About

Editorial Policies


Focus and Scope

Vegetation Classification and Survey (VCS) is an international, peer-reviewed journal of plant community ecology published on behalf of the International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS) together with its sister journals, Journal of Vegetation Science (JVS) and Applied Vegetation Science (AVS). It is devoted to vegetation survey and classification at any organizational and spatial scale and without restriction to certain methodological approaches.

The journal publishes original papers that develop new vegetation typologies as well as applied studies that use such typologies, for example, in vegetation mapping, ecosystem modelling, nature conservation, land use management or monitoring. Particularly encouraged are methodological studies that design and compare tools for vegetation classification and mapping, such as algorithms, databases and nomenclatural principles. Papers dealing with conceptual and theoretical bases of vegetation survey and classification are also welcome. While large-scale studies are preferred, regional studies will be considered when filling important knowledge gaps or presenting new methods. VCS also contains Permanent Collections on "Ecoinformatics" and "Phytosociological Nomenclature".


Double-Blind Peer Review

This journal uses double-blind peer review to ensure that reviewer reports are not (positively or negatively) biased by knowing the identity of the authors.


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.


Copyright Notice

License and Copyright Agreement

In submitting the manuscript to any of Pensoft’s journals, authors certify that: 

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

Copyright

  • Copyright on any article is retained by the author(s). Regarding copyright transfers please see below. 
  • Authors grant Pensoft Publishers a license to publish the article and identify itself as the original publisher. 
  • Authors grant Pensoft Publishers commercial rights to produce hardcopy volumes of the journal for sale to libraries and individuals. 
  • Authors grant any third party the right to use the article freely as long as its original authors and citation details are identified. 
  • The article and any associated published material is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0):

Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0)

Anyone is free:

to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work 
to Remix — to adapt the work

Under the following conditions:

Attribution. The original authors must be given credit. 

  • For any reuse or distribution, it must be made clear to others what the license terms of this work are. 
  • Any of these conditions can be waived if the copyright holders give permission. 
  • Nothing in this license impairs or restricts the author's moral rights.

The full legal code of this license.

Copyright Transfers

Any usage rights are regulated through the Creative Commons License. Since Pensoft Publishers is using the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), anyone (the author, his/her institution/company, the publisher and the public) is free to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt the work as long as the original author is credited (see above). Therefore, specific usage rights cannot be reserved by the author or his/her institution/company and the publisher cannot include a statement "all rights reserved" in any published paper.

This page was adapted from its equivalent at Copernicus Publications.

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Privacy Statement

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


COPE Membership

This journal endorses the COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) guidelines and will pursue cases of suspected research and publication misconduct (e.g. falsification, unethical experimentation, plagiarism, inappropriate image manipulation, redundant publication). For further information about COPE please see the website for COPE at http://www.publicationethics.org and journal's Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement.


Types of Contributions

During submission, you have to select whether your paper is a Regular Article, belongs to the Permanent Collection Ecoinformatics, the Permanent Collection Phytosociological Nomenclature or a certain Special Collection. Further, you should indicate both in your cover letter and on the title page of your manuscript one of the following manuscript types to which your submission belongs. The editors reserve the right to modify the proposed assignment at their discretion.

Manuscript types

Research Paper: Any contribution that does not fall into one of the following categories. There is no length limit for Research Papers as long as the length is substantiated by the content.

Review and Synthesis: This category is for papers that do not (or hardly) contain new data/analyses, but critically review the existing knowledge on a topic to derive new ideas or conclusions, which are not mere summaries of the literature. Papers of this category can, for example, provide a concise overview of the vegetation of a whole country or another larger area or review a certain methodological aspect relevant to vegetation classification. There is no length limit for Review and Synthesis contributions as long as the length is substantiated by the content.

Forum Paper: Forum Papers are essays with original ideas / speculations / well-sustained arguments, but without new data. They usually contribute to free debate of current and often controversial ideas in vegetation classification. There may be criticism of papers published in VCS, or (if interesting to our readers) of papers published elsewhere. An Abstract is required, but otherwise the sectional format is flexible. The length of Forum papers is normally 2–4 printed pages.

Report: This category includes items that are not scientific papers, e.g. reports on the activities of a scientific working group or descriptions of a new or much expanded computer program if this is of interest for vegetation classification. Reports are typically 1–2 printed pages with a maximum of 10 (15) references; additional material should be put in Supplementary files.

Editorial: Only Chief Editors or persons solicited by these can submit Editorials.

Short Database Reports, Long Database Reports and CCCN Reports are additional article categories that are available only in the respective Permanent Collection (for details see below).

Permanent Collection Ecoinformatics
(Editors Idoia Biurrun, Jürgen Dengler & Florian Jansen)

Papers presenting vegetation-plot databases and other ecoinformatics data sources relevant for vegetation classification as well as concepts, methods and tools for using these should be submitted to this section. They should be classified into one of the above categories (Research Paper, Review and Synthesis, Forum Paper, Report).

VCS has established a formal collaboration with the Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD; www.givd.info). It serves as outlet for Reports on GIVD activities, Short Database Reports (1 printed page, no text except abstract, no references) and Long Database Reports (3–8 printed pages, up to 25 references). Both types of Database Reports comprise as core element the standardised GIVD Fact Sheet. Database Reports in general are only possible for vegetation-plot databases registered in GIVD. Specifically, Long Database Reports are offered to databases from Europe (including Turkey, Cyprus and the Caucasus countries) and the United States with at least 3,000 plot observations or databases with at least 1,000 plot observations from outside these regions, while the thresholds for Short Database Reports are 500 and 200 plot observations, respectively. Submissions of Database Reports must be accompanied by a recent GIVD Fact Sheet, which can be obtained from the GIVD website. The title of a Short Database Report consists of the name of the database (as registered in GIVD; capitalise all words because it is considered a proper name), possibly followed by a subtitle or explanation after an en-dash. For Long Database Reports, the title also must contain the unchanged proper name of the database, but otherwise its arrangement is more flexible. Further format specifications and instructions for submission are available from the Permanent Collection Editors or from GIVD.

Permanent Collection Phytosociological Nomenclature
(Editors Federico Fernández-González & Wolfgang Willner)

Papers focusing on phytosociological nomenclature should be submitted to this section. They should be classified into one of the above categories (Research Paper, Review and Synthesis, Forum Paper, Report). We encourage comprehensive nomenclatural revisions of major syntaxa, analyses of nomenclatural problems related with the names of wide-spread high-rank syntaxa as well as Forum Papers on general nomenclatural issues that are of interest to an international readership. We discourage papers dealing with names of communities of only regional distribution. The publication of new syntaxa is not permitted in this section except in cases of validations or changes of rank of existing syntaxon names, where all relevant classification information (including tables) has been published before.

Further, this section publishes Reports and official documents issued by the Working Group for Phytosociological Nomenclature (GPN) of the International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS). Nomenclatural proposals (e.g., for nomina conservanda) should be submitted per e-mail to the responsible editor (wolfgang.willner@univie.ac.at). Once a year, the new proposals will be published as part of the annual Report of the Committee for Changes and Conservation of Names (CCCN) (article category: CCCN Report), with all authors of proposals being co-authors (additionally, the authors of individual proposals will be indicated in the Report). Publication of nomenclatural proposals is free of charge.

Special Collections

VCS will, from time to time, publish Special Collections on certain topics. Submission to a Special Collection is possible only for manuscripts that have been invited by the Special Collection Editors (usually following an evaluation of proposed abstracts). If you are interested in organising a Special Collection, please contact one of the Chief Editors to discuss this option.

Guidelines for Plot-Based Vegetation Classification Papers (Outside and Inside Special Collections)

Methodological approach: Plot-based vegetation classification studies should clearly delimit the target vegetation type, describe the methods of data sampling, or data selection from databases, and formally describe each step of the classification process, in order to make the process of sampling (or data compilation) and classification repeatable by other researchers. If classification is based on or includes expert judgement, unequivocal a posteriori criteria for assignment of vegetation samples to community types must be given.

Data presentation: Plant community types described in vegetation classification papers should be documented by comparative (synoptic) tables with species abundance or frequency data (in the body of the table) and relevant environmental variables (in the header of the table). Tables with species constancy (frequency) should contain percentages (not classes). Species in these tables should be sorted and grouped to indicate the floristic differentiation of community types. Group headings may be used. Differentiation criteria and thresholds used for structuring the tables and defining diagnostic (character, differential or indicator) species should be formally described and strictly followed. While space in the main body of the paper usually only allows for presentation of synoptic tables with constancy columns, the authors are strongly encouraged to present the underlying unabridged sorted relevé tables in Supplementary files in usable form. If in doubt, please ask the Editor.

Community descriptions: While textual description of community types should be as concise as possible and should not repeat information contained in the tables, VCS appreciates descriptive and structured accounts of plant community types with notes, if applicable, on vegetation structure, site conditions, phenology and prevailing colours, impacts and variation. Formerly described community types should be briefly annotated with an explicit reference to the source, where the full description is provided. Vegetation classification papers should also contain colour photographs of representative stands for particular community types dealt with, arranged as plates with multiple panels, typically one panel for each community type.

Nomenclature of community types: Nomenclature of community types should be internally consistent, typically following regional tradition. If the formal nomenclature of the Braun-Blanquet approach is used, the rules of the latest edition of International Code of Phytosociological Nomenclature must be adhered to. If new syntaxa are published according to the Code, nomenclatural types must be included in the main document, not in the Supplementary material.

Plot data: The authors are strongly encouraged to publish primary data related to the paper (e.g. vegetation-plot data) in Supplementary files, preferably in a standard vegetation database format (Veg-X, Turboveg XML), and/or to store them in a major national or regional vegetation database. This should be indicated in the Methods section by referring to the database (through citing a database paper and/or through the database’s ID in the Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases; www.givd.info) and the plot numbers within this database. Disclosing the sources of plot data in detail is obligatory when data have been retrieved from databases owned by third parties; in this case all databases from which data have been used, have to be referred to with their GIVD ID (if any) or by citing a paper describing that database.


Authors Guidelines


Manuscript structure

Due to the double-blind peer review system of VCS, you have to submit your manuscript (apart from the letter to the editor and supplementary material) as two separate files (for further details, see under Submission Guidelines):

(i) Cover part (with personal information)

(ii) Main part (anonymised)

The submitted text should be with 1.5-fold line spacing and needs to have continuous line numbering to facilitate the review process. Always consult a recent issue of VCS or the journal’s website at https://vcs.pensoft.net/ for details on format, sequence of headings, citation style and arrangement of the manuscript.

Cover part (with personal information)

To allow double-blind review, all parts of the manuscript that allow direct identification of author identities will be included here. This part is for the handling Subject Editor only and will not be sent to the reviewers.

Collection: Indicate if you wish to submit your paper to a Permanent Collection or Special Collection.

Type: Indicate to which manuscript type your manuscript should be assigned.

Title: This should be strongly directed towards attracting the interest of potential readers. The shorter a title, the more citations an article usually attracts.

Author names and affiliations: In the current format of the journal. e.g.:

Nicole Flowers1, Annette Wiese1,2 , Pablo F. Verde2

1 Botany Department, Little Marsh University, Little Marsh, Berkshire, United Kingdom
2 Community Ecology, Research Institute, Porto Allegre, Brazil

Corresponding author: Nicole Flowers (flowers@lmu.ac.uk)

Please note that affiliations should always start with the smallest organisational unit, i.e. Department, University, not University, Department, and that only city/town and country, but not street and postal code should be given.

Data availability: A data availability statement must be given for the data used in and resulting from your research, if not included in the manuscript or electronic appendices. VCS expects that the original data on which the results are based will be archived, if possible in an appropriate public repository or in electronic Supplementary Information related to the paper. Whenever possible, the scripts (e.g. R scripts) and other artefacts used to generate the analyses presented in the paper should also be publicly archived. The authors should make a statement where the primary data, datasets prepared as a part of the study and original program source codes are stored. If they are archived in a public repository, a reference to DOI or permanent URL should be provided. If the paper uses data from large multi-contributor databases such as sPlot, EVA or GrassPlot, which cannot be made publicly available because of the third-party ownership issues, the data selection released for the study should be stored in an internal repository of the source database, and made available for re-analyses upon request; in such a case the author(s) should refer in their Data availability statement to the project code or name used in such internal repository.

Author contributions: Required for any paper with more than one author, e.g.:

A.B. planned the research, C.T.F. and Z.K. conducted the field sampling, B.C. performed the statistical analyses and led the writing, while all authors critically revised the manuscript.

Acknowledgements: Keep them brief. References to research projects/funds and institutional publication numbers can go here as well as mentioning of individuals who helped but did not make a significant scientific contribution that would warrant authorship.

E-mail and ORCID: Provide here the e-mails and, if available, the ORCID’s of all authors in the sequence they appear in the author list, with one person per line, e.g.

Andrew Smith (Corresponding author, andrew.smith@uni-xxx.uk), ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0005-5678-660X
Susan Miller (milsus@zzz-college.us)
Karin Meyer (k.meyer@gmail.com), ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0009-8765-660X
(…)

Main part (anonymised)

Collection: Copy the information from the Cover part.

Type: Copy the information from the Cover part.

Title: Copy the information from the Cover part.

Running head: Shortened title (up to 50 characters including spaces) to be used in the header of the article.

Abstract: Up to 300 words (200 for Forum Papers, Reports, Database Reports and CCCN Reports) in a single paragraph. The abstract should concisely and concretely summarize the main facts on "Question(s)", "Study area", "Methods", "Results" and "Conclusions". These subheadings should be given in bold, followed by a colon. Subheadings can be adjusted where appropriate (e.g. "Aims" instead of "Questions"). They are optional for Reports and Forum articles and not used for Database Reports. Normally no citations; but if exceptionally needed then with author, year, journal, volume and pages.

Taxonomic reference(s): Refer to one (or few) source(s) for unified scientific names of plant species:

Miller (2001) for vascular plants, except Myers et al. (2003) for Asteraceae.

Syntaxonomic reference(s): If you use scientific names for vegetation units, refer to the source(s) of these names.

Abbreviation(s): List and explain any abbreviations that are frequently used in the text, e.g.:

DCA = Detrended Correspondence Analysis; ICPN = International Code of Phytosociological Nomenclature (Weber et al. 2000).

Keywords: There should be 6–12 singular keywords, including the important words from the title, in alphabetical order and separated by commas, e.g.:

Abies, Alpine, biodiversity, functional diversity, gradient analysis, trait, transect

Main text: Up to four levels of unnumbered section headings are possible (see below). Standard sequence of main sections in VCS is Introduction – Study area – Methods – Results – Discussion, but variation of this structure is acceptable when appropriate.

References: For details, see below.

Appendices: Appendices are exceptionally possible for items other than vegetation tables that would disturb the flow of reading but must appear in the typeset body of the paper. A typical case is the presentation of nomenclatural types of syntaxa described as new (because supplementary material is not considered as effectively published according to Art. 1 of the International Code of Phytosociological Nomenclature, ed. 4).

Supplementary material: If applicable, reference to each item of Supplementary material with short (one-line) captions and the data format in brackets. The reference should have the following format:

Supplementary material 1. Ordered relevé table of the Fagion sylvaticae (*.xlsx)

Supplementary material 2. Ordered relevé table of the Fagion sylvaticae (*.csv).

Supplementary material 3. Photo guide to the associations described in this article (*.pdf).

Note that in the main document you should provide only the reference to the Supplementary material while the supplements themselves are to be submitted as individual items each (for details, see below).


English Language

Articles for VCS must be written either in British English or American English throughout.

VCS offers a unique service of language editing. Our Linguistic Editors, who are vegetation scientists themselves, will look through all accepted papers written by non-native speakers without additional costs. However, this does not release you from writing your manuscripts in a concise and understandable manner and to take any reasonable effort (e.g. spell checker of your word processing program) to avoid mistakes. Manuscripts that do not meet such basic formal requirements will be returned without review.


Citations and References

Citations within the text: Before submitting the manuscript, please check each citation in the text against the References and vice-versa to ensure that they match exactly.

Citations in the text should be formatted as follows:

One author: Smith (1990) or (Smith 1990)

Note: The citations format depends on the way it is incorporated within the article’s text:

Example:

  1. According to Smith (1990), these findings…

  2. These findings have been first reported in the beginning of the nineties (Smith 1990).

Two authors: Brock and Gunderson (2001) or (Brock and Gunderson 2001)

Note: When choosing between formats refer back to examples above.

Three or more authors: Smith et al. (1998) or (Smith et al. 1998)

Note: When choosing between formats refer back to examples above.

When citing more than one source, in-text citations should be ordered by the year of publication, starting with the earliest one:

(Smith et al. 1998, 2000, 2016; Brock and Gunderson 2001; Felt 2006).

Note: When you have a few citations from the same author but from different years (such as the case with Smith et al. above), the first year is taken into consideration when ordering the sources (in this case 1998, which is why Smith et al. come first in the list).

When having two or more fully identical citations (this can happen when you have more than one reference with exactly the same authors and years for one or two authors, or the same first author and year for author teams of three or more), the references are distinguished by adding the letters 'a', 'b', 'c', etc. after the years and this marking is followed in the in-text citations, respectively:

(Reyes-Velasco et al. 2018a, 2018b)

Authorship references for species should include a "," between author and year:

Brianmyia stuckenbergi Woodley, 2012.

References: It is important to format the references properly, because all references will be linked electronically as completely as possible to the papers cited. It is desirable to add a DOI (digital object identifier) number for either the full-text or title and abstract of the article as an addition to traditional volume and page numbers. If a DOI is lacking, it is recommended to add a link to any online source of an article. Please use the following style for the reference list (or download the Pensoft EndNote style): here

Published Papers:
Polaszek A, Alonso-Zarazaga M, Bouchet P, Brothers DJ, Evenhuis NL, Krell FT, Lyal CHC, Minelli A, Pyle RL, Robinson N, Thompson FC, van Tol J (2005) ZooBank: The open-access register for zoological taxonomy: Technical Discussion Paper. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 62: 210–220.

Accepted Papers:
Same as above, but ''in press'' appears instead the year in parentheses.

Electronic Journal Articles:
Mallet J, Willmott K (2002) Taxonomy: Renaissance or Tower of Babel? Trends in Ecology and Evolution 18 (2): 57–59. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0169-5347(02)00061-7.

Paper within conference proceedings:
Orr AG (2006) Odonata in Bornean tropical rain forest formations: Diversity, endemicity and applications for conservation management. In: Cordero Rivera A (Ed.) Forest and Dragonflies. Fourth WDA International Symposium of Odonatology, Pontevedra (Spain), July 2005. Pensoft Publishers, Sofia-Moscow, 51–78.

Book chapters:
Mayr E (2000) The biological species concept. In: Wheeler QD, Meier R (Eds) Species Concepts and Phylogenetic Theory: A Debate. Columbia University Press, New York, 17–29.

Books:
Goix N, Klimaszewski J (2007) Catalogue of Aleocharine Rove Beetles of Canada and Alaska. Pensoft Publishers, Sofia-Moscow, 166 pp.

Book with institutional author:
International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (1999) International code of zoological nomenclature. Fourth Edition. London: The International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature.

PhD thesis:
Dalebout ML (2002) Species identity, genetic diversity and molecular systematic relationships among the Ziphiidae (beaked whales). PhD thesis, Auckland, New Zealand: University of Auckland.

Link/URL:
BBC News: Island leopard deemed new species http://news.bbc.co.uk/

Citations of Public Resource Databases: It is highly recommended all appropriate datasets, images, and information to be deposited in public resources. Please provide the relevant accession numbers (and version numbers, if appropriate). Accession numbers should be provided in parentheses after the entity on first use. Examples of such databases include, but are not limited to:

Providing accession numbers to data records stored in global data aggregators allows us to link your article to established databases, thus integrating it with a broader collection of scientific information. Please hyperlink all accession numbers through the text or list them directly after the References in the online submission manuscript.

All journal titles should be spelled out completely and should NOT be italicized.

Provide the publisher's name and location when you cite symposia or conference proceedings; distinguish between the conference date and the publication date if both are given. Do not list abstracts or unpublished material in the References. They should be quoted in the text as personal observations, personal communications, or unpublished data, specifying the exact source, with date if possible. When possible, include URLs for articles available online through library subscription or individual journal subscription, or through large international archives, indexes and aggregators, e.g., PubMedCentral, Scopus, CAB Abstracts, etc. URLs for pdf articles that are posted on personal websites only should be avoided.

Authors are encouraged to cite in the References list the publications of the original descriptions of the taxa treated in their manuscript.

Ordering references: All references should be ordered alphabetically.

If the references have the same first author and a varying number of co-authors, the ordering should be based on the number of co-authors starting with the lowest as follows:

Smith J (2018) Article Title. Journal Name 1: 1–10. https://doi.org/10.3897

Smith J, Gunderson A (2017) Article Title. Journal Name 1: 10–20. https://doi.org/10.3897 

Smith J, Gunderson A, Brock B (2015) Article Title. Journal Name 1: 20–30. https://doi.org/10.3897

In the occasion of more than one article from the same first author within any of the categories above, the references should be ordered chronologically.

If both the first author and year of publication match within the categories above, the references are distinguished by adding the letters 'a', 'b', 'c', etc. after the year of publication and this marking is followed in the in-text citations, respectively.


Illustrations, Figures and Tables

Figures and illustrations are accepted in the following image file formats:

  • EPS (preferred format for diagrams)

  • TIFF (at least 300dpi resolution, with LZW compression)

  • PNG (preferred format for photos or images)

  • JPEG (preferred format for photos or images)

  • GIF

  • BMP

  • SVG

Vector files in any of the following formats EPS, SVG or PDF are requested for phylogenetic trees and cladograms.

The journal is printed in B5 paper size with the maximum printing area of 128 mm × 199 mm. Whenever possible, individual figures should be prepared as composite figures.

Should you have any problems in providing the figures in one of the above formats, or in reducing the file below 20 MB, please contact the Editorial Office at journals@pensoft.net

Figure legends: All figures should be referenced consecutively in the manuscript; legends should be listed consecutively immediately after the References. For each figure, the following information should be provided: Figure number (in sequence, using Arabic numerals − i.e. Figure 1, 2, 3 etc.); short title of figure (maximum 15 words); detailed legend, up to 300 words.

Illustrations of measurable morphological traits should bear mute scale bars, whose real size is to be given in the figure captions.

Please note that it is the responsibility of the author(s) to obtain permission from the copyright holder to reproduce figures or tables that have previously been published elsewhere.

Figure citations in the text should always be with Capital "F" and En-dash for ranges. One figure with a full stop, figures without.

Example: Fig. 1, Figs 1–3, Fig. 2A–E.

Citations of figures from other publications should always be Lower Case (fig. / figs). When two subsequent figures or parts are cited (for instance figures 1 and 2 or A and B), a comma should be used.

Example:  Figs 1, 2 and Fig. 1A, B.

Parts belong to one figure.

Example: Fig. 1A, B and Fig. 2A-E.

 

On the use of Google Maps
All uses of Google Maps and Google Earth Content must provide attribution to Google, according to Google Maps/Earth Additional Terms of Service (see also Permission Guidelines for Google Maps and Google Earth). The attribution should be visible on each map in the form, for example: "Map data 2019 (C) Google".

 

Tables: Each table should be numbered in sequence using Arabic numerals (i.e. Table 1, 2, 3 etc.). Tables should also have a title that summarizes the whole table, maximum 15 words. Detailed legends may then follow, but should be concise.

Small tables can be embedded within the text, in portrait format (note that tables on a landscape page must be reformatted onto a portrait page or submitted as additional files). These will be typeset and displayed in the final published form of the article. Such tables should be formatted using the 'Table object' in a word processing program to ensure that columns of data are kept aligned when the file is sent electronically for review. Do not use tabs to format tables or separate text. All columns and rows should be visible, please make sure that borders of each cell display as black lines. Colour and shading should not be used; neither should commas be used to indicate decimal values. Please use a full stop to denote decimal values (i.e., 0.007 cm, 0.7 mm).

Larger datasets can be uploaded separately as Supplementary Files. Tabular data provided as supplementary files can be uploaded as an Excel spreadsheet (.xls), as an OpenOffice spreadsheets (.ods) or comma-separated values file (.csv). As with all uploaded files, please use the standard file extensions.


Materials and Methods

In line with responsible and reproducible research, as well as FAIR (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability and Reusability) 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.


Supplementary Files

Online publishing allows an author to provide datasets, tables, video files, or other information as supplementary information, greatly increasing the impact of the submission. Uploading of such files is possible in Step 6 of the submission process.

The maximum file size for each Supplementary File is 20 MB.

The Supplementary Files will not be displayed in the printed version of the article but will exist as linkable supplementary downloadable files in the online version.

While submitting a supplementary file the following information should be completed:

  • File format (including name and a URL of an appropriate viewer if format is unusual)

  • Title of data

  • Description of data

All supplementary files should be referenced explicitly by file name within the body of the article, e.g. 'See supplementary file 1: Movie 1" for the original data used to perform this analysis.

Ideally, the supplementary files should not be platform-specific, and should be viewable using free or widely available tools. Suitable file formats are:

For supplementary documentation:

  • PDF (Adobe Acrobat)

For animations:

  • SWF (Shockwave Flash)

For movies:

  • MOV (QuickTime)

  • MPG (MPEG)

For datasets:

  • XLS (Excel spreadsheet)

  • CSV (Comma separated values)

  • ODS (OpenOffice spreadsheets)

As for images, file names should be given in the standard file extensions. This is especially important for Macintosh users, since the Mac OS does not enforce the use of standard file extensions. Please also make sure that each additional file is a single table, figure or movie (please do not upload linked worksheets or PDF files larger than one sheet).


Revising your article

Authors must submit the revised version of the manuscript using Track Changes/Comments tools of Word so that the Subject Editor can see the corrections and additions.

Authors must address all critiques of the referees in a response letter to the editor and submit it along with the revised manuscript through the online editorial system. In case a response letter is not submitted by the authors, the editor has the right to reject the manuscript without further evaluation.

When submitting corrections to proofs (during the layout stage), authors must upload the latest proof (in PDF format) containing their revisions as track changes.


Concise Copyediting Instructions

The copyediting instructions below represent a concise summary of the journal's formatting requirements described in finer detail in the Author Guidelines. The instructions are intended for use by the authors during preparation of the final revised versions of their manuscripts, technical editors, copy editors and typesetters.  

Author names

  • Omit titles, degrees, etc.
  • Provide ORCID if available

Affiliation

(Department,) Institution, City, Country

Article title

Title of article: Subtitle of article

  • Title: Sentence case
  • Colon between title and subtitle (if any)
  • No footnotes
  • No bold (use when needed sub-/superscript, and/or italics only for the terms in Latin)
  • Higher taxa within the title should be separated with commas and not with a semicolon

Running head

  • A short version of title up to 50 characters (including spaces); normally the short title should have been suggested by the authors and checked for clarity by the copy editor

Abstract

  • No references to tables, figures, etc., no footnotes
  • No citations (preferably)
    • If citations unavoidable: Complete citations, allowing unambiguous identification of cited publication!
  • Must be written in third person
  • Note: The abstract has to be a stand-alone entity, to present a really well written and concise summary of the article! A special care for copy editors to check!
  • Designations of nomenclatural novelties should be in bold and spelled in the way suggested ( sp. nov., gen. nov., comb. nov. )

Keywords (up to 8 words)

keyword a, keyword b, keyword n

  • Do not repeat words from the title
  • Listed in alphabetical order and separated by commas
  • Lowercase letters, except proper names
  • No bold font
  • Without any punctuation marks after last keyword

Tables

  • Table caption: Start with label "Table N." in bold. Sentence case, i.e.:
    • Table 2. Table caption text.
  • Numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals
  • Heading for every column (including the leftmost!)
  • No shading of cells, rows, columns; no colored fonts
  • No horizontal or vertical lines in table body
  • Same number of decimal places for same statistics (usually within same column)
  • Text formatting in the cell without paragraph and line break
  • Table must be in an editable format (.docx, .xlsx, etc., not as images)
  • Caption and footnotes as texts (not as part of a table)

Figures

  • Figure caption: Start with label "Figure N." in bold. Sentence case, i.e.:
    • Figure 6. Figure caption text.
  • Numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals
  • Figure parts: Use capital letters in bold. No punctuation separator, i.e.:
      • Figure 1. Figure general caption text. A part caption text B part caption text N part caption text.
    • If abbreviations are used, these are placed after the parts with a colon, i.e.:
      Abbreviations: xxxx
    • If there are scale bars on the figure parts, reference to them is last and in the format: Scale bars: 20 μm (D, N, O, Q); 50 μm (F, K); 10 μm (G, P); 5 μm (H); 100 μm (M).
    • High quality (at least 300 dpi)
    • Text sharp and readable (e.g., no overlap of text and graphical elements like lines)
    • White or transparent background
    • No image border
    • Caption as text (not as part of the image)

      Capitalization

      • Article title: Sentence case
      • Running head: Sentence case
      • Section and subsection titles:
        • For separated titles (usually H1-H3): Sentence case
        • For paragraph titles (usually H4): Sentence case
      • Table captions: Sentence case
      • Headings of table rows and columns:
        • Sentence case or lower case (check for consistency only!)
      • Figure captions: Sentence case
      • In text body: Nouns followed by numerals/letters (citations of figures, tables, appendices and supplementary files) e.g.:
        • Fig. 4; Figs 1, 2; Table 2; Appendix 1
      • In text body: Titles of articles, book chapters, books, tests
      • In references: Sentence case

      Equations and statistical symbols

      • Typeface
        • standard typeface for Greek letters, sub-/superscripts, and abbreviations that are not variables
        • italic typeface for all other statistical symbols
      • Space before and after equal/inequality signs
      • Same number of decimal places for decimal values
      • Omit the zero before a decimal fraction, when the statistic cannot exceed 1, e.g., p = .34
        • Alternative A: Omit the zero before a decimal fraction only for the following statistics: p, r, R (and R 2), α (Cronbach’s α), η2 (Eta-Square, also ηp 2) .
        • Alternative B: If zero is omitted before a decimal fraction, this should be done consistently for the respective statistic.
      • Standard formats for common statistics, e.g., t(23) = 3.51, p = .002
        • commas (not semicolons!) between test statistics and p values
        • exact p values, if p not less than .001

      Text body

      • Regular font usage:
        • Main text
        • Abbreviations e.g., i.e., et al., etc., cf., vs.
        • Greek letter e.g., α, β, γ, δ, ε, σ, φ, χ, ω
      • Italic font usage:
        • Scientific names of taxa of species and genera (authorities in regular font, not in italics)
        • Long direct quotations
        • Symbols for variables and constants, such as p, F, U, T, N, r , but not for SD (standard deviation), SE (standard error), DF (degrees of freedom), and NS (non significant). These symbols in illustrations and equations should be in italics to match the text.
        • Do not use italics for emphasis
      • No underlining
      • Bold font usage:
        • Subheadings, sections and subsections
        • Figure captions – For the label and designation of figure’s parts:
          • Figure 1. Figure general caption text. A part caption text B part caption text N part caption text.
        • Table captions – For the label:
          • Table 1. Table caption text.
        • Designations of nomenclatural novelties should be in bold (e.g. sp. nov., gen. nov., comb. nov. )
        • In systematic sections for specimen designation such us: holotype, paratype, syntype, lectotype, isotype , etc.
        • Abbreviations of institutions or morphological characters or indices listed in the section Materials and methods, i.e.:
          • NMW Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna
          • NHML Natural History Museum, London
          • EL length of elytra
          • EW maximum width of elytra
          • TL total length (PL+EL)
        • In species descriptions – designation of main anatomical structures followed by a colon mark, i.e. Head:…, Thorax:…, Legs:…, Abdomen:, etc., in this case these should be followed by a section describing other anatomical organs and structures attached to these.
        • Subsection "Specimens examined" - the preferred order is as follows, HOWEVER THESE FINE-GRAINED FORMATTING GUIDELINES ARE NOT COMPULSORY. Authors who follow the guidelines will benefit from the submission of their specimen records to GBIF after publication. The records on GBIF will bear the article citation details contributiing to a wider dissemination and re-use of the published data.
          • COUNTRY • specimens [e.g. 1 ♂, size ]; geographic/locality data [from largest to smallest]; coordinates; altitude/elevation/depth [using alt./m a.s.l. etc.]; date [format: 16 Jan. 1998]; collector [followed by "leg."]; other collecting data [e.g. micro habitat/host/method of collecting]; barcodes/identifiers [e.g. GenBank: MG779236]; institution code and specimen code [e.g. CBF 06023].
            For Example: Holotype: CHINA • ♀; Sichuan, Kangding; 30.04°N, 101.57°E; 15.VI.2017; Yanzhou Zhang leg.; Hyp-2018-06, original number ZYZ-2017-28. Paratypes: CHINA • 1♀1♂; Sichuan, Kangding; 29.VI.2017; Yanzhou Zhang leg.; Hyp-2018-01, Hyp-2018-02, original number ZYZ-2017-08 • 1♀; Sichuan: Kangding; 2.VIII.2017; Yanzhou Zhang leg.; Hyp-2018-03, original number ZYZ-2017-20 • 1♂, Sichuan: Kangding; 29.VI.2017; Yanzhou Zhang leg.; Hyp-2018-08, original number ZYZ-2017-029.
          • Punctuation:
            A bullet point "•" (unicode: 2022) is used to signify the beginning of a material citation. Within each citation, the different fields are delimited by a semicolon. A single field can be composed of several elements, which are separated by commas (e.g. the details region, area, town and street for the ‘locality’ field). Semicolons should not be used elsewhere in a material citation.
          • Repetitive data: Authors can indicate repetitive data with indications such as "same data as for holotype", "same data as for preceding", "same locality", "ibid", etc. as long as the same method and wording are used consistently throughout the paper.
          • ‘Missing’ elements: It is not necessary to include information such as "no date" or "no locality data"; just list the elements that are available.
          • see more details here
      • Quotation marks
        • Avoid quotation marks except for direct quotations, words defined by the author, and words used in unusual contexts.
        • Short quotations should be embedded in the text and enclosed in double quotation marks ("). Long quotations should be on a separate line, italicized, but without quotation marks.
        • Single quotation marks are to be used only for a quotation that occurs within another quotation.
      • Hyphen and dash characters
        • Consistent use of (-, –, —).
        • In contrast to parentheses an em-dash can be used alone.
        • En-dashes and em-dashes should not be spaced.
          • Hyphens (-) are used to:
            • link words such as personal names, some prefixes and compound adjectives (the last of which vary depending on the style manual in use)
          • En-dash (–) or en-rule (the length of an 'n') is used to:
            • link spans.
            • link numerals, sizes, dates and page numbers (e.g., 1977–1981; figs 5–7; pp. 237–258)
            • geographic or name associations (e.g., Murray–Darling River; a Federal–State agreement)
            • character states combinations (e.g., long–pubescent or red–purple).
          • Em-dash (—) or em-rule (the length of an 'm') should be used rarely:
            • only for introducing a subordinate clause in the text that is often used much as we use parentheses.

      Section hierarchy

      • No more than 4 levels, from hierarchical level 1 (H1) to hierarchical level 4 (H4)
      • Unambiguous hierarchy levels
      • No numbering of hierarchical levels

      Section titles

      • Capitalization:
        • For separated titles (usually H1-H3): Sentence case
        • For paragraph titles (usually H4): Sentence case

      Mandatory statements

      • Funding
        • If missing, add the following statement (depending on the number of authors):
          • The author has no funding to report.
          • The authors have no funding to report.
      • Competing interests
        • If missing, add the following statement (depending on the number of authors):
          • The author has declared that no competing interests exist.
          • The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
      • Acknowledgements (= non-financial support)
        • If missing, add the following statement (depending on the number of authors):
          • The author has no support to report.
          • The authors have no support to report.
      • Data Resources (mandatory for empirical articles)

      Geographical coordinates

      One of the following formats should be used:

      • Degrees, Minutes and Seconds (DMS), i.e.:
        • 36°31'21"N; 114°09'50"W
      • Degrees and Decimal Minutes (DDM), i.e.:
        • 36°31.46'N; 114°09.84'W
      • Decimal Degrees (DD), i.e.:
        • 36.5243°S; 114.1641°W
        • −36.5243; −114.1641 (using minus to indicate southern and western hemispheres)

      In-Text Citations

      • References
        • 1-2 authors
          • Jackson and Miller (2012) found out that...
          • A recent study (Jackson and Miller 2012) confirmed that...
        • 3 or more authors
          • Jackson et al. (2012) found out that...
          • A recent study (Jackson et al. 2012) confirmed that...
        • Multiple sources in chronological order:
          • same authors different years - separated by a comma:
            • Jackson and Miller (2012, 2015) found out that...
            • Recent studies (Jackson et al. 2012, 2015) confirmed that...
          • different authors - separated by a semicolon:
            • (Smith et al. 1998, 2000, 2016; Brock and Gunderson 2001; Felt 2006)
          • two or more fully identical citations (the same authors and years) are distinguished by adding the letters 'a', 'b', 'c', etc. after the year:
            • Jackson 2008a, 2008b
            • Jackson and Miller 2014a, 2014b
            • Reyes-Velasco et al. 2018a, 2018b
        • Sources with page numbers
          • Jackson and Miller (2012: 120–121) found out that
          • A recent study (Jackson and Miller 2012: 120) confirmed that
      • Figures:
        • Fig. 1
        • Fig. 1A, B
        • Fig. 1A–D
        • Figs 1, 2
        • Figs 1–3
        • Figs 1A, B, 3F, G, 7A
      • Tables:
        • Table 1
        • Tables 1, 2
        • Tables 1–3
      • Appendixes:
        • Appendix 1
        • Appendices 1, 2
        • Appendices 1–4
      • Referenced materials from other sources:
        • All figures, tables, etc., from other sources should be written with small letters i.e.: see fig. 2 in Author (Year) ...

      References

      • Author names: surname first; all given names abbreviated, no full stops, commas or spaces, i.e.:
        • Lyal CHC
        • van Tol J
        • de Albuquerque PRA
      • Different authors separated by comma
      • Year in brackets; no comma or full stop after it
      • No italics (except for Latin terms)

      Published papers:

      Polaszek A, Alonso-Zarazaga M, Bouchet P, Brothers DJ, Evenhuis NL, Krell FT, Lyal CHC, Minelli A, Pyle RL, Robinson N, Thompson FC, van Tol J (2005) ZooBank: The open-access register for zoological taxonomy: Technical Discussion Paper. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 62: 210–220.

      Accepted papers:

      Same as above, but ''in press'' appears instead of the year in parentheses.

      Electronic journal articles:

      Mallet J, Willmott K (2002) Taxonomy: Renaissance or Tower of Babel? Trends in Ecology and Evolution 18(2): 57–59. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0169-5347(02)00061-7.

      Paper within conference proceedings:

      Orr AG (2006) Odonata in Bornean tropical rain forest formations: Diversity, endemicity and applications for conservation management. In: Cordero Rivera A (Ed.) Forest and Dragonflies. Fourth WDA International Symposium of Odonatology, Pontevedra (Spain), July 2005. Pensoft Publishers, Sofia-Moscow, 51–78.

      Book chapters:

      Mayr E (2000) The biological species concept. In: Wheeler QD, Meier R (Eds) Species concepts and phylogenetic theory: A debate. Columbia University Press, New York, 17–29.

      Books:

      Goix N, Klimaszewski J (2007) Catalogue of Aleocharine Rove Beetles of Canada and Alaska. Pensoft Publishers, Sofia-Moscow, 166 pp.

      Book with institutional author:

      ICZN [International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature] (1999) International code of zoological nomenclature. Fourth Edition. London: The International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature.

      PhD thesis:

      Dalebout ML (2002) Species identity, genetic diversity and molecular systematic relationships among the Ziphiidae (beaked whales). PhD Thesis, University of Auckland, Auckland, ## pp.

      Link/URL:

      BBC News (2012): Island leopard deemed new species http://news.bbc.co.uk/ [Accessed on dd.mm.yyyy]


      Submission Guidelines


      Submission Procedure

      Already have a Username/Password?

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      Registration and login are required to submit items online and to check the status of current submissions.

      Submission of manuscripts to this journal is possible only through the online submission module. We kindly request authors to consult the Focus and Scope section prior to submission. In order to submit a manuscript to the journal, authors are required to register with the journal and/or to login. Once logged in, you will find the online submission system by clicking the "Submit a manuscript" button.

      The manuscript submission process is separated into the following steps:

      • Step 1: Start your submission specifying the manuscript type and completing the submission checklist.
      • Step 2: Choosing the payment option and requesting optional services.
      • Step 3: Submission metadata: typing in the author(s) names and affiliation, title, abstract, keywords, and other metadata.
      • Step 4: Submission metadata: assigning classification categories for your manuscript using hierarchical classification trees.
      • Step 5: Submission metadata: adding supporting agencies, author’s contributions, conflict of interest and comments to the editors; selection of Permanent or Special Collection.
      • Step 6: Uploading the manuscript pdf file (for review) and all other required files (see below for details on how to prepare them).
      • Step 7: Uploading supplementary files (see below for details) and associated metadata (note that the system requires you to enter the authors of the files; this information is not visible to the reviewers).
      • Step 8: Suggesting reviewers, final verification of the submitted files and confirmation.

      Stepwise guidance on new manuscript submission, with screenshots of the interface embedded, is available online in this section of the Users' Manual.


      Organizing Your Submission

      Before starting your submission please make sure that your manuscript is formatted in accordance with the Authors Guidelines.

      Manuscripts submitted to this journal must be divided into separate files (no larger than 20 MB each) to allow their processing by our software. Before attempting an online submission, please prepare the following files:

      (a) Letter to the editor.

      (b) Cover part of the manuscript with all personal information.

      (c) Anonymised main part of the manuscript with with all figures and tables embedded, in two formats: pdf and in editable format (doc, docx, rtf or odt).

      In step 6 of the submission, you will be asked to upload your manuscript files in the following way:

      1. Manuscript file for review (pdf)

      This is the anonymised main part of the manuscript, with all figures and tables embedded, in pdf format. It must not include any personal information. The total file size must be no larger than 20 MB.

      1. Manuscript file (doc, docx, rtf or odt) and additional files for production

      These consist of four separate items:

      (a) Letter to the editor (optional).

      (b) Cover part of the manuscript with all personal information (doc, docx, rtf or odt).

      (c) Anonymised main part of the manuscript in editable format (doc, docx, rtf or odt), identical to the pdf for review.

      (d) Figures (in high resolution) and tables in separate files.

      The separation of the manuscript into files (b) and (c) is mandatory.  A letter to the editor is optional in the original submission, but mandatory in any resubmission (i.e. the response letter in which you explain how you dealt with all the recommendations of reviewers and Subject Editor). For resubmissions in which you implemented major changes, it is recommendable that you submit the main part of the manuscript in two versions, one with track-changes mode and one "clean" version with all changes accepted. Submissions that do not meet these formal requirements will be returned without review.

      High-resolution figures must be submitted during the same submission process as the additional files (Step 6) in one of the following image file formats: EPS, TIFF, JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, not larger than 20 MB each).

      1. Supplementary material

      Supplementary files should have their own legends. However, no authors' names must be given at this stage in any of the files because reviewers will have access to them. (Note that the system requires you to enter the authors of the files in separate fields. This information is not visible to the reviewers.)

      Should you have any technical problems in submitting a manuscript to this journal, please contact the Editorial Office at journals@pensoft.net

      Submitting the Final Version after Acceptance

      Once your manuscript has been accepted by the Subject Editor, you will be asked to prepare a clean version of your manuscript for typesetting. Please remove all track-changes and line numbering. At this stage, you are not allowed to include any further modifications unless explicitly agreed with the Subject Editor. The clean version should consist of:

      1. Manuscript text file in which you merged the cover part and the main part (that have been separate during the double-blind peer review) in a single document in which the elements are in the sequence in which they appear in the published issue:

      Collection (if any)
      Article type
      Title
      Running head
      Author names
      Affiliations
      Corresponding author
      Abstract
      Taxonomic reference(s) (if any)
      Syntaxonomic reference(s) (if any)
      Abbreviations
      Keywords

      MAIN TEXT

      Data availability

      Author contributions
      Acknowledgements

      References
      E-mail and ORCID
      Supplementary material (numbered list of titles and file type)

      1. Each figure for the main body of the article as separate file in the recommended format and resolution.
      2. Each item for the Supplementary material as a separate file in the final format it should be published (note that Supplementary material will not undergo typesetting).

      Each Supplementary material needs to start with a cross-reference to the article and a legend, which can expand the short legend given at the end of the main article, e.g.

      Supplementary material to the paper Smith WR et al. Assembly rules in a tropical rain forest of central Amazonia. Vegetation Classification and Survey.

      Supplementary material 1. A list of palm species recorded in the study area. 


      Article Processing Charges

      Publication in VCS is subject to Article Processing Charges (APCs). Thanks to the generous support by the International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS) APCs will be kept low through the provision of significant discount options for author teams with financial constraints, for IAVS members and for authors serving in the Editorial Team of VCS. Waivers can be provided in some cases by decision of the Editorial Board and IAVS. If you have questions, please contact the Editor-in Chief (editors.vcs@pensoft.net).

      Article size

      Article Processing Charges 2020

      Article Processing Charges 2021

      Article Processing Charges 2022

      1 – 2 published pages150 €213 €275 €
      3 – 6 published pages300 €425 €550 €
      7 – 10 published pages450 €638 €825 €
      11 – 20 published pages600 €850 €1100 €
      21 – 40 published pages750 €1063 €1375 €
      > 40 published pages900 €1275 €1650 €

        NOTE-1: The above prices do not include VAT (Value Added Tax). VAT is applicable only for VAT NON-registered customers based within the European Union.

        NOTE-2: Discounts are based on the status of the first (primary) author (not necessarily the corresponding author).

        NOTE-3: The base APCs are derived from the date of submission of the manuscript, while the discount is calculated from the number of pages in the first proof. 

        Discounts on the APCs (the discounted APC values are calculated for manuscripts submitted in 2020) 

         

        IAVS Member1 or Editorial Board Member

        Chief, Associate or Linguistic  Editor

        Financial Hardship2
        Country Group 24

        Extreme Financial Hardship3
        Country Group 35

        Article size-10%-20%-40%-80%
        1 – 2 published pages135 €120 €90 €30 €
        3 – 6 published pages270 €240 €180 €60 €
        7 – 10 published pages405 €360 €270 €90 €
        11 – 20 published pages540 €480 €360 €120 €
        21 – 40 published pages675 €600 €450 €150 €
        > 40 published pages810 €720 €540 €180 €

        1 International Association for Vegetation Science (information on membership: http://iavs.org/Membership/Member-Benefits.aspx). 

        2 Defined as an annual income of less than 50% of the per capita income for the group 1 country of residence

        3 The author would need to contact the editor and provide evidence of extreme financial hardship

        4 Countries with a per capita income between US$10,000 and US$24,999 (see Ranking of Countries by GDP)

        5 Countries with a per capita income less than US$10,000 (see Ranking of Countries by GDP)


        Core services included in the APC

        • Online submission and editorial management system, professional peer review and editorial assistance.
        • Personal attitude, technical support and fast reply to any inquiry coming from authors, editors or reviewers.
        • Automated email notification and alert system to save you time from tracking the progress of your manuscript.
        • Automated registration of peer reviews at Publons.
        • Copy-editing, technical editing, typesetting and proofreading services.
        • Publication in 3 digital formats: semantically enhanced HTML, PDF and machine-readable JATS XML.
        • Rapid publication process, normally within 1-2 weeks time after a manuscript is accepted for publication.
        • Print-on-demand, full-color (no extra-charges for color), high-resolution hardcopy of reprints or whole issues.
        • Advanced data publishing workflows. 
        • Semantic Web enhancements to the article text. 
        • Markup and visualization of all biological taxon names and taxon treatments in your work, if present.
        • Immediate free access to the article on the day of publication.
        • Copyright retained by the authors, articles distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 license.
        • Active dissemination and promotion through social bookmarking tools and social media.
        • Automated email acknowledgements to editors and reviewers upon publication.
        • Automated alert service through email and RSS on the day of publication. 
        • Registration of all new taxa in ZooBank, IPNI, MycoBank or Index Fungorum (where relevant).
        • Export and display of taxon treatments to Encyclopedia of Life (EOL), Plazi, Species-ID, Globalnames, and other aggregators (where relevant).
        • Immediate distribution of your publication to scientific databases, indices and search engines (Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar, CAB Abstracts, DOAJ Content and several others, where relevant).
        • Archiving in international repositories (CLOCKSS, Zenodo, Portico, PubMedCentral, where relevant).
        • Bibliography search and discovery tool. 
        • Citation export in various formats.
        • Cited-by records statistics and display.
        • Article- and sub-article-level metrics (Altmetric, Dimensions, number of downloads separately for the PDF, XML and HTML, usage stats for figures, tables and supplementary files).

        Science Communication

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

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

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

         

        Custom social media content (Free service)

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

         Social media posts are expected to:

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

        • Be written in a conversational tone;

        • Contain minimal jargon;

        • Include the DOI link of the article;

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

        • Include attractive non-copyright imagery.

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

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

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

         

        Tailored PR campaign (Paid service*)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        *The Tailored PR campaign is a paid extra service charged at EUR 150. However, we would be happy to consider discounts and even full waivers for studies of particular interest for science and society.

        #

        Examples

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

          

        Guest blog post (Free service)

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

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

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

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

        Blog post drafts are expected to:

        • Be written in free-text format;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


        Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement

        General

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

        Privacy statement

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

        Open access

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

        Open data publishing and sharing

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

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

        Submission, peer review and editorial process

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

        General: Publication and authorship

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Responsibility of Authors

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

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

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

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

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

        • Authors must participate in the peer review process. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Responsibility of Reviewers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • Reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments. 

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

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

        Responsibility of Editors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Human and animal rights

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

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

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

        Informed consent

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

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

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

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

        Conflict of interest

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

        Appeals and open debate

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

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

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

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

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

        Misconduct

        Research misconduct may include: (a)  manipulating research materials, equipment or processes; (b) changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the article; 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.

        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 thFerratae 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

        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.


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