PART 2: The ARPHA Writing Tool: Adding Value to RIO

Last week, we presented some basic features of the ARPHA Writing Tool (AWT), focusing on the collaborative authoring process. This post will add the novelties that ARPHA has adopted when it comes to submission and post-submission processes.

arpha-validation

   

Two-step VALIDATION:

Checks are a must whenever high-quality, professional writing is concerned. Shortly before submitting their manuscripts via ARPHA, the authors are free to initiate the first step of the validation process at any time. As a result, an automated technical check runs through the manuscript to verify its consistency and compliance with the JATS (Journal Article Tag Suite) standard as well as key elements of the journal’s policy.

After the automated checks, there is a second-layer of human checks made by RIO editorial assistants in order to bring the manuscript to a pre-publication level. They check compliance with further elements of the journal’s policy as well as linguistic consistency and work with the authors before finalising it altogether.

 

After SUBMISSION:

Even after submission, collaboration continues. With the peer-review stage being as transparent and open as the whole vision of RIO is, this step is no less straightforward and organised. All peer reviews are automatically consolidated into a single online file that makes the editorial process simple and pleasant. This is made possible by the XML-based workflow in the AWT.

arpha-review-

PEER-REVIEW evolution:

Last week, we mentioned that an author can invite reviewers during the authoring stage itself. Let us elaborate here by saying that the ARPHA Writing Tool provides a functionality for pre-submission peer review(s) performed during the authoring process. These peer reviews are submitted together with the manuscript, so that the editorial evaluation and publication can be significantly sped up.

Post-publication UPDATES:

Even after an article is brought to life, ARPHA continues to play a role in it. Because of the XML workflow, authors are able to publish updated versions of their articles at any time. Once they request such an update, their work is returned to the ARPHA Writing Tool, where authors and peers are to collaborate once again. Eventually, the two versions are linked via CrossMark, so that nothing is lost.   

As you might have already noticed, just like RIO, the new ARPHA Writing Tool is constructed entirely around the needs of its authors. Why not find out yourself by giving ARPHA & RIO a try when they open for submission early next month?

 

Counting days and tweets: What’s happened to RIO Journal so far?

So, here we are, counting days and Twitter impressions since Research Ideas & Outcomes (or, RIO for short) our new open access journal was officially announced on 1st September 2015. As much as we were excited to take this long-prepared and anticipated stand in the spotlight, we are still holding our breath ahead of the big event – the launch itself, scheduled for November 2015.

In the meantime, when not busy welcoming our very first subject editors, we have our ear to the ground, so that we can make sure to provide everyone with the best services and insight. The truth is, we don’t only value attention, we deeply appreciate your opinion and respect your needs and concerns.

So, here below we provide a short summary of the eventful first week of RIO Journal:

It all started on 1st September on Twitter. Among the constantly growing list of our first followers, there were a lot of welcoming retweets, sounding just as excited as we were:

Then, the time came for the world media to give its verdict:

This week sees the birth of a new type of scientific journal, one that will publish not only study results and data, but also research ideas and proposals. It’s called Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO).
/The Scientist, 3rd September/

With so many science journals already in existence, it is rare for a new title to draw attention. But researchers and publishing experts are taking notice of Research Ideas and Outcomes, or RIO, an open-access journal that launched on 1 September.
/Nature, 3rd September/

Understandably, the hottest discussion points were RIO’s initiatives:

> To present openly the whole process of the research cycle especially including research proposals
> To publish such ideas regardless of them being eventually approved or rejected for funding
> To apply a transparent, public, and open peer-review policy

Stephen Curry, a structural biologist at Imperial College London shared on Twitter that in his opinion RIO is “bringing a new sense of transparency and collaboration to research”, while he voiced his strong support for preprint publications and open feedback in his Guardian blog. “Preprints can help to refocus attention where it matters – on the work itself, not where it is published. In so doing, they have the potential to revitalize the scientific enterprise”, his column reads.

“I like the idea of getting “publishing-credit” for my research proposals and other research output. Roughly speaking for every proposal I write, I write one paper less”, points out computational chemist at the University of Copenhagen Jan Jansen on explaining why he accepted the invitation to become one of RIO’s subject editors.

At the end of the day, some of RIO’s innovations couldn’t escape being challenged by some criticisms. A librarian and known extreme critic of open access journals, Jeffrey Beall questioned the freedom given to RIO’s authors to make their own choice of reviewers.

One of the RIO’s own subject editors, Ivo Grigorov, a marine scientist at the Technical University of Denmark also raised his concerns on the matter. Yet, he and our ever growing list of editors and advisory board are sticking with us:

In his turn, Ross Mounce, a postdoc at the Natural History Museum, London and a founding editor of RIO, explained how the new open access journal seeks to improve the “immensely wasteful” traditional research process in his piece on the popular LSE Impact blog.

Ross also gave a podcast interview for Beta Pleated Chic, he spoke in detail about the whole list of innovative tools and strategies.

If you know of any other press mentions or blogs about RIO Journal, please don’t hesitate to forward them to us on Twitter @RIOJournal.