Focus and Scope

Food Modelling Journal (FMJ) is an innovative open access journal which facilitates the publication of mathematical models, datasets and software solutions in the area of food science. The journal focuses on submissions documenting the following outcomes of the research cycle: data, models, model validation studies, software, data analytics pipelines and visualisation methods. The journal will consider manuscripts for publication, related (but not limited) to the following topics: food safety, food quality, food control, food defence and food design.

What Can I Publish?

Food Modelling Journal (FMJ) is a peer-reviewed, open access journal for descriptions of scientifically valuable models, methods, and datasets that advance the sharing and reuse of scientific knowledge from farm to fork research field. FMJ helps you to publish the essential details of a method or dataset, with the minimum of detailed background and contextual information.

FMJ will consider the following categories of papers for publication:

  • Models on food safety and defense, food quality and control, food properties, design and production

A scholarly article describing a mathematical model, following a pre-defined, formal structure of the content, often derived from extended metadata descriptions or automatically converted from an FSKX (food safety knowledge) metadata file. Model papers are designed to provide scientific work and credit for the work of modellers and data scientists, and  such, do not require sections on validation/testing of the mocel. 

  • Methods, for example data analytics methods & algorithms, workflows and pipelines

This article type includes descriptions of novel methods, workflows or algorithms. Data and results from the testing or implementation of the methods are desirable but not mandatory. 

  • Model validation studies

A publication that describes the process and results of testing a model with real data or through specially designed experiments.

  • Descriptions of concepts and standards that support the harmonization of data; the information and knowledge exchange or  the semantic interoperability of data, e.g. ontologies.

A publication that describes concepts and standards supporting information and knowledge exchange as well as semantic interoperability in the food modelling domain. It should contain a link to an openly accessible resource where the solution will be maintained. It should also include a description of the objectives and the approach taken to develop the concept/ standard.

  • Data papers and databases, e.g. on food processing or food supply chains

A data paper is a scholarly journal article whose primary purpose is to describe a dataset or a group of datasets, rather than report a research investigation. As such, it contains facts about data, rather than hypotheses and arguments in support of those hypotheses based upon data, as found in a conventional research article. Data papers should contain a link to a trusted data repository where the actual are deposited and available in open access.

  • Software descriptions including software design concepts, description of tools and services

A publication that describes software or an online tool/service/platform. It should contain a link to an openly accessible code, or as a minimum, sufficient information on the framework, programming languages and structure of the code.

Criteria for Publication

To be accepted for publication in Food Modelling Journal (FMJ), the following criteria must be fulfilled:

  • Papers, models, data or software must be novel or contribute to a significantly better understanding of an existing resource / paper, e.g. details or new versions of a model published elsewhere. Papers, data, models or software 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 software code or data underpinning a paper, including data tables and software code on which graphs are produced, should be published alongside the paper, e.g. as supplementary files, or as links to external repositories where data or code are deposited, and contain sufficient metadata to facilitate data discovery.
  • All models, data analytics methods / workflows and software must be executable in a free, preferably open source, software environment and create reproducible results.
  • Models, data and data analytics workflows have to comply to the MIRARAM annotation guidelines (https://app.oxfordabstracts.com/events/541/program-app/submission/122496).
  • 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.

Unique Features

Food Modelling Journal (FMJ) implements several unique features in both technological and social sides of the academic publishing practice:

  1. FMJ aims at developing and promoting the Open Science principles by focusing on non-conventional types of articles, aiming at publication of valuable outputs along the research cycle (models, data, data analytics workflows and software).
  2. FMJ is published on ARPHA-XML, a platform to support the full life cycle of a manuscript, from authoring through submission, peer-review, publication and dissemination, within a single online collaborative environment.
  3. The online, collaborative ARPHA Writing Tool (AWT) provides a large set of pre-defined, but flexible article templates covering most types of research outcomes.
  4. Within the ARPHA Writing Tool, authors may work collaboratively on a manuscript with their co-authors, but can also invite external contributors, such as mentors, pre-submission reviewers, linguistic and copy editors, or just colleagues, who may correct and comment on the manuscript before submission. The external contributors are not listed as co-authors of the manuscript.
  5. A rich set of functionalities of the ARPHA Writing Tool allows for search and import of literature/data references, cross-referencing of in-text citations, import of tables, upload of images and multimedia, building plates of images, and many more.
  6. An automated technical validation step will save time by checking the manuscript for consistency, in addition to human-provided pre-submission technical validation by FMJ's Editorial Office.
  7. Pre-submission external peer-review(s) performed during the authoring process in the ARPHA Writing Tool are to be submitted together with the manuscript to speed up evaluation and publication.
  8. The collaborative peer-review process provides easy communication environment through change tracking, comments and replies, and automated, but customizable email and social network notifications.  
  9. For editor's convenience, peer-reviews in ARPHA are automatically consolidated into a single online file that makes the editorial process straightforward, easy and pleasant.
  10. Published papers can be commented via both the ARPHA commenting tool and hypotes.is plugin and can also be subject of an open post-publication peer review.
  11. Published papers can be converted back by the authors into editing mode in the ARPHA Writing Tool at the click of a button, then revised and published in a new version under different DOI, linked to previous versions via CrossMark.

How It Works

Authoring a manuscript in the ARPHA Writing Tool (AWT)

How can I decide which article type to choose?

How can I cite references, figures and tables?

Pre-submission technical validation



Authoring a manuscript in the ARPHA Writing Tool (AWT) 

For manuscripts intended for submission to this journal, we offer the authors to write in the online collaborative ARPHA Writing Tool (AWT). The tool flexible article templates to be selected in the tool after clicking on the "Start a manuscript" button. The AWT 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 the AWT is described in fine detail in the Tips and Tricks menu of the tool.

There are NO author guidelines in this journal for text formatting. The AWT 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 are 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 the AWT 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 AWT 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 AWT 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 journal's editors can re-iterate the technical evaluation process several times until the manuscript reaches an acceptable level of quality to be submitted to the journal.


Manuscripts for this journal should be written and prepared for submission in the AWT.

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

  1. Suggest a number of additional referees, for the assigned Subject Editor's consideration, as the latter might wish to invite some or all of them to review the manuscript.

  2. Answer a couple of other questions about copyright, authorship, ethical issues, and publication fees.


Manuscripts will be published upon acceptance on behalf of the appointed Subject Editor, in the latest version submitted by the authors (upon the acceptance). The final production stage does NOT include an exchange of proofs. Therefore, no further corrections of the latest version submitted by the authors would be applied.

CRediT author statement

The journal is integrated with Contributor Role Taxonomy (CRediT), in order to recognise individual author input within a publication, thereby ensuring professional and ethical conduct, while avoiding authorship disputes, gift / ghost authorship and similar pressing issues in academic publishing.

During manuscript submission, the submitting author is strongly recommended to select a contributor role for each of co-author, using a list of 14 predefined roles, i.e. Conceptualization, Methodology, Software, Validation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Resources, Data Curation, Writing - Original draft, Writing - Review and Editing, Visualization, Supervision, Project administration, Funding Acquisition (see more). Once published, the article will be including the contributor role for all authors in the article metadata.


General statement

Open Access Policy

License and Copyright Agreement


Licensing for Data Publication

Open Data and Software Publishing and Sharing

Privacy Statement

Author Policies

Commenting Policies

Conflicts of Interest

Funding Disclosure

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.

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 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 licence selected by the authors. We recommend to choose from the group of CC licences. 

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:


Licensing for Data Publication

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

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

Open Data and Software Publishing and Sharing

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

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

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

Privacy Statement

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

Author Policies

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

The Corresponding Author’s Role and Responsibilities are to:

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

Commenting Policies

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

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

Conflicts of Interest

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

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

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

Funding Disclosure

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

Terms of Use

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

FMJ is provided by Pensoft Publishers Ltd., "Geo Milev 13A Str., 1111 Sofia, Bulgaria". We as providers will be 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 by email. If using the services of FMJ after such notice, the User will be deemed to have accepted the proposed modifications. If the User disagrees with the modifications, they must stop using FMJ 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 FMJ.

Account Terms

After an account is created for the FMJ journal the User is automatically signed in the ARPHA Platform. Read more about the ARPHA Terms of Use and Account Terms here.

Services and Prices

The Provider reserves the right to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently the services provided by FMJ. 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 FMJ. We claim no intellectual property rights over the material provided by the User in FMJ. 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.

Copyrighted materials

Unless stated otherwise, the FMJ 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

FMJ 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.

Privacy Statement

FMJ (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 FMJ 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 FMJ.

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 FMJ 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 FMJ. 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 FMJ.

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 FMJ. 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.

Peer Review

Text and data submitted to this journal 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) environment. 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 strict and 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’ button.

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 review process the manuscript is visible only to the 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, unless an extension has been requested.

6. The authors must provide a revised version of their manuscript within one week, but can ask for an extension, if needed.

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

Reviewers and editors are expected to evaluate the completeness and quality of the manuscript text, related dataset(s), models, workflows or software and their description (metadata), as well as the publication value of data, models, software or workflows. 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:

  • 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?
  • 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 copied from other works?
  • Quality of the manuscript
    • 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, models, software) also available as supplementary files to the manuscript or as links to external repositories?
    • Have abbreviations and symbols been properly defined?
    • 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?
    • Does the manuscript put the data resources being described properly into the context of prior research, citing pertinent articles and datasets?
    • 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

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, and options for setting a 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 your 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: Users can at any time change the initially set password and correct personal details using their user's profile menu (by clicking on the 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 Subject Editor.

    Note: The manuscripts are grouped by 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 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

Subject, or Associate, editors in Pensoft’s journals carry the main responsibility for the scientific quality of the 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 published 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 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 when an invited reviewer has accepted or declined to review. 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 notification or after login – see How to Access a Manuscript).

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 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 the peer-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.  
    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.
    Note: "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. 

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

Article Processing Charges

The publication in FMJ is free of charge during the lounge phase thanks to the support of the AGINFRA+ projects, funded by the European Commission. After the expiration of the project, the FMJ community and the editorial office will look for alternative possibilities to keep the journal free of article processing charges.

Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement


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.

Neutrality to geopolitical disputes


The strict policy of Pensoft and its journals is to stay neutral to any political or territorial dispute. Authors should depoliticize their studies by avoiding provoking remarks, disputable geopolitical statements and controversial map designations. In case that this is unavoidable, the journal reserves the right to mark such at least as disputable at or after publication, to publish editor's notes or to reject/retract the papers.

Authors' affiliations

Pensoft does not take decisions regarding the actual affiliations of institutions. Authors are advised to provide their affiliation as indicated on the official internet site of their institution.


Editorial decisions should not be affected by the origins of the manuscript, including the nationality, ethnicity, political beliefs, race, or religion of the authors. Decisions to edit and publish should not be determined by the policies of governments or other agencies outside of the journal itself.

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).

Gender Issues

We encourage the use of gender-neutral language, such as 'chairperson' instead of 'chairman' or 'chairwomen', as well as 'they' instead of 'she/he' and 'their' instead of  'him/her' (or consider restructuring the sentence).

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 possible 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.


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; c) plagiarism. 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.

Plagiarism and duplicate publication policy
A special case of misconduct is plagiarism, which is the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results or words without giving appropriate credit. Plagiarism is considered theft of intellectual property and manuscripts submitted to this journal which contain substantial unattributed textual copying from other papers will be immediately rejected. Editors are advised to check manuscripts for plagiarism via the iThenticate service by clicking on the "ïThenticate report" button. Journal providing a peer review in languages other than English (for example, Russian) may use other plagiarism checking services (for example, Antiplagiat). 
Instances, when authors re-use large parts of their publications without providing a clear reference to the original source, are considered duplication of work. Slightly changed published works submitted in multiple journals is not acceptable practice either. In cases of plagiarism in an already published paper or duplicate publication, an announcement will be made on the journal publication page and a procedure of retraction will be triggered.

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.

Errata and Corrigenda

Pensoft journals largely follow the ICMJE guidelines for corrections and errata.


Admissible and insignificant errors in a published article that do not affect the article content or scientific integrity (e.g. typographic errors, broken links, wrong page numbers in the article headers etc.) can be corrected through publishing of an erratum. This happens through replacing the original PDF with the corrected one together with a correction notice on the Erratum Tab of the HTML version of the paper, detailing the errors and the changes implemented in the original PDF. The original PDF will be marked with a correction note and an indication to the corrected version of the erratum article. The original PDF will also be archived and made accessible via a link in the same Erratum Tab.

Authors are also encouraged to post comments and indicate typographical errors on their articles to the Comments tab of the HTML version of the article.


Corrigenda should be published in cases when significant errors are discovered in a published article. Usually, such errors affect the scientific integrity of the paper and could vary in scale. Reasons for publishing corrigenda may include changes in authorship, unintentional mistakes in published research findings and protocols, errors in labelling of tables and figures or others. In taxonomic journals, corrigenda are often needed in cases where the errors affect nomenclatural acts. Corrigenda are published as a separate publication and bear their own DOI. Examples of published corrigenda are available here.

The decision for issuing errata or corrigenda is with the editors after discussion with the authors.

Science Communication

Our journal and the PR team at Pensoft invites authors to contribute to the communication and promotion of their published research, thereby increasing the visibility, outreach and impact of their work. 

Authors are welcome to notify us whenever their institution is working on a promotional campaign about their work published in our journal. We are always happy to reshare and/or repost (where appropriate). 

You can contact our PR team at dissemination@pensoft.net to discuss the communication and promotion of your research.

Tailored PR Campaign

(Paid service*)

We encourage authors, who feel that their work is of particular interest to the wider audience, to email us with a press release draft** (see template and guidelines), outlining the key findings from the study and their public impact. Then, the PR team will work with them to finalise the announcement that will be:

  • Issued on the global science news service Eurekalert! (past examples)
  • Sent out to our media contacts from the world’s top-tier news outlets
  • Posted on ARPHA’s or Pensoft’s blog
  • Shared on social media via suitable ARPHA-managed accounts

Following the distribution of the press announcement, our team will be tracking the publicity across news media, blogs and social networks, in order to report back to the author(s), and reshare any prominent media content.

Request our Tailored PR campaign service by selecting it while completing your submission form and you will be contacted once your manuscript is accepted for publication. Alternatively, contact our PR team  (dissemination@pensoft.net), preferably upon the acceptance of your manuscript.

* The Tailored PR campaign is an extra service charged at EUR 150. However, we would consider discounts and even full waivers for studies of particular interest for the society.

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

Guest Blog Post

(Free service)

Authors are strongly encouraged to promote their work and its impact on society to the audience beyond their immediate public of fellow scientists by means of storytelling in plain language. Ideally, such guest blog posts will be:

  • Written from the author’s own point of view, using conversational tone;
  • Written in fluent English;
  • Presenting some curious background information, in order to place the discovery in context;
  • Including attractive non-copyright imagery.

Request our Guest blog post service by contacting the PR department (dissemination@pensoft.net), regardless of the status of your submission, as there are no time constraints for guest blog post publication. Particularly encouraged are follow-up contributions telling the story of, for example, a research paper that has led to an important policy to be set in place; or an article that has met remarkable attention or reactions in the public sphere.

Following the necessary final touches to the guest blog post by the PR team, the contribution will be:

  • Posted on ARPHA’s or Pensoft’s blog
  • Shared on social media via multiple and relevant ARPHA-managed accounts

Please note that the PR team reserves the right to refuse publication of a guest blog post on the occasion that it is provided in poor English, uses considerable amount of jargon or does not abide by basic ethical standards. Our PR team reserves the right to request changes to the text related to formatting or language. No blog posts will be issued until we receive the author’s final approval to do so.

Find past guest blog posts on Pensoft’s blog here

Video Podcasts

(Free service)

To efficiently increase the outreach of their research, authors are suggested to prepare a video contribution (i.e. elevator video pitch, video abstract or topical video), where they present their work to an audience beyond their immediate public of fellow scientists by means of visual storytelling.

To do so, they are expected to send us a short (up to 02’00’’) video clip, presenting their study in a nutshell, in order to spark the viewer’s further interest in their findings and work, as well as the research topic as a whole. Ideally, such contribution will be:

  • filmed in high quality, preferably with .mp4 file extension with the H.264 video codec;
  • directed from the author’s own point of view, using conversational tone and minimal jargon;
  • presented in fluent English or featuring English subtitles;
  • accompanied by a transcript in English;
  • accompanied by a short text introduction for the purposes of a blog post.

Request our Guest video contribution service by contacting the PR department (dissemination@pensoft.net), regardless of the status of your submission, since there are no time constraints for guest blog post publication.

Following the necessary final touches to the guest blog post, the contribution will be:

  • Shared on Pensoft’s YouTube channel;
  • Posted on ARPHA’s or Pensoft’s blog;
  • Shared on social media via multiple and relevant ARPHA-managed accounts. 

Please note that the PR team reserves the right to refuse distribution of a guest contribution on the occasion that it is provided in poor English, uses considerable amount of jargon or does not abide by basic ethical standards.

Custom Social Media Content

(Free service)

To help increase the visibility and outreach of their research, authors are welcome to suggest custom social media content to be distributed via suitable Pensoft- and ARPHA-managed social media accounts.

Social media posts are expected to:

  • Be limited to two short sentences or 280 characters (including links);
  • Be written in a conversational tone;
  • Contain minimal jargon;
  • Include the DOI link of the article;
  • Not duplicate the title or abstract of the article;
  • Include attractive non-copyright imagery;
  • Possibly include up to 10 social media accounts, e.g. co-authors (Twitter only), affiliations, funding bodies etc. relevant to the study.

Request our Custom social media content service by contacting our PR department (dissemination@pensoft.net).

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

Cookies Policy


a) Session cookies

We use cookies on our website. Cookies are small text files or other storage technologies stored on your computer by your browser. These cookies process certain specific information about you, such as your browser, location data, or IP address.  

This processing makes our website more user-friendly, efficient, and secure, allowing us, for example, to allow the "Remember me" function.

The legal basis for such processing is Art. 6 Para. 1 lit. b) GDPR, insofar as these cookies are used to collect data to initiate or process contractual relationships.

If the processing does not serve to initiate or process a contract, our legitimate interest lies in improving the functionality of our website. The legal basis is then Art. 6 Para. 1 lit. f) GDPR.

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