What is ARPHA?

ARPHA is a full-featured open access publishing platform for journals, books and data, with managed hosting services. Several other services (website design and setup, production, semantic markup, distribution, archiving, indexing, promotion, journal management and more) are available on choice.

Offered as Software as a Service (SaaS), ARPHA allows users to build their own publishing solution to manage and host journals, books, conference abstracts, proceedings and institutional documents.

What is it for?

ARPHA is a technologically advanced platform, suitable for a wide range of research outputs, including open access journals, books, conference abstracts, proceeding, institutional documents and reports. Any combination of those is also available for clients seeking a more holistic solution.

Who is it for?

Whether you are a learned society, university press or an independent publisher looking to claim a prominent spot in today’s increasingly competitive high-tech publishing landscape, ARPHA can help you to build the perfect home for your scholarly outputs!


Learned societies

Offered both as a single-/multiple-journal or book platform, ARPHA will provide a new, high-tech venue for your society's outputs.


Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift by the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin and the German Entomological Society
Subterranean Biology by the the International Society for Subterranean Biology 
Alpine Entomology by the Swiss Entomological Society
Journal of Hymenoptera Research by the International Society of Hymenopterists
Social Psychological Bulletin by the Polish Society for Social Psychology  



ARPHA was first developed by the STM publisher Pensoft as an in-house system to streamline the everyday editorial work and enhance the quality and level of semantics in the published content. Since then, the platform has grown to accommodate years of accumulated feedback from authors, reviewers, editors and journal managers alike.

10 most distinctive features of ARPHA

End-to-end software platform + human-provided services
Operational flexibility
Various business models
Multi-purpose platform

ARPHA can be used for publication of journals, books, conference abstracts or full-text papers, preprints and institutional documents.

For all these different products, ARPHA can create multifunctional platforms for institutions and societies operating under their logo and branding.

Use case: The Bulgarian Society of Cardiology transferred its 25-years old journal Bulgarian Cardiology on ARPHA in 2019. The journal is multilingual and publishes articles in English, Bulgarian and occasionally in other European languages. The new ARPHA-designed website of Bulgarian Cardiology provides a bilingual interface and the possibility to publish both English and Bulgarian language metadata and articles in either of the two languages. Shortly after the journal's launch, the Society commissioned a new society website following the journal's corporate design, yet providing a wide variety of other features to present the Society's activities, publication of various documents, news items and so on. Both websites are available through a platform built on the Society's domain address

High-level integration via web services & data exchange

ARPHA is fully integrated with more than 60 industry leading indexing and archiving services. Our partners include CrossRef, DOAJ, Clarivate Analytics, Scopus, Zenodo, OpenAIRE and PubMed Central, to name just a few.

The full automation of processes within ARPHA means that all content is directly exported upon publication without any extra human effort.

Use case: The journal Neotropical Biology and Conservation (NBC) was established and published by the University of Rio dos Sinos (UNISINOS), Brazil, by a team of motivated scientists. In 2019, NBC was transferred to ARPHA. Particularly useful in the whole process proved to be the automated indexing and archiving functionality in-built with each pricing plan of ARPHA. Previously submitted manually by the Editor-in-Chief following each indexer’s specific requirements, this task used to be burdensome for the editorial office. After the move, all metadata was not only submitted automatically to all services previously used by the journal, but NCB could take advantage of disseminating their content to a package of more than 50 indexers and archivers that comes with the platform.

White-label and (co-)publishing
Affordable and flexible pricing models
Language flexibility

The majority of journals on ARPHA are published exclusively in English. Still, some journals prefer to operate in other languages, depending on their authors and readers. ARPHA supports bilingual solutions at interface, metadata and content levels.

Use case I: The journal Maandblad voor Accountancy en Bedrijfseconomie of the Amsterdam University Press wanted to keep the metadata and website interface exclusively in English, so that it is generally understandable to the international audience, but at the same time, the main content and journal's news announcements to be published exclusively in Dutch. The result was more than satisfactory for the editors, authors and readers, especially after ARPHA uploaded the journal's historical content (since 1924) and made it searchable and discoverable at article level on MAB's new website.

Use case II: Population and Economics, published by the Moscow State University, was established as an international journal publishing exclusively in English, while also offering its content in Russian to the vast community of Russian economists and population geographers. ARPHA created a special solution for formatting and publication of a Russian version of all articles, identical to the primary English text and formatted according to the journal's design standards. The Russian version is published as PDF under the same DOI as the English version and under English Language metadata only; a special statement is included in the Russian version to be cited with its original English metadata to avoid splitting the citation counts between the two language communities.

Technological innovation and relevance

ARPHA provides the highest technological publishing and dissemination standards, including several innovations, for example:

  • The advanced semantics publishing module, which allows tagging and enhancement of content and the development of multiple interactive tools linked to the article’s content. This module is now fully operational for the domain of Biology, but can be developed for any field on demand of the client.
  • The fully-automated indexing and archiving module, which distributes content instantaneously on the day of its publication via web services, saving valuable time and effort in the editorial office.

Use case I: One of the most remarkable and well-known innovations of ARPHA was the 2013 launch of the first ever entirely XML-based and fully-integrated authoring, peer review and publishing workflow, exemplified by Biodiversity Data Journal (BDJ). The ARPHA-XML workflow offered a number of globally-unique features, for example, import of data from data aggregators directly into the manuscripts via web services or the automated conversion and submission of metadata from data repositories into data paper manuscripts.

Use case II: In 2015, the ARPHA-XML workflow was used to establish the Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO Journal) as the first open science journal aiming at publication of all outputs from the research cycle: from research ideas and grant proposals to methods, data, software, project reports, research articles and many more. Due to its unique features, RIO won the SPARC Innovator AWARD for 2016.

Personal approach in technical support and consultancy

Journals joining ARPHA will enjoy a personal, reply-within-a-business-day, approach from a designated team member and take advantage of the operational training and technical support included in all pricing plans.

The platform also offers consultancy and support in journal development, indexing and archiving and marketing and promotion. All these services are elaborated in fully transparent and flexible plans, so that editorial boards can choose services they really need, in order to improve the journal’s performance.

Use case I: ARPHA is built on the principle of transparency and openness, offering options for open peer review and annotations. However, when the newly-established journal Rethinking Ecology expressed a strong case for the need of a double-blind peer review functionality for the specifics of their work, the feature was developed and introduced on the platform and it is now available as an option for all users on ARPHA.

Use case II: When the journals Russian Journal of Economics and Population and Economics moved to ARPHA, the editorial boards wanted to make the most of the new platform and its features, with the shortest possible uptake time for their in-house staff. As a result, a two-day training was organised for the editorial teams in their Moscow offices, where they received an induction to the platform’s technical features, insights on how to make the most of its workflows and complementary training in journals’ promotion and PR.

Partners and clients

How does it work?

ARPHA stands for: Authoring, Reviewing, Publishing, Hosting and Archiving. The platform is compiled of several modules, designed to work together as a seamless, end-to-end, publishing experience accomplished by web-service integration with the industry’s leading providers.


Authoring tool

Equipped with a number of unique features, the ARPHA Writing Tool (AWT) is a What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) authoring solution, designed to facilitate authors in the manuscript writing, submission and review process, as well as aid collaboration, data, multimedia and machine-readability of content.