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About Pensoft
HomeAbout Pensoft

In brief

Pensoft is an independent academic publishing company, well known among biodiversity scientists worldwide for technologically cutting-edge open access journals, such as: ZooKeys, Biodiversity Data Journal (BDJ), PhytoKeys, MycoKeys, Nature Conservation, NeoBiota, and Comparative Cytogenetics. Founded in 1992 in Bulgaria, “by academics, for academics”, initially focusing on book publishing, it has grown to become an innovative and leading open access journal publisher. Pensoft has published more than 1000 books and over 4,000 open access articles, mostly in the field of natural history.

Pensoft is a member or partner of: CrossRef, OASPA, CLOCKSS, Research Data Alliance (RDA), OpenAIRE, Dryad Data Repository, Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), Encyclopedia of Life, and others. Pensoft journal content is indexed by: PubMedCentral, ISI Web of Science, Scopus, BIOSIS, Google Scholar, DOAJ, Zoological Record, International Plant Name Index (IPNI), CAB Abstracts, Wikispecies, Vifabio, BHL Citebank, Globalnames, JournalMap.

Pensoft are also well known as a book publisher and are specialists in dissemination of scientific information for more than 15 projects from the 6th and 7th Framework Programmes and Horizon 2020 programme of the European Union.


In 2010, Pensoft was the first publisher to implement semantic tagging and enrichment of published articles as a routine editorial practice. The company is actively developing novel tools, workflows and methods for text and data publishing, dissemination of scientific information, and technologies for semantic enrichment of content. In 2013, Pensoft launched the first ever end-to-end XML-based authoring, reviewing and publishing workflow, as demonstrated by the Pensoft Writing Tool (PWT) and the Biodiversity Data Journal (BDJ). The company has also developed several tools for semantic publishing, such as the Pensoft Markup Tool (PMT), Pensoft Taxon Profile (PTP), Pensoft Wiki Converter (PWC), the literature and data discovery tool, and others.


Pensoft is actively looking to expand the subject-scope of its publishing with the launch of Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO) - an open access journal that publishes ALL kinds of research ideas & outcomes that constitute the research cycle, including: project proposals, data, methods, workflows, software, project reports and research articles. RIO uses the novel collaborative platform ARPHA that integrates manuscript authoring with the most transparent, open and public peer-review process for publishing and dissemination. The scope of RIO encompasses all areas of academic research, including science, technology, humanities and the social sciences.


Pensoft Publishers was conceived during the Christmas/New Year festivities of 1993-94, when we, two academics from Sofia, Bulgaria (Lyubomir Penev) and from Moscow, Russia (Sergei Golovatch), with families, were enjoying Bulgarian wine and food at the southern Bulgarian resort Ognyanovo. It was then that the idea came to us, that we should cooperate in a publishing venture - active scientists publishing for other active scientists! It occurred to us that, in the publishing area of environmental/life sciences wherein lay our expertise, there was clearly an empty niche begging occupation.

This involved bringing, by means of publication, the work of the top flight names and minds of Eastern Europe to the attention of western workers and vice-versa. In short, we decided to emphasize the basic cosmopolitanism of science, the rapidly developing global communication system and our own expertise, at home and abroad in research and publication policies.

Soon after establishment, Pensoft has become the leading Publisher and Bookseller of natural science books in Eastern Europe and Russia. As booksellers and agents, we have expanded our areas of interest from Zoology, Botany, Earth and Environmental Sciences, to encompass also Mathematics, Physics, History, Archaeology, Linguistics, Business, Finance, etc. Hence, much of the very often, mostly unwillingly, neglected treasure represented by Russian or Bulgarian, or other East European/Balkan literature in various branches of natural, medical and humanitarian sciences, has been opened to the western reader and has become accessible due to our efforts.

Soon thereafter, we enjoyed an increased number of academic and popular science book manuscripts coming to us from all around the world - Australia, USA, Canada, UK, Brazil, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, and many others.

Among the institutions we publish and/or distribute publications for are: Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., Natural History Museum, London, Museum National de Histoire Naturelle, Paris; Landcare Research, New Zealand, Institute for African Studies, Tervuren, Belgium; Severtsov Institute for Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), Moscow, Zoological Institute (RAS), St. Petersburg; Komarov Botanical Institute (RAS), St. Petersburg; Zoological Museum of the Moscow University, Fersman Mineralogical Museum, Institute of Zoology of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Kiev; Institute of Zoology of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, Tbilisi; Institute of Zoology of the Bulgarian Academy of Sc iences, Sofia; National Natural History Museum, Sofia and many others.

In 2008, PENSOFT launched its first open-access journals ZooKeys and BioRisk. The flagship journal of Pensoft, ZooKeys, is currently considered the most technologically advanced journal in biodiversity science and has implemented several innovations in digital publishing and dissemination. ZooKeys was the first journal in the field of biodiversity science to develop and implement an XML-based submission, editorial, publication and dissemination workflow. In 2010, we launched PhytoKeys, an open access journal in plant systematics, phylogeny and biogeography. Several society and institutional journals moved to Pensoft's open access journal publishing platform, among them the 160-years old famous Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift.

On 1 November 2010, we launched our brand new, innovative, TRIADA platform for publishing, disseminating and marketing of printed books, e-books and open access journals. TRIADA provides a linked environment for content, authors, reviewers, editors and customers through four independent classifications (taxonomic, subject, geographical, and geological time scale) as well through tagging and semantic markup. TRIADA uses a one-time registration process which allows users to submit, review or edit manuscripts, to subscribe for E-mail and RSS alerts, and to purchase Pensoft’s products.

An important landmark in our development in 2013 was the launch of the Biodiversity Data Journal, the first ever entirely XML-based workflow, that puts together manuscript authoring, peer-review, publishing and dissemination into a single online collaborative platform, called ARPHA.

Pensoft is also involved as a publisher and specialist in dissemination in several European Union’s Framework Programs 5, 6, 7, and Horizon2020. The Integrated Project ALARM - Assessing Large Scale Environmental Risks for Biodiversity with Tested Methods was just the start of a rapid expansion into the field of publishing and dissemination of scientific knowledge of several more projects, such as BIOFORUM, MACMAN, MACIS, COCONUT, EUROLIMPACS, RUBICODE, SCALES, STEP, MOTIVE, CLIMIT, VIBRANT, pro-iBiosphere, EUBON, BESAFE, IMPRESSIONS, SuperBBIG4, ESMERALDA, NanoFASE and others.

With the success of Pensoft, our enthusiasm and activity has the impetus to continue unabated! We are always looking forward to discussing any opportunity to cooperate with you, publishing your manuscripts and collaborating in the exciting field of technology innovations!

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Open Access

Pensoft adheres to open access as much as possible to accelerate the barrier-free dissemination of scientific knowledge. Several of our journals and e-books can be read, downloaded, printed and distributed at no charge for the reader!
By publishing open access, authors benefit from a higher visibility and increased citation rate of their papers!
All open access papers and news items on this site are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0).
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