Instructions for Editors Managing Submissions in ARPHA

A note on terminology: TDWG 2018 (a collection) has the following subcollections: 16 workshops, 14 symposia; posters; computer demonstrations; and contributed oral presentations, which is a catch-all for presentations that don’t have a home in any of the workshops or symposia. In addition, interest/task group (IG/TG) meetings (similar to SPNHC special interest groups or SIGs) will also be scheduled In the Proceedings, each of these session will be represented by a “subcollection”. Therefore, if you are a workshop or symposium organizer, you are considered to be a subcollection editor in ARPHA. SPNHC 2018 has its own collection and subcollections, growing its symposia and workshops organically from submissions to the themes (=subcollections) listed under its collection.

For help: If something isn’t working as you think it should, or if you need assistance, you can email Pensoft’s technical staff by clicking “Helpdesk” on the top navigation bar. If you have suggestions for how the workflow can be improved, please record them so that you can respond when we canvass authors and editors for feedback. Remember to ALWAYS include an article identifier number or BISS# in the subject line of all communications.

  1. Please review Being familiar with the author’s perspective will help you understand the ARPHA workflow, and what is expected of you. You should begin to edit and work with authors as soon after submission as possible.

  2. Please make sure the submitting author included additional and relevant metadata. In particular, affiliations and email addresses for all authors should be present.

  3. When an abstract is submitted to a symposium or workshop that you are organizing, you and the co-organizers you designated as editors, will receive an email with a link to the abstract. You will all be able to access it, but only one can have it open for editing at any given time. (The others will see a read-only version. Please do not leave the document open if you are not actively working on it). If you are working with a group of co-organizers, decide among yourselves how you will deal with abstracts as they come in and agree on a turn-around time for communicating with authors.

  4. You should be able to see all abstracts that have been submitted to your session in ARPHA’s ‘Collection editor’ view On the right hand side in the dashboard you can see the status of the abstract and the subcollection (i.e. “Part of” [workshop, symposium or collection]) to which it was submitted. Some of you are co-organizers of more than one session. Here is a short explanation of the document statuses:

    1. Draft: It has not yet been submitted by the authors OR it has been returned to the authors for revision (via “Send Feedback”).

    2. In pre-submission review: It is now the responsibility of you and your co-organizers to review the abstract, and either {Approve (see #10), Send feedback (see #9), or Reject}. Only reject submissions that are not relevant to the organization’s mission or meeting’s themes. Get a second opinion from a member of the journal editorial board before rejecting an manuscript.

    3. Approved for submission: As editors, you no longer have access to this abstract. It is now up to authors to finish the abstract submission process. See #11 for a description and various places where authors may run into trouble (including Validation unsuccessful and Incomplete Submission).

    4. In layout: Author has completed the final submission process, and abstract is awaiting publication.

  5. If the abstract is not a good fit for your workshop/symposium, but you think it might be appropriate for a different subcollection, please send an email message to with your suggestion. In consultation with the the editors of that subcollection (i.e. the organizers of the corresponding workshop/symposium), we will decide if it makes sense to re-assign it.

  6. If you think the abstract is better suited for a poster, please send an email message to, and we will decide whether to re-assign it.

  7. When reviewing, we strongly recommend that you make suggested wording changes in the document using the track changes feature, but select the text and use the add comments when you have questions or other issues regarding specific text fragments. You can also email the authors if you require clarification before finishing your review. If revisions need to be made or considered, click “Send Feedback”. This will bring up a questionnaire. YOU DO NOT NEED TO ANSWER ANY OF THESE QUESTIONS (they are already answered in the affirmative, and should be true by the time you accept the manuscript for publication). But, of course, you can make changes to the default answers. Click “Save and Proceed”.

  8. This will bring up an email form to the authors for you to personalize as appropriate. We would suggest that you encourage authors to accept changes they agree with, but keep track changes on so that you can easily see other changes they may make to the document.

  9. This process (submission -> send feedback) can be repeated for as long as necessary, but keep in mind the deadline of 9 April by which we hope all authors will know that their abstract has been/will be accepted.

  10. If/when you are ready to accept the submission, before approving an abstract, please use the Validate button to clear up issues. Although you can approve a manuscript with issues, authors will have to resolve them before they can complete the submission process. When you click “Approve”, it will bring up an email you can customize to send to the authors.

Additional Notes:

  • The most frequent non compliance with the journal’s standards that need to be corrected are: missing authors’ affiliations, non-active or missing links (URLs), incorrect citing of the references (reference cited in text does not match reference from list), and non-expansion of acronyms at first use. There are also typos and wording issues, particularly, but not exclusively from authors for whom English is not native. Please read all content carefully, you are acting both as an editor and reviewer. If in doubt, seek a second opinion.

  • Please use the Track changes option rather than making arbitrary changes to the manuscript that the author may not see. Both you and the authors should use this method when exchanging revised versions.

  • Note that emails originating from about your communications with authors are often interpreted by overzealous email systems as potential spam. If authors seem unresponsive, consider contacting them with your email from outside of the ARPHA environment. As your system may behave similarly, please whitelist or otherwise train your email system to recognize these communications.

  • When you use the ARPHA email system, it sends out individual emails to each of the recipients so in effect, no one else knows who has gotten your email (and you don’t get a copy either). This can lead to some duplication of effort for some tasks. Be aware of this feature and consider whether another platform may be more appropriate for some communications where you expect feedback.

  • Note that the ARPHA platform may send out automatic reminders to authors in the case of prolonged inactivity and after three such ignored notifications will automatically archive (remove the abstract from view) such manuscripts. Either you or the author will need to notify Pensoft to retrieve such an abstract from this fate. Please make sure all communications include an article identifier (ID#) in subject line and author name in the text of the message.

  • Are abstracts required for workshop presentations? It depends. Formal talks should have abstracts, particularly if they will be listed in the Program. If the workshop is primarily discussion with more ad hoc (even if planned) contributions by speakers, organizers may decide that publishing a single abstract representing the workshop is preferable and adds something worthwhile to the literature. Publication of post-conference reports for non-training workshops has been tentatively approved for a limited number of workshops. Contact journal editors (see below) if you think your workshop is a good candidate.

  • I am not getting email notifications for abstract submissions from one of the sessions on which I am an organizer. One possibility is that you are in the ARPHA system under more than one email address (contact journal staff for help). Another is that your organization’s spam filter is overly aggressive and marks these emails as junk (you may need to whitelist communications from If you are still having issues, let the editors know.

  • It is your responsibility as editors to ensure the acceptance of only high quality, well-written abstracts that will enhance the reputation of our organizations and this journal. If you feel unable to do this task, would like additional guidance, or help, please contact the journal editors

last updated 17 May 2018