News Release

New journal brings data-centric research to life

GigaScience Press and River Valley Technologies announce a call for papers for their new scientific journal, GigaByte, which has extremely rapid publication and interactive articles

Business Announcement


GigaScience Press and River Valley Technologies announce the launch of their new journal GigaByte: an online open-access, open data journal that allows rapid publication using new custom-built, end-to-end publishing technology. This platform enables accepted manuscripts to be converted to an online and PDF-ready article within a day. The editorial side also adds speed by focusing on publishing short-format data and software centric articles, which greatly reduces researcher writing time, and a questionnaire-style review process to speed peer review. Future plans include an ability to update articles, further reducing writing and review times. More -- the published articles go beyond the current standard of providing only a stagnant PDF: the online articles incorporate dynamic features that allow readers to directly interact with the research being presented-- turning it into a living document ( Taken together, GigaByte is designed specifically for publishing work done in rapidly changing research that is well-served by available embedded content. GigaByte provides exactly what is needed to release findings, data, and methods crucial to tackle urgent challenges. A perfect example for this is research on the COVID-19 crisis, where constant updates of the latest data and methodological approaches are urgently needed, while providing a balance with peer review and transparency to combat the "infodemic".

The editorial office is now actively seeking submission of original research for the following article types: Data Release and Technical Release articles, which focus, respectively on datasets and software/computational workflow papers. Assessment of submitted articles will focus on whether the data and tools are of general use in broad or specialist communities, that the work is scientifically sound, and that all associated Research Objects (raw and analysed data, software, source code, etc) are open, accessible, and follow best (FAIR) practices for sharing.

The launch of the GigaByte website provides an editorial and two examples of articles presenting the type of work the journal looks to publish. The first article is the genome sequence of the banjo frog. This work is part of an international consortium sequencing project, G10K, which is working to sequence and release the genomes of 10,000 species across the vertebrate tree of life. This type of paper is perfect for the research groups that work on individual projects within large consortia as they rarely receive the appropriate credit for the work they've done. This is due to the desire by the consortium to write an extensive complex paper that has a focus on the overall findings, rather than the many individual contributions. For the community at large, this also means that the data from each individual dataset and sub-project is held back until a main paper is published and is not presented in the detail needed when describing complicated endeavours.

Dr. Guojie Zhang, the lead PI, of the Banjo Frog genome article says, "For the genomic research field, most journals value more on the ultimate output of the assembled genomes and only consider reference genomes that meet certain quality metrics. I think the new journal opens the opportunity for data at various quality metrics, as they will still be useful for different applications. GigaByte provides a platform for consortiums to share the data timely and acknowledge the data generation group."

The second article included in the launch of the GigaByte website presents digitised and enlarged museum specimens that were 3D printed for interactive exhibits at the National Museum in Bloemfontein, South Africa. In describing the data and re-use potential, the digitised versions of these interactive museum exhibits are equally interactive for GigaByte readers. The articles include an embedded window that allows the reader to inspect the model and interact with it through their browser. There are also links that allow readers to download and 3D print their own versions.

Lead author Anton du Plessis says of the publishing concept: "The main hurdle to sharing this data is the sheer size. I publish many papers but seldom can share the CT data with it. With GigaByte we will be able to share much more."

The editors encourage potential authors to contact them at to discuss specific needs in your research communities for promoting large-data access, sharing, use, reuse, and reader interaction that GigaByte can provide.

Manuscripts can be submitted at


Contact information:

Scott Edmunds, PhD, Chief Editor
Tel: +852 3610 3531 Cell: +852 92490853

About GigaScience Press:

GigaScience Press is BGI's Open Access Publishing division, which publishes scientific journals and data. Its publishing projects are carried out with international publishing partners and infrastructure providers, including Oxford University Press, River Valley Technologies, ORCID, CrossRef, CLOCKSS, and DataCite. It currently publishes two data-centric journals: its premier journal GigaScience (launched 2012) and its new journal GigaByte (launching 2020). It also publishes data, software, and other research objects via its database, GigaDB, To encourage transparent reporting of scientific research as well as enable future access and analyses, it is a requirement of manuscript submission to all GigaScience Press journals that all supporting data and source code be made available in GigaDB or in a community approved, publicly available repository. See

About River Valley Technologies

River Valley Technologies' mission is to accelerate scholarly communication. The company aims to streamline the publishing process through automation and easy-to-use platforms, helping STM societies and publishers manage their content more efficiently and deliver content to readers faster and more cost-effectively. Developed in-house, River Valley's proprietary platforms address the pain points felt by stakeholders, from researchers preparing their manuscripts to publishers requiring perfect XML. The system deals with all admin, allowing clients to focus on creating content. River Valley was established in 1988 by Kaveh Bazargan. A physicist by training, his intense interest in the emerging area of desktop publishing led him to start the company with the mission of delivering cutting edge solutions to academic publishers. Some 10 years ago, the company pioneered the first online authoring system and today boasts a number of publishing platforms, including: RVRite for collaborative authoring; ProofCheck for author proof checking; RVFormatter for automated conversion of XML to PDF; and ReView for intuitive peer review. With Head Office in London and 3 offices in India, River Valley supports clients across EMEA, the USA and Asia. Clients include Cambridge University Press, The IET, De Gruyter, IOS Press, American Physical Society, The Sphere Association and IOP Publishing. See

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