Focus and Scope

Biodiversity Information Science and Standards (BISS) is an innovative open access journal publishing abstracts related to biodiversity standards, methods, guidelines, models and applications in biodiversity informatics submitted to Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) for presentation at annual meetings.

The journal also publishes conventional research articles. They will only be considered if they illustrate the development or application of new methods and approaches in biodiversity informatics in the form of case studies.

BISS is published on the ARPHA journal publishing platform, which is the first workflow to support the full life cycle of a manuscript, from writing through submission, peer review, publication and dissemination within a single online collaborative platform.

Unique Features

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

  • The journal is published on ARPHA, the first online collaborative platform and work flow ever to support the full life cycle of a manuscript, from writing through submission, peer-review, publication and dissemination.
  • In addition to conventional research articles, BISS provides publishing of research outputs along all stages of the research cycle, such as data, software, experimental design protocols, workflows, methodology, and others.
  • Most structural elements of the published article – text, tables, figures, etc. are treated and stored as data.
  • Authors are requested to publish all data underlying given research in open repositories, or as as supplementary files to the article, to allow reproduction of experiments and re-use of data.
  • The online, collaborative, manuscript-authoring ARPHA Writing Tool provides a large set of pre-defined, but flexible, article templates covering most important types of research outcomes. Within ARPHA, authors may work collaboratively on a manuscript and invite external contributors, such as mentors, potential reviewers, linguistic and copy editors, colleagues, who may correct and comment on the text before submission.
  • A rich set of functionalities of the ARPHA Writing Tool allows for search and import of literature and data references, cross-referencing of in-text citations of literature, tables, images and supplementary material. The tool has an automated technical validation step which will save your time by checking your manuscript for consistency.
  • Authors and reviewers may opt for entirely open review process. Furthermore, authors are given the option to submit reviews or supporting statements from experts in the subject along with their submission (pre-submission reviews) for editor’s consideration to facilitate the manuscript evaluation and speed up the publishing process. 
  • Аll reviews on a manuscript are consolidated into a single online file which makes the process of editing straightforward, easy and comfortable. The journal allows also a post-publication review.
  • A range of optional, cost-efficient services (e.g., linguistic editing, press releases and PR campaigns) are offered to the authors in addition to the core publishing service. 


Open Access

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 where copyright is owned by someone else. 
  • They agree to the following license and copyright agreement:


  • Copyright on any article is retained by the author(s) or the author's employer. 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 any third party the right to use the article freely as long as its original authors and citation details are identified. 
  • The article and published supplementary material are 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, their 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 their institution/company and the publisher cannot include a statement "all rights reserved" in any published paper.

Website design and publishing framework: Copyright © Pensoft Publishers.

CLOCKSS system has permission to ingest, preserve, and serve this Archival Unit.

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.


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

During manuscript submission, the submitting author is strongly recommended to specify a contributor role for each of co-author, i.e. Conceptualization, Methodology, Software, Validation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Resources, Data Curation, Writing - Original draft, Writing - Review and Editing, Visualization, Supervision, Project administration, Funding Acquisition (see more). For the journals that are not integrated with CRediT, the submitting author is encouraged to specify the roles as a free text. Once published the article will include the contributor role for all authors in the article metadata.

Use of AI

Authors must be transparent about the use of Artificial Intelligence tools such as ChatGPT and other large language models in the manuscript preparation, and disclose details of how the AI tool was used within the "Materials and Methods" section.

Desk Rejection

During the pre-review evaluation, Editors-in-Chief or Subject editors check the manuscript for compliance with the journal's guidelines, focus, and scope. At this point, they may reject a manuscript prior to sending it out for peer review, specifying the reasons. The most common ones are non-conformity with the journal's focus, scope and policies and/or low scientific or linguistic quality. In such cases, authors are encouraged to considerably improve their manuscript and resubmit it for a review. We encourage authors whose manuscripts have been desk rejected due to being out of the scope of this journal to consider another potentially suitable title from the Pensoft portfolio.

In case the manuscript is suitable for the journal but has to be corrected technically or linguistically, it will be returned to the authors for improvement. The authors will not need to re-submit the manuscript but only to upload the corrected file(s) to their existing submission.

Peer Review

This journal uses a single-blind peer review process. This means that the names of reviewers are hidden from the authors (the author does not know the identity of the reviewer, but the reviewer knows the identity of the author). Notwithstanding that, the reviewers are encouraged to disclose their identities, if they wish to do so. Each article is reviewed by at least two independent experts, with a final decision on acceptance being made by the Subject Editor / Editor-in-Chief. Front-matter articles, such as editorials, correspondence, biographies, and similar articles, can be published after editorial evaluation only.

Please consider the Editor and Reviewer Guidelines in the About webpage of this journal for more details and stepwise instructions on the editorial and peer review process.

Indexing and Archiving

The articles published in the journal are indexed by a high number of industry leading indexers and repositories. The journal content is archived in CLOCKSS, Zenodo, Portico and other international archives. The full list of indexes and archives are shown on the journal homepage.

Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement


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

Privacy statement

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

Open access

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

Open data publishing and sharing

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

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

Submission, peer review and editorial process

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

General: Publication and authorship

  • All submitted papers are subject to a rigorous peer review process by at least two international reviewers who are experts in the scientific field of the particular paper. 
  • The factors that are taken into account in review are relevance, soundness, significance, originality, readability and language. 
  • A declaration of potential Conflicts of Interest is a mandatory step in the submission process. The declaration becomes part of the article metadata and is displayed in both the PDF and HTML versions of the article.
  • The journals allow several 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, (3) Major revisions, (4) 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.
  • Editors-in-Chief, managing editors and their deputies are strongly recommended to limit the amount of papers co-authored by them. As a rule of thumb, research papers (co-)authored by Editors-in-Chief, managing editors and their deputies must not exceed 20% of the publications a year, with a clear task to drop this proportion below 15%. By adopting this practice, the journal is taking extra precaution to avoid endogeny and conflicts of interest, while ensuring the editorial decision-making process remains transparent and fair.
  • Editors-in-Chief, managing editors and handling editors are not allowed to handle manuscripts co-authored by them.

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.
  • Manuscripts in revision have to be revised and resubmitted within a reasonable time span. The authors are aware that manuscripts not revised within 100 days after the revision decision will be rejected and have, if desired by the authors, to be submitted afresh.

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 latter 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.
  • Editors are allowed to publish a limited proportion of papers per year co-authored by them, after considering some extra precautions to avoid an impression of impropriety, endogeny, conflicts of interest and ensure that the editorial decision-making process is transparent and fair.
  • Editors-in-Chief, managing editors and handling editors are not allowed to handle manuscripts co-authored by them.

Neutrality to geopolitical disputes


The strict policy of Pensoft and its journals is to stay neutral to any political or territorial dispute. Authors should depoliticize their studies by avoiding provoking remarks, disputable geopolitical statements and controversial map designations; disputable territories should be referred to as well-recognised and non-controversial geographical areas. Тhe journal reserves the right to mark such areas at least as disputable at or after publication, to publish editor's notes, or to reject/retract the paper.

Authors' affiliations

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


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

Human and animal rights

The ethical standards in medical and pharmacological studies are based on the Helsinki declaration (1964, amended in 1975, 1983, 1989, 1996, 2000 and 2013) of the World Medical Association and the Publication Ethics Policies for Medical Journals of the World Association of Medical Journals (WAME).

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

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

Informed consent

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

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

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

Gender issues

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

Conflict of interest

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

Appeals and open debate

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

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

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

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

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


Research misconduct may include: (a)  manipulating research materials, equipment or processes; (b) changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the article; c) plagiarism. Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion. If misconduct is suspected, journal Editors will act in accordance with the relevant COPE guidelines.

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

Responses to possible misconduct

All allegations of misconduct must be referred to the Editor-In-Chief. Upon the thorough examination, the Editor-In-Chief and deputy editors should conclude if the case concerns a possibility of misconduct. All allegations should be kept confidential and references to the matter in writing should be kept anonymous, whenever possible.

Should a comment on potential misconduct be submitted by the Reviewers or Editors, an explanation will be sought from the Authors. If it is satisfactory and the issue is the result of either a mistake or misunderstanding, the matter can be easily resolved. If not, the manuscript will be rejected or retracted and the Editors may impose a ban on that individual's publication in the journals for a certain period of time. In cases of published plagiarism or dual publication, an announcement will be made in both journals explaining the situation.

When allegations concern authors, the peer review and publication process for their submission will be halted until completion of the aforementioned process. The investigation will be carried out even if the authors withdraw the manuscript, and implementation of the responses below will be considered.

When allegations concern reviewers or editors, they will be replaced in the review process during the ongoing investigation of the matter. Editors or reviewers who are found to have engaged in scientific misconduct should be removed from further association with the journal, and this fact reported to their institution.

Retraction policies

Article retraction

According to the COPE Retraction Guidelines followed by this Journal, an article can be retracted because of the following reasons:

  • Unreliable findings based on clear evidence of a misconduct (e.g. fraudulent use of the data) or honest error (e.g. miscalculation or experimental error).
  • Redundant publication, e.g., findings that have previously been published elsewhere without proper cross-referencing, permission or justification.
  • Plagiarism or other kind of unethical research.

Retraction procedure

  • Retraction should happen after a careful consideration by the Journal editors of allegations coming from the editors, authors, or readers.
  • The HTML version of the retracted article is removed (except for the article metadata) and on its place a retraction note is issued.
  • The PDF of the retracted article is left on the website but clearly watermarked with the note "Retracted" on each page.
  • In some rare cases (e.g., for legal reasons or health risk) the retracted article can be replaced with a new corrected version containing apparent link to the retracted original version and a retraction note with a history of the document.

Expression of concern

In other cases, the Journal editors should consider issuing an expression of concern, if evidence is available for:

  • Inconclusive evidence of research or publication misconduct by the authors.
  • Unreliable findings that are unreliable but the authors’ institution will not investigate the case.
  • A belief that an investigation into alleged misconduct related to the publication either has not been, or would not be, fair and impartial or conclusive.
  • An investigation is underway but a judgement will not be available for a considerable time.

Errata and Corrigenda

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


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

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


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

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

COPE Compliance

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.

Terms of Use

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

The publication services to the Journal are provided by Pensoft Publishers Ltd., through its publishing platform ARPHA, hereinafter referred to as "the Provider".

The Provider reserves the right to update the Terms of Use occasionally. Users will be notified via posting on the site and/or by email. If using the services of the Journal after such notice, the User will be deemed to have accepted the proposed modifications. If the User disagrees with the modifications, he/she should stop using the Journal services. Users are advised to periodically check the Terms of Use for updates or revisions. Violation of any of the terms will result in the termination of the User's account. The Provider is not responsible for any content posted by the User in the Journal.

Account Terms

  1. For registration in this Journal or any of the services or tools hosted on it, Users must provide their full legal name, a valid email address, postal address, affiliation (if any),  and any other information requested.
  2. Accounts created via this journal automatically sign in the User to the ARPHA Platform.
  3. Users are responsible for maintaining the security of their account and password. The Journal cannot and will not be liable for any loss or damage from failure to comply with this security obligation.
  4. Users are solely responsible for the content posted via the Journal services (including, but not limited to data, text, files, information, usernames, images, graphics, photos, profiles, audio and video clips, sounds, applications, links and other content) and all activities that occur under their account.
  5. Users may not use the service for any illegal or unauthorised purpose. Users must not, in the use of the service, violate any laws within their jurisdiction (including but not limited to copyright or trademark laws).
  6. Users can change or pseudonomyse their personal data, or deactivate their accounts at any time through the functionality available in the User’s personal profile. Deactivation or pseudonomysation will not affect the appearance of personal data in association with an already published work of which the User is author, co-author, editor, or reviewer.
  7. Users can report to the Journal uses of their personal data, that they might consider not corresponding to the current Terms of Use.
  8. The User’s personal data is processed by the Journal on the legal basis corresponding to Article 6, paragraph 1, letters a, b, c and f. of the General Data Protection Regulation (hereinafter referred to as GDPR) and will be used for the purpose of Journal’s services in accordance with the present Terms and Use, as well as in those cases expressly stated by the legislation.
  9. User’s consent to use the information the Journal has collected about the User corresponds to Article 6(1)(a) of the GDPR.
  10. The ‘legitimate interest’ of the Journal to engage with the User and enable him/her to participate in Journal’s activities and use Journal’s services correspond to Article 6(1)(f) of the GDPR.

Services and Prices

The Provider reserves the right to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, the services provided by the Journal. Plans and prices are subject to change upon 30 days notice from the Provider. Such notice may be provided at any time by posting the changes to the relevant service website.


The Authors retain full ownership to their content published in the Journal. We claim no intellectual property rights over the material provided by any User in this Journal. However, by setting pages to be viewed publicly (Open Access), the User agrees to allow others to view and download the relevant content. In addition, Open Access articles might be used by the Provider, or any other third party, for data mining purposes. Authors are solely responsible for the content submitted to the journal and must confirm [during the submission process] that the content does not contain any materials subject to copyright violation including, but not limited to, text, data, multimedia, images, graphics, photos, audio and video clips. This requirement holds for both the article text and any supplementary material associated with the article.

The Provider reserves the rights in its sole discretion to refuse or remove any content that is available via the Website.

Copyrighted Materials

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What Can I Publish?

BISS will consider the following categories of papers for publication:

  • Methods

  • Standards

  • Guidelines

  • Case Studies

  • Software Description

  • Forum Paper

The following article categories may be accepted/rejected based on editorial evaluation only. Editors may decide to forward these manuscript for peer review at their discretion.  

  • Editorial

  • Correspondence

  • Conference Abstract  

  • Research Poster  

  • Research Presentation  

  • Data Review

  • Software Review

Criteria for Publication

To be accepted for publication in BISS, the following criteria must be fulfilled:

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

Peer Review

Text and data submitted to BISS will be formally peer-reviewed and evaluated for technical soundness and the correct presentation of appropriate and sufficient metadata. All manuscripts undergo a pre-submission technical evaluation in the ARPHA Writing Tool (AWT). The scientific quality and importance of the paper and data will be further judged by the scientific community, through a novel, community-based, pre-publication and post-publication peer review.

Reviewers may opt to be anonymous or to disclose their names. The deadlines for the peer review and editorial processes are limited to a maximum of two months after submission.

The peer review process and deadlines described below are articulated on the assumption that the contributions are technically well-prepared and concisely written so that the peer review is easy, straightforward and not requiring much time from the reviewer.

What is "community peer review"?

It is evident that the peer-review system is increasingly under strain. Our response to this situation is to decrease the load on each individual reviewer without in any way compromising the quality of the final product. The purpose of community peer review is to distribute effort, increase transparency, engage the broader community of experts, and enhance the quality of the science we publish.

Stepwise description of the peer review and editorial process

1. Upon submission, the manuscript is assigned to the Subject Editor responsible for the topic by the in-house Assistant Editor. The Subject Editor is alerted by email.
2. The Subject Editor reads the manuscript and decides if it complies with the journal's scope and should be processed for peer review.
3. The Subject Editor sends review requests to two or three "nominated" reviewers and several other "panel" reviewers. 

Note-1: How editors invite reviewers? The journal's database will provide a list of potential reviewers and, if necessary, the editor can add additional names to the list. Review requests will be emailed by a ‘single-click’ option.

Note-2: "Nominated" and "Panel" reviewers. The difference between "Nominated" and "Panel" reviewers is that "Nominated" reviewers are expected to provide a formal review by the deadline; "Panel" reviewers are invited but not required to evaluate the manuscript. Both "Nominated" and "Panel" reviewers can propose changes and corrections, and make comments in the manuscript online and submit a concise reviewer's form.

Note-3: "Community" and "public" peer review. "Community" peer review means that during the peer review process the manuscript is visible only to editor, the reviewers and the authors. We are planning to introduce soon an entirely public review process where authors may opt to make their manuscript available for comment by all registered journal users. Reviewers may opt to stay anonymous or disclose their names in either case.

4. The Subject Editor receives a notification email if the nominated reviewer agrees or declines to review the manuscript. In the latter case the editor can appoint alternative reviewers.
5. Reviews are expected within 10 days and can be extended on demand. The Subject Editor will then decide to accept, reject, or request revision of the manuscripts.

Note-4: Provision of reviews.  Reviewers will be prompted by automated email notification sent one day before the deadline. In case of delay, the review request can be cancelled automatically.

6. The authors must provide a revised version of their manuscript within one week, but can ask for an extension, if there is a demonstratable need.
7. After submission of the revised version, the Subject Editor compares it against the reviews through an easy-to-use online tool and decides to accept or reject the manuscript. The authors may be asked to make additional revisions, OR in case of substantial changes, the reviewing procedure will be started again.
8. The manuscript will be formatted, proof-read, copy-edited and published within two weeks after acceptance.

Guidelines for reviewers and editors

Peer reviewers and editors of BISS are expected to evaluate the completeness and quality of the manuscript text, related dataset(s) and their description (metadata), as well as the publication value of data. This may include the appropriateness and validity of the methods used, compliance with applicable standards during collection, management and curation of data, and compliance with appropriate metadata standards in the description of the data resources.

The following aspects of evaluation will be considered:

  • Quality of the manuscript
    • Is the study sufficiently novel and contributes to a better understanding of the topic, or is the work rather confirmatory and repetitive?
    • Do the title, abstract and keywords accurately reflect the contents and data?
    • Is the manuscript consistent, suitably organised and written in grammatically correct English?
    • Are the relevant non-textual data and media (data sets, audio and video files) also available as supplementary files to the manuscript or as links to external repositories?
    • Have abbreviations and symbols been properly defined?
    • Does the manuscript put the data resource being described properly into the context of prior research, citing pertinent articles and datasets?
    • Are conflicts of interest, relevant permissions and other ethical issues addressed in an appropriate manner?
  • Quality of the data
    • Are the data completely and consistently recorded within the dataset(s)?
    • Does the data resource cover scientifically important and sufficiently large region(s), time period(s) and/or group(s) of taxa to be worthy of publication?
    • Are the data consistent internally and described using applicable standards (e.g. in terms of file formats, file names, file size, units and metadata)?
    • Are the methods used to process and analyses the raw data, thereby creating processed data or analytical results, sufficiently well documented that they could be repeated by third parties?
    • Are the data correct, given the protocols? Authors are encouraged to report any tests undertaken to address this point.
    • Is the repository to which the data are submitted appropriate for the nature of the data?
  • Consistency between manuscript and data
    • Does the manuscript provide an accurate description of the data?
    • Does the manuscript properly describe how to access the data?
    • Are the methods used to generate the data (including calibration, code and suitable controls) described in sufficient detail?
    • Is the dataset sufficiently novel to merit publication?
    • Have possible sources of error been appropriately addressed in the protocols and/ or the paper?
    • Is anything missing in the manuscript or the data resource itself that would prevent replication of the measurements, or reproduction of the figures or other representations of the data?
    • Are all claims made in the manuscript substantiated by the underlying data?

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

Principles of the open peer review oath

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

How It Works

Authoring in ARPHA Writing Tool

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

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

How can I decide which article type to choose?

The article templates in ARPHA are created to facilitate the structured publishing of science content and ease the discoverability and machine-readability of your work. You can edit the article templates, add new sections or subsections, or move them within the manuscript. However, we would recommend to use these changes only if necessary. There are also blank document templates, which can be used for editorials, correspondence, opinion papers, and many other article types.

Pre-submission technical validation

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

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


Manuscripts for BISS should be prepared for submission in ARPHA Writing Tool.

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

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

  2. Answer a couple of questions regarding copyright, authorship, ethical issues and submission fees.

Conference abstract authoring and submission

To assign a manuscript to a certain collection of proceedings, authors can request that it be added to a collection during the authoring stage in ARPHA Writing Tool. The assignment is accepted as soon as one of the editors handling the relevant collection approves it.

 To submit a conference abstract authors need to:

  1. Log in at the journal’s website. 

  2. Create a new Conference abstract manuscript via ARPHA Writing Tool by clicking the "Start a Conference Abstract" button on the journal’s homepage.

  3. Fill in the mandatory metadata along with the text of the abstract.

  4. Assign their manuscript to an existing collection. 

  5. Pass the validation (i.e. automated check for empty mandatory fields).

  6. Have their conference abstract accepted for a particular collection from the respective editor (this may take several iterations depending on the collection editor’s comments and subsequent decision).

  7. Submit their conference abstract for publication to the journal.

For detailed information about the ARPHA-Proceedings module and stepwise instructions for the submission process please see this blog post.

Authors should keep in mind that all manuscripts, including conference abstracts, will be published upon acceptance on behalf of the appointed Subject Editor, in the latest version submitted by the authors (upon the acceptance), and after payment of the article processing charges is released (whenever applicable). The final production stage does NOT include an exchange of proofs. Therefore, no further corrections of the latest version submitted by the authors would be applied.

Data Publishing Guidelines

Publication of data that underpin the articles published in this journal is mandatory. Authors are thus required to share all data, code or protocols underlying the research reported in their articles. Exceptions are possible, but not encouraged and have to be justified in a written public statement accompanying the article.

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

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

For publication of biodiversity and biodiversity-related data, the reader may consult the Strategies and guidelines for scholarly publishing of biodiversity data (Penev et al. 2017, Research Ideas and Outcomes 3: e12431. https://doi.org/10.3897/rio.3.e12431). For reader's convenience, we list here the hyperlinked table of contents of these extensive guidelines:

Article Processing Charges

Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) will publish all abstracts associated with presentations at the TDWG annual meeting in BISS. Abstracts are limited to 600 words and one figure or table, plus references.

Article processing charges (APCs) for full-text presentations outside of the volume dedicated to the annual meeting abstracts are € 480 (for TDWG members in good standing) or € 540 for non-members. The APC discounted rate is a membership benefit available to submitting or corresponding authors.

TDWG Business
Articles relating to the core business of TDWG (e.g., publication of new standards) will have their APCs waived at the discretion of the TDWG Executive.

Please note that the above prices do not include VAT (Value Added Tax). VAT is applicable only for VAT non-registered customers based within the European Union. To avoid charging VAT, the EU companies or persons should provide their VAT registration numbers validated with the EU taxation database (https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/vies/).

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 about research published with us, we offer a range of PR services in order to communicate especially significant scientific findings to a wider audience, such as: Custom social media content, Tailored PR campaign* and Guest blog post (details below).

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

*The Tailored PR campaign is a paid service (for pricing, refer to Article Processing Charges -> Additional Services).

However, we would be happy to consider discounts and even full waivers for studies of particular interest for science and society.


Custom social media content (Free service)

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

 Social media posts are expected to:

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

  • Be written in a conversational tone;

  • Contain minimal jargon;

  • Include the DOI link of the article;

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

  • Include attractive non-copyright imagery.

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

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

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


Tailored PR campaign (Paid service*)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*For pricing, refer to Article Processing Charges -> Additional Services. Discounts and waivers for studies deemed of particular interest for science and society are available.



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


Guest blog post (Free service)

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

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

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

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

Blog post drafts are expected to:

  • Be written in free-text format;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tailored PR Campaign

(Paid service*)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guest Blog Post

(Free service)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find past guest blog posts on Pensoft’s blog here

Media Center

Follow Biodiversity Information Science and Standards (BISS) on Twitter and Facebook.

Learn about some of the most notable research published in BISS Journal on Pensoft's blog. 

See top news stories from around the globe, mentioning research published in Biodiversity Information Science and Standards on Biodiversity Heritage Library Blog and HAL.

Boost the reach of your paper(s) to a larger audience by making the most of Pensoft's science communication services.

Download journal promotional leaflet.

Download journal logo.

Journal Info


Journal Name Biodiversity Information Science and Standards
Journal URL https://biss.pensoft.net/
ISSN (online) 2535-0897
ISSN (print) -
Content Provider ARPHA
Publisher Pensoft Publishers
Journal Owner Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG)
Owner URL https://www.tdwg.org/
Start Year 2017
Review Type single-blind
Publication Frequency continuous
APC Accepted manuscripts are subject to APC (for more details see here)
License Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0)


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