Focus and Scope
Metabarcoding and Metagenomics (MBMG) is an innovative open access journal which publishes papers on metabarcoding and metagenomics from both basic and applied aspects. The journal welcomes submissions documenting all types of outcomes throughout the research cycle: data, models, methods, workflows, software, perspectives, opinions, and conventional research articles. The journal will consider manuscripts for publication related (but not limited) to the following topics: Environmental MBMG, Microbial MBMG, Applied MBMG (biomonitoring, quarantine, environmental assessment, nature conservation, eDNA, species invasions and others), molecular ecology, DNA-based species delimitation and identification, and other emerging fields related to MBMG. Submissions of bioinformatic approaches to MBMG (algorithms, software) are also encouraged.
MBMG is published on the ARPHA journal publishing platform, which is the first workflow ever to support the full life cycle of a manuscript, from writing through submission, peer review, publication and dissemination within a single online collaborative working space.
What Can I Publish?
MBMG will consider the following categories of papers for publication:
- Research Article
- Review Article
- Forum Paper
- Emerging Technique
- Applied Study
- Monitoring Schema
- Data Paper
- DNA Barcode Releasе
- Primer Validation
- Probe Validation
- Software Description
- R Package
The following article categories may be accepted based on editors' evaluation only. Editors may decide to forward these manuscript for peer review at their discretion.
- Conference Abstract
- Research Poster
- Research Presentation
- Single-Media Publication
Criteria for Publication
To be accepted for publication in Metabarcoding and Metagenomics (MBMG), the following criteria must be 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. 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 Article Processing Charges. 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.
Text and data submitted to Metabarcoding and Metagenomics (MBMG) will be formally peer-reviewed and evaluated for technical soundness and the correct presentation of appropriate and sufficient metadata. All manuscripts undergo a pre-submission technical evaluation in the ARPHA Writing Tool (AWT). The scientific quality and importance of the paper and data will be further judged by the scientific community, through a novel, community-based, pre-publication and post-publication peer-review.
Reviewers may opt to be anonymous or to disclose their names. The deadlines for the peer-review and editorial processes are limited to a maximum of two months after submission.
The peer-review process and deadlines described below are articulated on the assumption that the contributions are technically well-prepared and concisely written so that the peer-review is easy, straightforward and not requiring much time from the reviewer.
What is "community peer-review" ?
It is evident that the peer-review system is increasingly under strain. Our response to this situation is to decrease the load on each individual reviewer without in any way compromising the quality of the final product. The purpose of community peer-review is to distribute effort, increase transparency, engage the broader community of experts, and enhance the quality of the science we publish.
Stepwise description of the peer-review and editorial process
1. Upon submission, the manuscript is assigned to the Subject Editor responsible for the topic by the in-house Assistant Editor. The Subject Editor is alerted by email.
2. The Subject Editor reads the manuscript and decides if it complies with the journal's scope and should be processed for peer-review.
3. The Subject Editor sends review requests to two or three "nominated" reviewers and several other "panel" reviewers.
Note-1: How editors invite reviewers? The journal's database will provide a list of potential reviewers and, if necessary, the editor can add additional names to the list. Review requests will be emailed by a ‘single-click’ option.
Note-2: "Nominated" and "Panel" reviewers. The difference between "Nominated" and "Panel" reviewers is that "Nominated" reviewers are expected to provide a formal review by the deadline; "Panel" reviewers are invited but not required to evaluate the manuscript. Both "Nominated" and "Panel" reviewers can propose changes and corrections, and make comments in the manuscript online and submit a concise reviewer's form.
Note-3: "Community" and "public" peer-review. "Community" peer-review means that during the peer-review process the manuscript is visible only to editor, the reviewers and the authors. We are planning to introduce soon an entirely public review process where authors may opt to make their manuscript available for comment by all registered journal users. Reviewers may opt to stay anonymous or disclose their names in either case.
4. The Subject Editor receives a notification email if the nominated reviewer agrees or declines to review the manuscript. In the latter case the editor can appoint alternative reviewers.
5. Reviews are expected within 10 days and can be extended on demand. The Subject Editor will then decide to accept, reject, or request revision of the manuscripts.
Note-4: Provision of reviews. Reviewers will be prompted by automated email notification sent one day before the deadline. In case of delay, the review request can be cancelled automatically.
6. The authors must provide a revised version of their manuscript within one week, but can ask for an extension, if there is a demonstratable need.
7. After submission of the revised version, the Subject Editor compares it against the reviews through an easy-to-use online tool and decides to accept or reject the manuscript. The authors may be asked to make additional revisions, OR in case of substantial changes, the reviewing procedure will be started again.
8. The manuscript will be formatted, proof-read, copy-edited and published within two weeks after acceptance.
Guidelines for reviewers and editors
Peer-reviewers and editors of Metabarcoding and Metagenomics (MBMG) are expected to evaluate the completeness and quality of the manuscript text, related dataset(s) and their description (metadata), as well as the publication value of data. This may include the appropriateness and validity of the methods used, compliance with applicable standards during collection, management and curation of data, and compliance with appropriate metadata standards in the description of the data resources.
The following aspects of evaluation will be considered:
- Quality of the manuscript
- Is the study sufficiently novel and contributes to a better understanding of the topic, or is the work rather confirmatory and repetitive?
- Do the title, abstract and keywords accurately reflect the contents and data?
- Is the manuscript consistent, suitably organised and written in grammatically correct English?
- Are the relevant non-textual data and media (data sets, audio and video files) also available as supplementary files to the manuscript or as links to external repositories?
- Have abbreviations and symbols been properly defined?
- Does the manuscript put the data resource being described properly into the context of prior research, citing pertinent articles and datasets?
- Are conflicts of interest, relevant permissions and other ethical issues addressed in an appropriate manner?
- Quality of the data
- Are the data completely and consistently recorded within the dataset(s)?
- Does the data resource cover scientifically important and sufficiently large region(s), time period(s) and/or group(s) of taxa to be worthy of publication?
- Are the data consistent internally and described using applicable standards (e.g. in terms of file formats, file names, file size, units and metadata)?
- Are the methods used to process and analyses the raw data, thereby creating processed data or analytical results, sufficiently well documented that they could be repeated by third parties?
- Are the data correct, given the protocols? Authors are encouraged to report any tests undertaken to address this point.
- Is the repository to which the data are submitted appropriate for the nature of the data?
- Consistency between manuscript and data
- Does the manuscript provide an accurate description of the data?
- Does the manuscript properly describe how to access the data?
- Are the methods used to generate the data (including calibration, code and suitable controls) described in sufficient detail?
- Is the dataset sufficiently novel to merit publication?
- Have possible sources of error been appropriately addressed in the protocols and/ or the paper?
- Is anything missing in the manuscript or the data resource itself that would prevent replication of the measurements, or reproduction of the figures or other representations of the data?
- Are all claims made in the manuscript substantiated by the underlying data?
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
Unique Publishing Features
MBMG demonstrates several innovations in both, technological and social aspects of the academic publishing practices. These are some of the features that make the journal really unique in its field:
- The journal is published on ARPHA, the first online collaborative platform and work flow 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, MBMG provides publishing of research outputs along all stages of the research cycle, such as data, software, experimental design protocols, workflows, methodology, and others.
- Most structural elements of the published article – text, tables, figures, etc. are treated and stored as DATA.
- Authors are requested to publish all data underlying given research in open repositories, or as as supplementary files to the article, to allow reproduction of experiments and re-use of 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- A range of optional, cost-efficient services (e.g., linguistic editing, press releases and PR campaigns) are offered to the authors in addition to the core publishing service.
How It Works
For manuscripts intended for submission to MBMG, 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 comfortable. The authoring process in ARPHAis 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 MBMG’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 MBMG 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!
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 blank document templates, which may be used for editorials, correspondence, opinion papers, and many other types of articles.
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.
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 MBMG editors can re-iterate the technical evaluation process several times until the manuscript reaches an acceptable level of quality to be submitted to MBMG.
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. All pre-submission reviews provided in the ARPHA Writing Tool will be submitted with the manuscript and made public together with the article publication.
Manuscripts for MBMG should be prepared for submission in the ARPHA Writing Tool.
During the submission process, the author(s) should:
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.
Suggest a number of additional referees, who will be automatically invited to review the manuscript.
Answer a couple of other questions about copyright, authorship, ethical issues, and submission fees.
Writing a Press Release
Pensoft’s experienced PR team puts a lot of effort in the wide dissemination of the works we publish through press releases, news aggregators, blogs, social network communication and the mass media.
It goes without saying that press releases and news stories can have a major effect on the impact and popularity of research findings. Moreover, they are of benefit to all parties involved: the authors, their institutions, funding agencies, publishers and the society in general. Thanks to a well-established dissemination network, Pensoft press releases regularly provide the basis for print, online, radio and TV news stories in reputed international media outlets, including National Geographic, BBC, Sky News, CNN, New York Times, The Guardian, Deutsche Welle, Der Standard, DR, etc.
Here are some examples of Pensoft's press releases, posted on EurekAlert, which have enjoyed high popularity and thousands of views within the first days following their publication:
Our PR team invites you to prepare (or request) a short press release on your accepted paper whenever you find your research of public interest. We have provided a template and instructions to guide you through the specific text format.
We are always happy to promote your research by preparing a press release for you and coordinating our dedicated PR campaigns with the PR offices of our partnering institutions. You are welcome to approach us with your press release drafts or any queries regarding our PR campaign via email at either email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
RSS for metadata: http://mbmg.pensoft.net/rss.php
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.
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:
- Authors retain the copyright to their article and can choose to make it available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY 4.0) or, if requested, of the Creative Commons CC-Zero Waiver (CC-0). Any supplementary materials associated with an article will be made available under the Creative Commons CC-Zero Waiver (CC-0).
Pensoft’s journals use a variety of waivers and licenses, that are specifically designed for and appropriate for the treatment of data:
Open Data Commons Attribution License, http://www.opendatacommons.org/licenses/by/1.0/ (default)
Creative Commons CC-Zero Waiver, http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/
Open Data Commons Public Domain Dedication and Licence, http://www.opendatacommons.org/licenses/pddl/1-0/
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.
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.
The names and email addresses present on the journal’s website will be used exclusively for the purposes of the journal.
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:
- 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).
- Manage all correspondence between the journal and all co-authors, keeping the full co-author group apprised of the manuscript progress.
- Designate a substitute correspondent for times of unavailability.
- 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).
- Ensure that the manuscript is in full adherence with all the journal policies (including such items as publication ethics, data deposition, materials deposition, etc).
- Post Publication: Respond to all queries pertaining to the published manuscript, provide data and materials as requested.
- 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.
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.
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.
The journal requires that authors declare the funding which made their work possible, including funding programmes, projects, or calls for grant proposals (when applicable).
Manuscripts submitted to the journal must be original work and is not currently being considered for publication by another journal.
The publishing ethics and malpractice policies of the journal follow the relevant COPE guidelines (http://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines), and in case a malpractice is suspected, the journal Editors will act in accordance with them.
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: http://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines.
Should a comment on potential misconduct be submitted by the Reviewers or Editors, an explanation will be sought from the Authors. If this is satisfactory, and a mistake or misunderstanding has taken place, the matter can be resolved. If not, the manuscript will be rejected, and the Editors will impose a ban on that individual's publication in the journal for a period of three years.
In cases of published plagiarism or dual publication, an announcement will be made in the journal, explaining the situation.
We encourage academic debate and constructive criticism. Authors do not have a right to neglect unfavourable comments about their work and to 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, and Editors should edit (or reject) personal or offensive statements.
The Author(s) should submit their appeal on editorial decisions to the Editorial Office.
The journal encourages publication of open opinions, forum papers, corrigenda, critical comments on a published paper and Author’s response to criticism.
The journal reserves the right to retract articles that are found to be fraudulent or in breach of the journal’s policies.
MBMG is provided by Pensoft Publishers Ltd., "Geo Milev 13A Str., 1111 Sofia, Bulgaria". We as providers will be hereinafter referred to as "the Provider".
Services and Prices
The Provider reserves the right to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently the services provided by MBMG. 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.
The User retains full ownership to content uploaded in MBMG. We claim no intellectual property rights over the material provided by the User in MBMG. 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, being publicly available data, might be employed by the Provider (or anyone) for data mining purposes.
The Provider reserves the rights in their sole discretion to refuse or remove any content that is available via the Website.
Unless stated otherwise, the MBMG 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)
Open access materials
MBMG 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 license (CC-BY). This particular license allows to copy, display and distribute the content at no charge, provided that the author and source are credited.
MBMG (and the ARPHA Platform of which the journal is part) collects personal information from Users (i.e. Name, postal and email addresses) only to improve and for the purpose of its services. 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.
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 MBMG 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 journal, or as to the accuracy or reliability of any information, service or merchandise provided through MBMG.
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 MBMG 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 journal platform. The User hereby acknowledges that the provisions of this section will apply to all use of the content on MBMG. 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 MBMG.
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 MBMG. 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
The publishing ethics and malpractice policies of Pensoft follow the relevant COPE guidelines (http://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines) and in case a malpractice is suspected, journal Editors will act in accordance with them.
Pensoft journals adheres 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 3.0 (CC-BY).
For more details on Pensoft’s open access and copyright policy see the Copyright Information page.
The names and email addresses present on journals’ websites will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of the journals and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.
Open data publishing and sharing
Pensoft encourages open data publication and sharing, in accordance with Panton’s Principles and Pensoft’s Data Publishing Policies and Guidelines for Biodiversity Data.
Data can be published in various ways, such as data files or packages supplementary to a research article, or hosted in and linked to data repositories.
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 Dryad or Pangaea.
In Pensoft’s journals, open access to data is not compulsory, however highly recommended and encouraged. Open data publication is mandatory in the Biodiversity Data Journal, where authors must make available all research materials or data, associated with a manuscript upon its submission.
Submission, peer-review and editorial process
The peer-review and editorial process is 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. The later are also included in the respective email notification.
General: Publication and authorship
All submitted papers are subject to rigorous peer-review process by at least two international Reviewers that are experts in the area 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, (5) Reject.
If Authors are encouraged to revise and resubmit 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 Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC-BY) 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 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 of article processing charge for an open access article, or writing, language editing or editorial assistance).
The corresponding Author should provide the declaration of any conflicts of interest on behalf of all the Authors. Conflicts of interest may be associated with employment, sources of funding, personal financial interests, and membership of relevant organisations, or others.
Responsibility of Reviewers
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.
The 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 his/her 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.
The 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 a misunderstanding.
Further, the Reviewers are asked to comment on originality, structure and previous research:
Is the paper sufficiently novel and contributes to a better understanding of the topic under scrutiny, or is the work rather confirmatory and repetitive?
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 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 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
The Editors in Pensoft’s journals carry the main responsibility for the scientific quality of the published papers and base their decisions solely one the papers' importance, originality, clarity and relevance to publication's scope.
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 for 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, whether a paper is published or unpublished, and make all reasonable attempts to persist in obtaining 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.
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 the 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:http://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines
Should a comment on potential misconduct be submitted by the Reviewers or Editors, an explanation will be sought from the Authors. If this is satisfactory and a mistake or misunderstanding has taken place, the matter can be resolved. If not, the manuscript will be rejected and the the Editors will impose a ban on that individual's publication in the journals for a period of three years.
In cases of published plagiarism or dual publication, an announcement will be made in both journals explaining the situation.
Appeals and open debate
We encourage academic debate and constructive criticism. Authors are always invited to respond to any editorial correspondence before publication. Authors do not have a right to neglect unfavorable comments about their work and to 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 and Editors should edit (or reject) personal or offensive statements.
The Author 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, that is prior to publication. If agreement cannot be reached, Editors may consider inviting additional reviewers, if appropriate.
Editor-in-Chief will mediate all discussions between Authors and a Subject Editor.
The journals encourage publication of open opinions, forum papers, corrigenda, critical comments on a published paper and Author’s response to criticism
Data Publishing Guidelines
Publication of data that underpin the articles published in this journal is mandatory. Authors are thus required to share all data, code or protocols underlying the research reported in their articles. Exceptions are possible, but not encouraged and 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 Data Deposition in Open Repositories, or BioSharing, 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 deposit 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.
For publication of biodiversity and biodiversity-related data, the reader may consult the Strategies and guidelines for scholarly publishing of biodiversity data (Penev et al. 2017, Research Ideas and Outcomes 3: e12431. https://doi.org/10.3897/rio.3.e12431). For reader's convenience, we list here the hyperlinked table of contents of these extensive quidelines:
- Data Publishing in a Nutshell
- Data Publishing Policies
- Data Deposition in Open Repositories
- Guidelines for Authors
- Data Published within Supplementary Information Files
- Import of Darwin Core Specimen Records into Manuscripts
- Data Published in Data Papers
- Data Papers Describing Primary Biodiversity Data
- Data Papers Describing Ecological and Environmental Data
- Data Papers Describing Genomic Data
- Software Description Papers
- Guidelines for Reviewers and Editors