a supplementary material" commands. Once you select the place you want to insert a citation, click on the desired reference, table or figure from the respective list (see next).

  • Before citing a reference, figure, table or supplementary material, you have to upload these, so that they become visible in the respective list of figures, tables or references.

  • Please do not number captions of figures or tables – they will be numbered automatically and can be re-ordered, if needed.

  • All uploaded figures, tables and references must be cited in the text and vice versa.

3. Materials and methods

In line with responsible and reproducible research, as well as FAIR data principles, we highly recommend that authors describe in detail and deposit their science methods and laboratory protocols in the open access repository protocols.io.

Once deposited on protocols.io, protocols and methods will be issued a unique digital object identifier (DOI), which could be then used to link a manuscript to the relevant deposited protocol. By doing this, authors could allow for editors and peers to access the protocol when reviewing the submission to significantly expedite the process.  

Furthermore, an author could open up his/her protocol to the public at the click of a button as soon as their article is published.

Stepwise instructions:

  1. Prepare a detailed protocol via protocols.io.
  2. Click Get DOI to assign a persistent identifier to your protocol.
  3. Add the DOI link to the Methods section of your manuscript prior to submitting it for peer review.
  4. Click Publish to make your protocol openly accessible as soon as your article is published (optional).
  5. Update your protocols anytime.

Pre-submission technical validation 

The ARPHA Writing Tool provides automated technical pre-submission validation steps to save your time by checking your manuscript for consistency.

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

Pre-submission, author-facilitated, external peer-review 

To facilitate and speed up the publication process, authors are expected to source at least one or more external peer-review(s) from specialists in their field, prior to submission, via ARPHA (strongly recommended!) or in another document format such as MS Word (not encouraged!).

Pre-submission reviewers are to be invited via the "Invite a reviewer" button in the ARPHA Writing Tool. The "Invite reviewer" button is visualized in the black riboon on top of the screen only when the manuscript is in status Draft, i.e. prior to its submission for technical review, and it disappears afterward. All pre-submission reviews provided in the ARPHA Writing Tool will be submitted with the manuscript and made public together with the article publication.

Submission 

Manuscripts for BioDiscovery should be prepared for submission in the ARPHA Writing Tool.

During the submission process, the author(s) should:

  1. Submit at least one pre-submission review, together with the manuscript. The number of pre-submission reviews is not limited and they can be prepared by external reviewers either in the ARPHA Writing Tool, or can be submitted as separate files during the submission process.

  2. Suggest a number of additional referees, who will be automatically invited to review the manuscript.

  3. Answer a couple of other questions about copyright, authorship, ethical issues, and submission fees.


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

The journal uses the Creative Commons CC-Zero Waiver, for data in any supplementary materials associated with an article.

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 GitHub, GitLab, Bioinformatics.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 dGiteposit their datasets in a general repository such as ZENODO,Dryad, Dataverse, 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.

The journal adheres to the ICMJE uniform requirements of authorship: All authors on an article must meet these requirements, which are extracted below:

  • "Authorship credit should be based on 1) substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and 3) final approval of the version to be published. Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, and 3.
  • When a large, multicenter group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript (3). These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship/contributorship defined above, and editors will ask these individuals to complete journal-specific author and conflict-of-interest disclosure forms. When submitting a manuscript authored by a group, the corresponding author should clearly indicate the preferred citation and identify all individual authors as well as the group name. Journals generally list other members of the group in the Acknowledgments. The National Library of Medicine indexes the group name and the names of individuals the group has identified as being directly responsible for the manuscript; it also lists the names of collaborators, if they are listed in Acknowledgments.
  • Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship.
  • All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed.
  • Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.

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).

Ethics and Security Statement

BioDiscovery complies with the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors’ uniform requirements for manuscripts.

Authors provide an Ethics and Security statement detailing the relevant ethical standards that were met when conducting the research. Ethics and Security statements are required whenever research is conducted on humans or human tissue; on animals or animal tissue; when conducting field studies; or whenever the approval of an Institutional Review Board (IRB) was required.

Reporting of research involving humans or animals

Appropriate approval, licensing or registration should be obtained before the research begins and details should be provided in the report (e.g. Institutional Review Board, Research Ethics Committee approval, national licensing authorities for the use of animals).
The authors must:

  • confirm that experiments with humans and animals reported in the original research manuscript were performed according to the relevant regulations. If requested by editors, authors should supply evidence that reported research received the appropriate approval and was carried out ethically (e.g. copies of approvals, licences, participant consent forms);
  • include a statement in the manuscript identifying the institutional and/or licensing committee approving the experiments.
  • for experiments involving human subjects, authors must also include with their submission a statement confirming that informed consent was obtained from all subjects. Researchers should not generally publish or share identifiable individual data collected in the course of research without specific consent from the individual (or their representative).
  • where IRB approval was required, the authors must provide an ethics statement as part of their Materials and Methods section detailing full information regarding their approval (including the name of the granting organization, and the approval reference numbers). If an approval reference number is not provided, written approval must be provided as confidential supplemental file.

The appropriate statistical analyses should be determined at the start of the study and a data analysis plan for the pre-specified outcomes should be prepared and followed. Secondary or post hoc analyses should be distinguished from primary analyses and those set out in the data analysis plan. Researchers should publish all meaningful research results that might contribute to understanding.

Authors should supply research protocols to journal editors if requested (e.g. for clinical trials) so that reviewers and editors can compare the research report to the protocol to check that it was carried out as planned and that no relevant details have been omitted. Researchers should follow relevant requirements for clinical trial registration and should include the trial registration number in all publications arising from the trial.

For reports on clinical trials requirements include:

  • Registration of all interventional trials, whether early or late phase, in a primary register that participates in WHO’s International Clinical Trial Registry Platform.
  • Full public disclosure of the minimum 20-item trial registration dataset at the time of registration and before recruitment of the first participant is encouraged. The registry must be independent of for-profit interest.
  • Reports of trials must conform to CONSORT 2010 guidelines and should be submitted with their protocols.
  • All reports of randomised trials should include a section entitled Randomisation and masking, within the Methods section.
  • Cluster-randomised trials must be reported according to CONSORT extended guidelines.
  • Randomised trials that report harms must be described according to extended CONSORT guidelines.
  • Studies of diagnostic accuracy must be reported according to STARD guidelines.
  • Observational studies (cohort, case-control, or cross-sectional designs) must be reported according to the STROBE statement, and should be submitted with their protocols.
  • Registration of all observational studies on a WHO-compliant registry is encouraged.
  • Genetic association studies must be reported according to STREGA guidelines.
  • Systematic reviews and meta-analyses must be reported according to PRISMA guidelines.

'Dual Use Research of Concern' is defined by the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) as any "biological research with legitimate scientific purpose that may be misused to pose a biologic threat to public health and/or national security."

If an author, editor or reviewer feels that a submission may be subject to concerns surrounding dual use, then it is incumbent on them to report this concern to staff.


Terms of Use

This document describes the Terms of Use of the services provided by the BioDiscovery journal, hereinafter referred to as "the Journal" or "this Journal". All Users agree to these Terms of Use when signing up to this Journal. Signed Journal Users will be hereinafter referred to as "User" or "Users".

The publication services to the Journal 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 Journal 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 Journal 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 Journal.

Account Terms

  1. For registration in this Journal 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 journal automatically sign in the User to the ARPHA Platform.
  3. Users are responsible for maintaining the security of their account and password. The Journal 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 Journal 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 Journal 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 Journal 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 Journal’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 Journal has collected about the User corresponds to Article 6(1)(a) of the GDPR.
  10. The ‘legitimate interest’ of the Journal to engage with the User and enable him/her to participate in Journal’s activities and use Journal’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 Journal. 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 Journal. We claim no intellectual property rights over the material provided by any User in this Journal. 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

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Open Access Materials

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Benefits for Editors and Reviewers

Pensoft editors and reviewers are entitled to a set of benefits in appreciation for their contribution to the quality of the works we publish.

  For Editors   For Reviewers
  • 15% unconditional discount on APCs and reprints for the journal in which you are an editor
  • 10% unconditional discount on
    • APCs in all other Pensoft journals
    • All books published by Pensoft
    • Article reprints for all other Pensoft journals
    • Dedicated PR campaigns
  • Special conditions for publication of large works or articles that need customized technical solutions
  • 15% discount on APCs for the journal in which the review was provided
    • Valid for one manuscript per review, submitted within 6 months of the review, where the reviewer is the lead author
  • Automated registration of reviews at Publons after confirmation by the reviewer
  • Open reviews are provided with DOIs and citation details

* When an individual qualifies for multiple discounts Pensoft will use the largest that applies

  Apply to become an editor via Editor Application Form

Guidelines for Editors


How to Access a Manuscript

Manuscripts can be accessed after login

  1. Login is possible after registration at the journal's website. Our Editorial Office will register all first-time editors and reviewers. New users will receive an automated notification with a request to confirm registration and account information, options for setting their password, email alerts and other features.  
    Note: All users can use their registration details to login in all three (Book, E-Book and the respective Journal) platforms of www.pensoft.net.
    Note: Please remember that you may have registered with two or more different email addresses, that is why you may have more than one valid account at www.pensoft.net. We advise using only one email address, hence one password associated with it, for all yours operations at www.pensoft.net. We highly recommend that, in case the user has two or more different accounts, to merge these through user's profile.  
    Note: The users can at any time change the initially set password and correct personal details using their user'profile menu (clicking on user's name in the upper right corner of the screen appearing after login).
  2. If you have forgotten your password, please use the function Forgot your password? or write to request it from journals@pensoft.net.

There are two ways to access a manuscript

  1. After login, please go to the respective journal’s web page and click on My Tasks button in the upper right corner of the screen. This way, you will be able to see all manuscripts you are responsible for as author or reviewer or editor.

    Note: The manuscripts are grouped in several categories, e.g., In Review (no.), In layout (no.), Published (no.), and Archived (no.) etc. The number in brackets after each category shows the number of manuscripts that were assigned to you.

  2. Click on the active manuscript link provided in the email notification you have received from the online editorial system. The link will lead you directly to the manuscript.


General Responsibilities of Editors

The Subject, or Associate, editors in Pensoft’s journals carry the main responsibility for the scientific quality of the published papers. They take the final decision on a manuscript’s acceptance or rejection and their names are listed as Academic Editor in the header of each article.

The editorial process is facilitated through an online editorial system and a set of email notifications. The online editorial system informs the Subject Editor about any change in the status of a manuscript and associated peer review and editorial process, from submission to publication.

The online editorial system is designed to save time and effort for Subject Editors in checking the status of the manuscripts. There is no need for editors to visit the journal’s website to keep track on the manuscript they are responsible for. The online system will inform the Subject Editor, if an invited reviewer has accepted to do a review or has declined. The email notifications contain stepwise instructions what action is needed at each stage, as well as a link to the respective manuscript (accessible by clicking on the link in the email notifivation or after login – see How to Access a Manuscript).

The Subject Editors are not expected to provide a thorough linguistic editing or copyediting of a manuscript, but rather focus on its scientific quality and overall style, which should correspond to the good practices in clear and concise academic writing. It is the author’s responsibility to submit the manuscript in linguistically and grammatically correct English. The Subject Editor should not hesitate to recommend either Reject, or Reject, but resubmission encouraged PRIOR to review process, in cases when a manuscript is scientifically poor and/or does not conform to journal’s style, and/or is written in poor English (see Note under point 1 below how to reject a manuscript prior to peer review). 

It often happens that even carefully written manuscripts may contain small errors in orthography or stylistics. We shall be thankful if editors spot such errors during the reading process and correct them.


Stepwise Description of the Editorial Process

  1. Once a manuscript is submitted, the Managing Editor (or the Editor-in-Chief) briefly checks the manuscript for any personal notes addressed to the E-i-C during the submission process, any explicitly indicated conflict of interest or request for additional services or discount and then the Editor can process it for review.
    Note: The workflow that the journal uses allows the Managing Editor (or the Editor-in-Chief) to perform a thorough initial check of the manuscript, during a previous stage called Technical evaluation, prior to its submission to the journal. During this stage the Editor checks the manuscript for conformance with the journal's Focus, Scope, Policies and style requirements and decides whether it is potentially suitable for publication and can be processed for review. In case the submission does not comply with the journal's standards, it can be either 1) sent back to the authors for correction - this process can be iterated in as many rounds as needed - or 2) rejected in ARPHA, i.e. disabled for submission to the journal. Either way, the system requires that the Editorial office add a note explaining the reason for retrurn or rejection.

  2. Once a manuscript has been approved during the Technical evaluation and then submitted to the journal, the Managing Editor (or the Editor-in-Chief) assigns it to the Subject Editor responsible for the respective topic (e.g., science branch or taxon). The Subject Editor receives a notification email on the assignment.  

  3. Note: The link to the respective manuscript is available in the review request email and all consequent reminder emails. The manuscript is accessible by clicking on the link in the email notifications, or via the user's dashboard after login. Please see How to Access a Manuscript above in case you have any difficulties.

  4. The Subject Editor has to read the manuscript and decide whether it is potentially suitable for publication and can be processed for review, or rejected immediately, or returned to the author for improvement and re-submission. Reasons for rejection can be a low scientific quality, non-conformance to the journal’s style/policies, and/or linguistically or grammatically poor English language.
    Note: There are two ways to reject a manuscript prior to review process:
    -  Through the buttons Reject or Reject, but re-submission encouraged in the Editorial tab. Please note, however, that the buttons will be made active only after a justification for the rejection is provided in the text field. 
    -  Through an email to the Editorial office explaining the reason for rejection. The manuscript will be then rejected/returned through the online editorial system and the respective notification email will be sent from the Editorial Office.

  5. In case the manuscript is acceptable for peer review, the Subject Editor has to invite reviewers by clicking on the Invite reviewers link. A list of reviewers will appear from which the editor can choose the appropriate ones or add new. 

  6. Once reviewers are chosen, the Subject Editor has to click the Invite reviewers green button at the end of the page which will generate emails templates with review invitations. It is highly recommended that the Subject Editor adds some personal words above the standard email text review invitation.

  7. In case a reviewer is absent from our users' data base, the editor can add his/her name and email through the Add new reviewer link, which will appear once the search field reveal no results. It is possible that the needed reviewer has already been registered in the Pensoft database either as customer or author/reviewer of another journal. If this is the case, then his/her name, affiliation and other metadata will automatically appear once the e-mail field is populated in the Create user online form.

  8. The Subject Editor receives a notification email if the reviewer has agreed to review a manuscript or declined to do that. The editor takes care to appoint additional reviewers in case some of the invited reviewers have declined.

  9. Once all reviewers submit their reviews, the Subject Editor receives an email notification, inviting him/her to consider reviewers' opinions, read through the manuscript and make a decision through the Proceed button. The Subject Editor is also notified in case none of the reviewers agreed to provide a formal review on the manuscript and he/she is prompted to consider inviting more reviewers.
    Note: Editorial comments should be added in the online editorial form; comments and corrections applied using the Track Changes feature and these will be consolidated in a single document along with all reviewers' comments and suggestions.

  10. At this stage, the editor should make a decision either to (1) accept the manuscript, or (2) reject it, or (3) initiate another review round. In case the manuscript is not rejected, but recommended for Minor Revision, Major Revision, or Acceptance, the author is expected to submit a revised version within a certain period of time and the Subject Editor will be notified by email about that.
    Note 1: Authors must submit revised versions using the Track Changes feature and resolve all Comments, replying to each Subject Editor and reviewer's query so that the Subject Editor can see their corrections/additions. Authors are expected to reply to the essential critiques and comments of reviewers separately through the online editorial system.
    Note 2: During the second, or next, review round, the Subject Editor may decide to ask reviewers to evaluate the revised version of the manuscript. He/she may also make a decision based on the author’s responses and the revised version of the manuscript without asking additional reviewers' support.

  11. After acceptance, the manuscript will go to layout and proofreading. The Subject Editor will be notified by email when the final proof is uploaded on the journal’s website. The Subject Editor is expected to look at the proofs and notify the Editorial Office through email in case the proofs need improvement.

  12. The Subject Editor may always access information on the manuscripts which have been edited by him/her through the menu My Tasks –> Subject Editor on the journal’s web page – In Review (no.), In Edit (no.), Published (no.), and Archived (no.). The number in brackets after each category shows the number of manuscripts that were assigned.


Guidelines for Reviewers

Pensoft journals support the open science approach in the peer review and publication process. We encourage our reviewers to open their identity to the authors and consider supporting the peer review oaths, which tend to be short declarations that reviewers make at the start of their written comments, typically dictating the terms by which they will conduct their reviews (see Aleksic et al. 2015, doi: 10.12688/f1000research.5686.2 for more details):

Principles of the open peer-review oath

  • Principle 1: I will sign my name to my review
  • Principle 2: I will review with integrity
  • Principle 3: I will treat the review as a discourse with you; in particular, I will provide constructive criticism
  • Principle 4: I will be an ambassador for the practice of open science

How to Access a Manuscript

Manuscripts can be accessed after login

  1. Login is possible after registration at the journal's website. Our Editorial Office will register all first-time editors and reviewers. New users will receive an automated notification with a request to confirm registration and account information, options for setting their password, email alerts and other features.  
    Note: All users can use their registration details to login in all three (Book, E-Book and the respective Journal) platforms of www.pensoft.net.
    Note: Please remember that you may have registered with two or more different email addresses, that is why you may have more than one valid account at www.pensoft.net. We advise using only one email address, hence one password associated with it, for all yours operations at www.pensoft.net. We highly recommend that, in case the user has two or more different accounts, to merge these through user's profile.  
    Note: The users can at any time change the initially set password and correct personal details using their user'profile menu (clicking on user's name in the upper right corner of the screen appearing after login).
  2. If you have forgotten your password, please use the function Forgot your password? or write to request it from journals@pensoft.net.

There are two ways to access a manuscript

  1. After login, please go to the respective journal’s web page and click on My Tasks button in the upper right corner of the screen. This way, you will be able to see all manuscripts you are responsible for as author or reviewer or editor.

    Note: The manuscripts are grouped in several categories, e.g., In Review (no.), In layout (no.), Published (no.), and Archived (no.) etc. The number in brackets after each category shows the number of manuscripts that were assigned to you.

  2. Click on the active manuscript link provided in the email notification you have received from the online editorial system. The link will lead you directly to the manuscript.


General Responsibilities of Reviewers

This journal uses a single-blind peer review process. The reviewers are encouraged to disclose their identity, if they wish so. The peer review and editorial process is facilitated through an online editorial system and a set of email notifications. The online editorial system sends the Reviewer a review request, initiated by the Subject Editor or the Editorial Office. The online system will also inform about delays in the reviewing and will confirm a successful review submission. The email notifications contain stepwise instructions about the actions needed at each stage along with the link to the respective manuscript (accessible only after login – see section How to Access a Manuscript).

The Reviewers are not expected to provide a thorough linguistic editing or copyediting of a manuscript, but rather focus on its scientific quality and overall style, which should correspond to the good practices in clear and concise academic writing. If Reviewers recognize that a manuscript requires linguistic edits, we shall be grateful for them to inform both the author and the editor about this in the report. It is the author’s responsibility to submit the manuscript in linguistically and grammatically correct English.

It often happens that even carefully written manuscripts may contain small errors in orthography or stylistics. We shall be thankful if Reviewers spot such errors during the reading process and correct them.

The manuscripts will generally be reviewed by two or three experts with the aim of reaching a 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 asked whether the manuscript is scientifically sound and coherent, how interesting it is and whether the quality of the writing is acceptable. Where possible, the final decision is made on the basis of the peer reviews. In cases of strong disagreement between the reports or between the authors and peer reviewers, the editor can assess these according to his/her expertise or seek advice from a member of the journal's Editorial Board.

The ultimate responsibility for editorial decisions lies with the respective Subject Editor and/or, in some journals, with the Editor-in-Chief. All appeals should be directed to the Editor-in-Chief, who may decide to seek advice from the Subject Editors or the 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, reviewers may be asked to evaluate the revised version against their recommendations submitted during the first review round.

Reviewers are kindly 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 editor and the authors see whether the reviewer correctly understood the paper or whether a report might be based on misunderstanding.

Furthermore, reviewers are also asked to comment on originality, structure and previous research:

Originality: 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?

Structure: Is the introduction clear and concise? Does it place the work into the context that is necessary for a reader to comprehend 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 the conclusions seem reasonable?

Previous research: Is previous research adequately incorporated into the paper? Are references complete, necessary and accurate? Is there any sign that substantial parts of the paper are copies of other works?


Stepwise Description of the Peer Review Process

  1. This journal uses a single-blind peer review process. Notwithstanding with that, the reviewers are encouraged to disclose their identities, if they wish to do so. 

  2. The Reviewer receives a review request generated by the Subject Editor or the Editorial Office and is expected to either agree to provide a review, or decline, through pressing the Will do the review or Unable to do the review link in the online editorial system. In case the Reviewer agrees to review the manuscript, he/she should submit the review within a certain time frame, which may vary in the different journals.
    Note: The link to the respective manuscript is available in the review request email and all consequent reminder emails. The manuscript is accessible by clicking on the link in the email notification, or after login. Please look at the section How to Access a Manuscript above in case you have any difficulties.

  3. The review should be submitted through the Proceed button. The review should consist of (1) a simple online questionnaire to be answered by ticking either Yes, No, or N/A; (2) comments addressed to the Author and the Editor in the online form; (3) associated files (corrected/commented manuscript file, review submitted in a separate text file, etc.), if any.
    Note: Reviewers can insert corrections and comments in the manuscript review version (PDF) and/or in the manuscript text file (usually Microsoft WORD, rarely Open Office file). When working in the PDF, please use either the Text Edits or the Sticky Notes tools (available through the menu Tools -> Comments & Markup of the Acrobat Reader). When editing in Microsoft WORD please use the Track Changes / Comments tools.
    Note: Associated files should be submitted at the end of the review process by clicking on the Browse button, then selecting the respective file on your computer, and then pressing the Upload button. A reviewer may upload as many files to support his/her review as needed.

  4. The Reviewer may decide to stay anonymous or open his/her identity by ticking the Show my name to the author(s) box at the bottom of the reviewer’s form. Please be aware that your identity might be revealed in the comments or in Track Changes corrections of the Microsoft WORD or PDF file you correct. Therefore, please make sure that you delete your name and initials in the options section of your word or PDF processor, if you want to remain anonymous.

  5. The review process is completed by selecting a recommendation from five options: (1) Reject; (2) Reject, but resubmission encouraged; (3) Major Revision; (4) Minor Revision; (5) Accept. The system will ask for one more confirmation of the selected recommendation before submission. The submitted review cannot be changed after submission.
    Note: Reasons for rejection can be a low scientific quality, non-conformance to the journal’s style/policies, and/or grammatically poor English language.
    Note: It is also possible for review and associated files (e.g., a corrected manuscript file) to be sent as attached files to the email of the Editorial Office. We strongly recommend to avoid this option but to upload reviews through the online editorial management system.

  6. Once a Reviewer submits a review of a manuscript, he/she receives an acknowledgement email from the journal.

  7. The submission of the review is also automatically reported to Publons. Reviewers are asked to confirm whether they want their reviews to be recorded on Publons.

  8. When all Reviewers have submitted their reviews, the Subject Editor makes a decision to either accept, reject or request further minor/major revision.

  9. After Subject Editor's decision, the manuscript is sent back to the author for comments and further revision. The author needs to submit a revised version in due time.

  10. Reviewers are notified via email when the revised version of a manuscript they have reviewed is submitted by the author. They receive a link to the revised version along with the editorial decision and all reviews of the manuscript. Reviewers are also provided with a feedback form should they have any comments on the revised version. 

  11. When an article is published, all Reviewers who have provided a review for the respective manuscript receive an email acknowledgement. In the email, there is a link to view/download the published article.

  12. The Reviewer may always access information on the manuscripts that are being / have been reviewed by him/her through the menu My Tasks –> Reviewer on the journal’s web page – In Review (no.), In Edit (no.), Published (no.), and Archived (no.). The number in brackets after each category shows the number of manuscripts that have been assigned to you.


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.


About Pensoft

History & Overview

Pensoft is an independent academic publishing company, well known among biodiversity scientists worldwide for technologically cutting-edge open access journals, such as: ZooKeys, Biodiversity Data Journal (BDJ)PhytoKeys, MycoKeys, Nature Conservation,NeoBiota, and Comparative Cytogenetics. Founded in 1992 in Bulgaria, "by academics, for academics", initially focusing on book publishing, it has grown to become an innovative and leading open access journal publisher. Pensoft has published more than 1000 books and over 4,000 open access articles, mostly in the field of natural history.

Innovation

In 2010, Pensoft was the first publisher to implement semantic tagging and enrichment of published articles as a routine editorial practice. The company is actively developing novel tools, workflows and methods for text and data publishing, dissemination of scientific information, and technologies for semantic enrichment of content. 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). The company has also developed several tools for semantic publishing, such as the Pensoft Markup Tool (PMT), Pensoft Taxon Profile (PTP), Pensoft Wiki Converter (PWC), the literature and data discovery tool Refindit.org, and others.

Pensoft is a member or partner of:  CrossRef, OASPA, CLOCKSS, Research Data Alliance (RDA), OpenAIRE, Dryad Data Repository, GBIF, Encyclopedia of Life, and others.

Pensoft journal content is indexed by:  PubMedCentral, ISI Web of Science, Scopus, BIOSIS, Google Scholar, DOAJ, Zoological Record,CAB AbstractsWikispeciesVifabioBHL CitebankGlobalnamesJournalMap.


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.