The A-Z of Open Journal Systems — Chapter 3
Guides and eBooks OJS Open Access

The A-Z of Open Journal Systems — Chapter 3

Deeptanshu D
Deeptanshu D

Table of Contents


In the chapter 1 and chapter 2 of the OJS guide we discussed and demonstrated the different  aspects of using OJS from configuring the platform to setting the user access and workflow with various settings. Additionally, you can discover how you can host a seamless publishing platform through SciSpace's (Formerly Typeset) OJS Hosting Suite.

The latest and the final chapter 3 of the series, The A-Z of Open Journal Systems (OJS), will focus on  authoring, publishing and configuring the editorial workflow settings for seamless functioning of the OJS suite.

A Brief about the Guide

Chapter 3 of the OJS Guide: A-Z of OJS delves into four topics: Authoring, Article Review Process, Detailed Understanding of OJS Editorial Workflow, and Production and Publication of Journal Article.

By the end of the chapter, readers will be able to use these functions with ease and carry out basic troubleshooting if some functions do not work.

This chapter is useful to those who want to learn specific functions and also for those who prefer to ease off the workflows in the Open Journal Systems.

The latest updates in OJS 3 and above have been included.

What We Will Cover in Chapter 3

Getting started with the OJS workflow for submitting, editing, reviewing, and publishing journal articles.

The first part delves into Authoring, where users of OJS get a clear understanding of the Authoring process and its functions. The guide starts with creating a user account in Open Journal Systems and takes an author through the steps required to get an article published.

It also describes how the supporting functions are involved in the process.

The Article Reviewing Process section goes through every action that a reviewer needs to take to conduct a review. It also delves into how an anonymous review can be conducted. As with the other chapters, it describes and explains how the other functions aid in the process.

The chapter also provides a detailed understanding of the OJS Editorial Workflow. The chapter explains the steps in the editorial workflow as well as the copyediting process.

Production and Publication of Journal Article deals with how the article is to be published and the various nuances of publication. It also explains how each of the file formats for publication work and which ones are better for specific journals.


This chapter covers everything an author needs to know about authoring in the Open Journal System 3. Right from how to register with the journal for a subscription, to proofreading the content before it is finally published.

1.  Registering with the Journal for Submission

To be able to submit to the journal, a user account needs to be created.

Once the user account has been registered and the user has logged in, the system will redirect the user to the OJS Dashboard.

2. How to Submit an Article

Submitting an article is a five-step process. Click on the New Submission button, visible on the right side of the dashboard, next to the search bar.

Five-step process:

  • Start
  • Upload Submission
  • Enter Metadata
  • Confirmation
  • Next Steps


Basic information about the submission needs to be entered on this screen. It is mandatory to mention the language of submission and in which section of the journal the article will appear.

Various languages can be selected from the dropdown menu. To enable languages, go to Website settings > Setup > Language.

Categories can be enabled under Journal > Categories. Select the category that the article fits into best. You may find options such as review, article, study etc. If a specific category that the article belongs to isn’t available, select the closest option.

Go through the submission statements checklist at the bottom. Select the options that are relevant to the article. You can leave comments for editors to ensure clarity.

Read through the privacy statement carefully and click Save and Continue to move to the next step.

Upload Submission:

The box allows users to upload files by dragging and dropping them or clicking the Add File button to upload from the computer. Multiple files can be uploaded together in Open Journal Systems 3.

Once the desired files have been uploaded the interface allows for a file type to be selected for each file. Metadata, descriptions or licenses can be keyed on this screen.

Once you have finished uploading and labelling your files, click the Save and Continue button to move to Step 3.

Enter Metadata:

The title and abstract need to be entered now. The title of the submission has to be entered and broken down into prefix, title and subtitle.

If submissions in various languages have been enabled, there is an option to key in the metadata in any of the enabled languages. The title, subtitle and abstract can all be entered in different languages.

Enter title metadata in another language

Scroll down to find the option to add names or details of others who may have contributed. Click on the Add Contributor link on the right side and enter the relevant details.

List of contributors
Add contributors

Click Save to see the added contributor.

List with new contributors added

A category can then be selected, provided the option has been enabled.

Select a category

You may also see additional fields, such as keywords. If additional languages are enabled for the journal, you can enter the metadata in these languages. Clicking on the metadata field will reveal the fields for other languages enabled in the journal.

There are also additional fields to enter keywords, these can also be added in the various languages that have been enabled.

To specify keywords, enter the desired text or word and it will be formatted as one.

Click Save and Continue to move to the next step.


This is where the OJS asks for confirmation that the submission details provided are satisfactory.

Click on Finish Submission. A small box will pop up asking if the user is sure that the article is ready to be submitted.

Click OK.

Confirm submission screen

Next Steps:

The article submission process is now complete and the editor is notified through email.

There are three options that can be selected next.

  • Review this submission
  • Create a new submission
  • Return to your dashboard

The submission cannot be edited or changed once it has been submitted. To make any changes or replace entire files that have been submitted, the author will have to get in touch with the editor through a tool called the Pre-Review Discussions Tool.

The image below depicts what the dashboard looks like after submission.

Depending on the work rates and how busy the editors and reviewers are, the submitted article will go through the Review stage, which includes Copyediting, and the Production stage before it gets published.

3. Editing Metadata

Some versions of the Open Journal Systems allow users to edit metadata at different stages of the editorial process. The permissions are governed by the settings granted by the journal. If global permissions are open, there is no need to send a request to the editor, otherwise, a request has to be filed.

OJS allows authors to correct spelling mistakes and typos, update the content in the abstracts and add or remove contributors.

Open the submissions interface and click on the tab labelled Publication.

Submission publication tab

Changes can be made under any of the headings shown on the left side of this window. Additionally, the metadata provided for different languages can also be changed by clicking on the Language link on the right side, depending on whether multiple languages have been enabled or not.

Once the desired changes and updates are made, click the Save button.

Publication menu items

There are four options listed on the left, Title & Abstract, Contributors, Metadata and Galley. Provided permissions are open or have been granted, changes can be made under each of these headings, except Galleys.

4. Responding to a Review

The editor will notify the author if the article or submission is approved for publishing or not.

Once the author receives the email, log in to OJS.

Go to the submissions dashboard and select the manuscript in question from the list of submissions, if there are more than one.

Under the Review tab, the interface will update the author on whether any revisions are requested. To see the Editor Decision, click on the link that says Editor Decision under Notifications.

Review tab of manuscript

A screen will show the decision with an explanation. The reviewer’s comments can also be found here.

Editor decision notification

The information contained in this window helps authors understand what kind of changes or revisions the editor and reviewer think would be most suitable.

Uploading the Revised File

Once the author has made the requested changes the document can be submitted again. To submit a revised file, scroll down to the bottom of the Review window and under Revisions, click the blue Upload File link.

Revisions panel

A new window will open up.

Upload review file

Select the appropriate option from the dropdown menu to indicate the file.

Click Continue after the file is uploaded.

The next window shows the Review Details. The author can recheck if the correct revised file is uploaded and then click Continue.

Review file details and continue

The last tab in the window allows the author to Confirm submission. OJS 3 allows authors to add additional files if required.

Add another file or complete upload

Click the Complete button.

Once the revised submission is complete, it is visible in the Revisions panel.

Revised file now in revisions panel

Inform the Editor

An automated notification about the revised file is sent to the editor. The author also has the option of informing the editor through the Review Discussion panel.

Follow these steps:

Review discussions panel

Click the blue Add Discussion link on the right side of the window. Select the users who need to be a part of this discussion.

Add discussion and select participants

Enter the relevant subject and text and click OK to send the email to the selected participants.

The emails sent can be viewed in the Review Discussions panel.

Message in review discussions panel

Revisions Accepted

Once the editor has gone through the revisions, an email is sent to the author/s notifying them.

Notifications will also be seen on the dashboard.

Notifications in dashboard

The notifications are sorted according to date; the most recent one will reflect at the bottom of the list.

The window can be closed by clicking the white ‘X’ at the top right of the window.

Notification message

The user can scroll down to see the Review Discussions thread. Replies from editors are visible here.

Discussion reply in review discussion panel
Review discussion message

Once the submission is accepted, the article moves to the Copyediting phase.

5. Resubmitting for Review

If an editor decides that the manuscript needs to be reviewed again, the user will have to log in and click on the article. This can be done in the review stage and a new submission is not required.

During the review stage, there are two steps to resubmit a revised document:

Upload the revised file and add a discussion to notify the editor that it has been submitted again.

Uploaded a new file:

Click the Upload File link to open a new window to upload the file or files. Use the dropdown menu to choose the kind of submission.

It is likely that the author receives requests to make further revisions during the peer review process. The submission then moves to the next step.

6. Responding to a Copyediting Request

After the submission is copyedited, an email is sent to the author notifying them that the files are ready for inspection. Open OJS and login.

Go to the dashboard.

The entries can be viewed under the My Authored panel. On the right side of the window, there is a link, Copyediting. Click this link to view the complete submission record. All the notifications in the Copyediting Discussions panel can be seen here.

The author can then open the discussion and read the message and view the file that has been attached.

Copyediting check discussion message

The author can then go through the file and respond to the copy editor, either informing them of any changes that may be needed or approval of the edits.

Respond to copyediting check message

The author can also choose to attach a further revision. Once that is done, click the OK button at the bottom left.

The dashboard shows the last user who responded to the discussion.

The author needs to wait for a request to proofread the final galleys before they are published.

7. Responding to a Proofreading Request

The next thing that is required of the author is to inspect the submissions made into galleys, i.e. PDF docs, HTMs and so on.

Once the editors have made changes to the submission and before the article is sent for review, an email is sent to the author requesting that they proofread the document.

Log into the Open Journal Systems interface to view the dashboard.

Within the My Authored panel an author’s entries can be viewed. Under My Authored click the blue link on the right-hand side to view the complete submission record, which includes the notifications in the Production Discussions window.

You can see your entry in the My Authored panel. Select the Production link to go to the full submission record, including the notification in the Production Discussions panel.

Production section of author dashboard

Click the link that says, Galley ready for proofreading, to open the message and attached files.

Galley ready for proofreading message

The author can review the document and also inform other participants of what is required next. It could be ready to move to the next stage or a few changes may be required.

A message can be sent to the Layout Editor, by clicking the Add Message button at the bottom right of the window.

Respond to Galley ready for proofreading message

This wraps up the editorial workflow involvement of the author.

Article Reviewing Process

This section delves into the review process.

The reviewer receives a review request via email. They can also check their dashboard to find the notifications.

While authors have the My Authored section, reviewers have a section labelled, My Assigned in their queue.

The titles for review are displayed in the list. On the right side is a link labelled Review.

If the process is anonymous, the author details and reviewer details are not shown.

Selecting the review link takes you to the first review step in the submission record, which is much more limited than the editor’s view, and contains no author information.

There are four steps to the review. Click the Review link to open up a new window.

The Submission Record displayed contains a limited view of the record, compared to editors. It does not contain any information about the authors either.

There are four steps to the review process:

  • Request
  • Guidelines
  • Download and Review
  • Completion
A review request

The sections that follow are found under the Request tab.

1. Review Request

There is a line or two of text that requests the user to review the submission.

Article Title

As one would expect, provides the suggested title of the article.

Abstract Text

Entails a brief or abstract of the submission.

The reviewer can scroll down to find additional details.

More of the review request screen

Click the link at the top right, labelled View All Submission Details, to open a new window that contains more information, including metadata, not submitted by the author.

The view all submission details screen

Although a reviewer has access to this section. OJS 3 does not allow reviewers to make any changes here. The information contained in this window is for the reviewer to conduct a detailed review.

Once the reviewer goes through the information, the window can be closed.

Scrolling down brings up the Review Schedule. All the deadlines for submission of reviews can be seen here.

The reviewer has the option to accept or decline the request. If the reviewer chooses to decline the request, they will be removed from the workflow.

When a reviewer accepts the task, they move to the next step.

2. Reviewer Guidelines

There are two buttons to choose from.

One to Continue to Step 3 and another to Go Back to the previous page.

The reviewer guidelines

Guidelines can be downloaded under the third tab, Download & Review by clicking the link Review Guidelines.

The download and review tab

3. Reviewing the Article

The review can download and go through the files from here. Users can either enter text into the boxes or paste them into the boxes.

The comments entered in the first box are shared with both the editor and the author.

The comments in the second box are meant solely for the editor.

Once the paper is read thoroughly and the reviewer has added comments, the reviewer has the option of uploading a marked-up copy of the reviewed file.

Any personal information and ways of identification must be removed before the file or files are uploaded.

The upload reviewer files and review recommendation drop down

The next step is to make a recommendation to the editor or the author from the dropdown menu.

a) Options and Choices for a Reviewer

The reviewer can suggest a few different things:

i. Accept Submission

Choosing this option means that it is ready for the copyediting phase.

ii. Revisions Required

This option means that the editor needs to make a few small changes, review them and accept the submission.

iii. Resubmit for Review

Selecting this option means that several major changes have to be made to the submission. After which it will have to go through the peer review process once more.

iv. Resubmit Elsewhere

This option indicates that the article or manuscript is not a good fit for the intended purpose of that particular journal.

v. Decline Submission

Declining a submission means that it cannot be accepted by this journal. This could be due to the quality of the work being inadequate or inappropriate.

vi. See Comments

It could be that none of the options in the dropdown list conveys the message that the reviewer wants. This option can be selected and a detailed comment can be left for the editor.

4. Completion of the Review

Once the review process is complete the work can be submitted to go to the next phase or go back for further editing.

Click the button below the drop-down box labelled, Submit Review.

At this stage, a pop up asks the reviewer if they are sure that the review is ready for submission.

Click OK.

The confirmation screen to submit review

Clicking OK will show the last part of the review process.

It will show that the review is submitted and thank the reviewer.

The review submitted completion screen

This is the end of the review process.

A Detailed Understanding of OJS Editorial Workflow

This chapter takes users through the entire editorial workflow. The process starts with the submission and goes through to the final step of publication.

The workflow can be divided into four separate parts:

  • Submission
  • Review
  • Copyediting
  • Production


This is the stage where the submissions end up in a queue. They can then be assigned to Section Editors and put through the process to send them on for review.

In case the submissions are not seen fit for the journal, they are not processed beyond this stage.


Peers review the work of authors and the revisions the author has requested.

Certain submissions are sent back for revision, while some may be dropped because the reviewer observes they are not a right fit for the journal in terms of quality or content.


Once the articles have gone through the first two stages, they are sent for copyediting. The copy editor makes changes to improve the writing and sends it back to the author for approval.


Once the author has given the go-ahead to the copyeditor the files are sent to the production stage. The documents are then made into galleys, using either HTML, XML or PDF formats.

The author is given one final opportunity to inspect the work and proofread the galley.

The submission is then placed in a queue to be scheduled for publication in the next issue.

1. Tasks

The Tasks tab can be accessed at the top left of the dashboard, next to the OJS logo. The tasks are numbered and show how many are on the to be completed list.

The tasks list allows users to understand what items need to be resolved. The entries that are in bold indicate that they have not been read.

Checkboxes allow users to select tasks they want to delete.

2. Submission Notifications

OJS three intimates editors about new submissions to the journal through automated emails. The system also sends an automated email to the author confirming their submission.

The Open Journal System can be configured so that a copy of the notification email is shared with the journal manager, or whoever has been appointed as the primary contact.

These settings can be changed in Journal Settings.

Follow the steps below to ensure notification email copies are sent to the desired contact:

The Journal Manager must go to the Settings tab on their dashboard, then click Workflow and then Submissions.

Then go to Notification of Author Submissions.

Place a checkmark in the box next to, Send a copy to primary contact, identified in the Journal Settings.

Alternatively, a different email address can be entered here if the Manager prefers to send it to someone else.

The Notification of Author Submission settings in OJS.

The manager can choose to disable submission acknowledgement emails by disabling Submission Ack Email Template from the list of email templates.

Refer to the Workflow Settings chapter to learn how to disable email templates.

Individual users also have access to change the notification settings from the profile section, go to View Profile > Notifications and make the desired changes.

3. Submission Dashboard

Active submissions can be found under the Tasks tab of the dashboard or from the queues.

  • My Queue
  • Unassigned
  • All Active
  • Archives

Users can also see how many tasks or items are in each queue in the counter.

My Queue

My Assigned: This option can be used to add sections when the user is a section editor, or for authors when making changes to articles they authored.

The Search function serves to make finding submissions easier, especially when there are numerous submissions.

The Filter allows users to refine their searches to select articles or submissions that satisfy certain criteria.

Depending on the permission levels, editors can filter the following options:

Status: Choose whether incomplete, submissions, overdue submissions or submissions inactive for thirty days are returned.

Stages: Choose articles depending on the stage they are at; submission, review, copyediting or production.

Sections: This filter can be used if there are more than five sections. The filter auto-populates suggestions when a user starts entering text.

Assigned Editors: This filter can be used by Journal Managers. As is with the Sections filter, the suggestion auto-populates when a user starts entering text.

Assigned Issue: Unpublished issues can be filtered by Journal Managers. Editors and Assistants have access to filter by published issues.

Note: The text must be an exact match for it to return results. It is case-sensitive as well. It is suggested that the users search by title or year, instead of by volume or number.

Additional info: The filter is commonly used when a submission has been assigned to an issue early on in the editorial process.

Certain filters allow users to select multiple options, such as multiple editors, sections or issues.

If multiple filters are selected only, results that satisfy the criteria given will be returned.

A sample filter applied to the list of submissions.

The downward-facing blue arrows on the right of each of the submissions allow the user to expand and see more details, such as the number of outstanding reviews, discussions that have been added and so on.

When the blue arrow is expanded there are buttons that take users to the submission records, activity log and notes and also the delete submission option.

A sample of expanded submission details in the dashboard.


This is where users can find submissions that have been added without section editors.

As can be seen in the image above, the panel is empty as there are no unassigned submissions.

All Active

The active submissions list is not organised into queues.


This is where a user can view all the articles that have been submitted. Irrespective of whether they have been declined or published. Declined submissions can be deleted from the archives.

Once the declined submission is deleted, all associated files are removed from the journal.

Submission Example

Take a look at the Cerpa submission titled A Review of Object Oriented Database Concepts and their Implementation. In the image below, the submission can be seen at the top of the list in the My Assigned queue. It will also reflect at the top of the queue in the All Active queue.

The submission can be viewed by clicking View. Clicking the blue downward-facing arrow next to the View button shows the article details and discussions and informs about additional actions that can be taken.

The Activity Log & Notes button at the bottom right of the screen opens the processes that have been carried out for this submission.

An editor can add notes by clicking the Notes tab at the top.

Submission Record

Clicking the View Submission button shows the submission records.

The window allows editors to access the following:

Submission Files:

The window contains a list of all the files that are submitted. Submission file names remain the same when downloaded in OJS 3.

Authors and reviewers are removed in journals that use the Anonymous Review option from the document, even if they were uploaded earlier.

Here is an example of a filename downloaded by reviewers, “ojs-review-assignment-1-article-text-8.docx.” The numeral value denotes the manuscript number.

Pre-Review Discussions: This is where editors can convey messages to authors or the editors. This could be to request something or post a suggestion.

Action Buttons: These are Send to Review, Accept and Skip Review, and Decline Submission.

Note: If these buttons don’t show up on the journal interface it could mean that the submission has not been assigned to an editor.

Submission Status: If an editor has made a decision and entered it into OJS, the decision is displayed and not the decision buttons. Editors can change the decision on file by clicking on Change Decision to enable the decision option buttons.

The image below shows that the decision buttons are unavailable.

The Change Decision button in the submission status.

In the next image, the arrow shows the decision that is recorded.

The "Submission accepted" status of a submission.

Participants: The list shows everyone involved in the submission, including, authors, editors, section editors and so on. Any participants that are added at later stages will also appear here.

Submission Library: This is where various documents relevant to the submissions are filed. These documents could be galley approval forms or conflict-of-interest forms. Users can upload filled-in forms for the article in the Submission Library.

All assigned participants can view these documents except the reviewer. They can also edit or upload updated versions of the documents.

Document Library: The files in the Publisher Library can be accessed by users involved in the editorial process as long as Journal Managers or Editors make them available. Clicking on View Document Library opens up the library.

The location of the View Document Library button in the Submission Library panel.

Preview: This feature allows the users to see what the submission will look like when it is published with its existing metadata and Galley files.

Metadata: Users can revise metadata for the submissions. In Open Journal Systems 3.2 and later versions, users can be given access to the metadata at any time during the submission process.

Granting Author permissions: Editors can allow authors to make changes to the metadata in OJS 3.2 and later versions.

Editors can grant permission in the following ways.

Global permission: This grants permission to all users that are in the role of Author, to revise metadata.

To turn this feature on: go to Users & Roles > Roles. Click the download facing arrow, to the left of ‘Author’ and then click Edit.

The location of the Edit button under the Author role.

Under Role Options, place a checkmark in Permit submission metadata edit, and then click OK.

The "Permit submission metadata edit" checkbox in the role editing window.

Limited Permission: Users, usually single authors, are granted access to make changes at specific points of the workflow.

If authors need to change the metadata at a certain point during the workflow, they can click the stage button next to the submission. (Submission, Review, Copyediting, Production)

A list of participants can be seen at the bottom right of the window. Click the Edit button to make changes to permissions.

The location of the Edit button for a participant in the participants list.

In the edit window, place a checkmark next to Allow this person to edit publication details, and then click OK. This will give them access to make changes.

The "Allow this person to edit publication details" checkbox in the Edit Assignment window.

Once permission is given to the author, changes can be made in the Publication tab. Authors with access can change the title and abstract, contributors and metadata.

The sections available for authors to edit highlighted in the Publication tab.

Assigning the Submission:

According to how sections have been set up, new submissions may not be assigned when they are submitted. In such a situation, an editor or a section editor has to be assigned.

Click the link, Assign in the participants’ section.

The Add Participants window.

Users can be located according to their roles. Select the desired individual and send them a message intimating them of the request.

Note: If the person who is assigning roles is not familiar with the names of editors or section editors, select the desired role from the dropdown menu and click on Search. Every user in the Section Editor role will be shown and can be selected.

Click OK to assign the task and send the message.

The new section editor that has been assigned can be seen in the list of participants on the extreme bottom right of the screen.

Send to Review: Clicking on this sends the submission to the next stage of the workflow.

Accept and Skip Review: This allows the submission to bypass the review stage and sends it to the copyediting stage.

Decline Submission: This option puts the submission out of the review process. Instead, it is moved to the archives. OJS 3.3 allows users to change the decision to decline the submission.

Click on Change Decision>Revert Decline.

The submission goes back to the active workflow and can be processed to move onto the desired stage. The submission is sent back to the stage it was when declined.

Editors can either assign themselves to the submission or assign section editors.

The submission status changes after the editor selects an action. The action buttons are greyed out after the action is completed.

The location of the Change Decision button of a submission.

Section Editor: Once Section Editors have been assigned to a submission the submission can be found at the top of the My Assigned queue. Section editors will have to login to OJS and view their dashboard.

The entire submission record can be viewed by clicking on the submission title.

Accepting the Assignment: Although it is not mandatory, Section Editors have the option to reply to the Pre-Review Discussion to alert an editor that the submission is going to move forward.

Communicating with the Author:

Section Editors can get in touch with authors to ask queries through the Pre-Review Discussions function in OJS 3.

Sending to Review: If the Section Editor is content with submission and does not have any suggestions or changes to make, the submission can be moved to the review stage. Click the Review button to move the submission.

The Send to Review confirmation window.

Place a checkmark in the files that are to be moved. If not checked, the files will not be moved.

4. Review

A notification alerting the user that a reviewer or reviewers are required is seen when the submission is moved into the Review Stage.

Under the Review tab, in the section labelled Reviewers, click Add Reviewer to the task for someone to review.

A new window opens up and a list of reviewers is displayed. Users can select the desired reviewers.

The Locate a Reviewer window listing all Reviewers.

The downward-facing blue arrow on the right side of the reviewer’s details shows a reviewer's review history: how many reviews they are currently working on and how many reviews the individual has accepted or declined.

The reviewers have the option to add a biography or their reviewing interests.

Journal Editors also have the option to enter Editorial Notes about specific reviewers. Go to Users & Roles>Users. The note made by the Journal Editor is present in the reviewer details, under Add Reviewer. However, it cannot be seen by the reviewer or members of the public.

A sample of expanded reviewer details with review history and notes.

In versions 3.0 to 3.1 of the Open Journal Systems, users cannot be assigned as a reviewer and an editor of one submission. The editor will not have access to the manuscript after they have completed a review. This has been done to adhere to the principles of anonymous peer review. OJS 3.1.1 onwards allows users to be assigned the role of reviewer provided they are already editors of that particular submission.

The following options are also available:

Select Reviewer: This can be used to confirm the choice of the reviewer from the list.

Create New Reviewer: If the reviewers in the list do not match the requirements for that submission, click on Create New Reviewer and give access to another suitable individual to be a reviewer. This is considered a new OJS account.

Enroll Existing User: Existing users can also be signed up as Reviewers using this function.

When a new reviewer is selected and the user clicks on Select Reviewer.

A window opens up where a message can be sent to the reviewer.

The Add Reviewer screen with email notification template.

The text seen can be changed to any message that the sender wishes.

In the Anonymous Review mode, files and documents shared with the reviewer must not contain any information that could be used to identify the author.

There are further instructions on how this can be done in the section Understanding Anonymous Review and Removing Identifying Information.

A user can scroll down to reveal more information that is sent to the reviewer. These are shown in the image below.

Review details include type and due date settings.

The extended text box to enter comments is a default feature that reviewers can use. The Journal Manager also has the option to create new Review Forms. Go to Workflow Settings and select Review to ask more focused questions.

Journal Managers can also select a Review form intended for reviewers to fill out.

Click on Add Reviewer, the message is sent to the reviewer and they are assigned the task.

In the main window, under Review, the added reviewer’s details can be seen in the list.

The newly added Reviewer seen in the Review Stage.

Further changes can be made by clicking the blue arrow to the left of the reviewer’s name. A few options are displayed.

Expanded reviewer details and options.

Review Details: As the name suggests, review details are seen here.

The Review Details window.

Email Reviewer: Clicking this opens up an email message that can be sent to the reviewer.

The Email Reviewer window.

Edit Review: Changes can be made to the review dates and files.

The Edit Review window.

Un-assign Reviewer: This option removes the reviewer from the task.

Cancel Review Request: In versions of Open Journal Systems 3.2 and above, the review request can be cancelled. In the event an assigned reviewer fails to respond to a task or has accepted the task but has not been able to fulfil the task, this option can be used.

The Cancel Reviewer option in the expanded Reviewer options.

When a review request is cancelled an email template can be sent to the reviewer. The editor’s review list will show the request as cancelled.

A sample review request marked "Request cancelled".

Any review cancellations will also reflect in the reviewer’s list under their details.

Cancelled requests as seen in a reviewer's stats.

Review Discussion: This is another method to get in touch with the reviewers on the submission. This option allows files to be attached.

Discussions can be started by clicking on Add Discussion.

The location of the Add Discussion button.

From here the user can select the reviewer or reviewers that need to be part of the discussion.

The list of reviewers to select for discussion.

History: This button reveals a brief history of the review on that submission.

The review History window.

Now that the process is clear, users can add more reviewers.

Anonymous Review: The Open Journal systems are designed to allow for different types of reviews to be conducted. Safeguards are put in place to ensure that anonymity is possible.

The Journal Managers and Editors can access all the information, irrespective of what type of review is selected.

Review types are selected automatically depending on the configurations. These can be changed by going to Settings > Workflow > Review. Editors have access to change the types of reviews when the review request is being sent.

Editors/Section Editors have to select one of the options listed below when sending out a request for review:

  • Anonymous Reviewer/Anonymous Author
  • Anonymous Reviewer/Disclosed Author
  • Open

Anonymous Reviewer/Anonymous Author:  Authors and reviewers identities are not revealed.

It is the responsibility of authors and editors to make sure that metadata is removed from the article when using Anonymous Reviewer/Anonymous Author. Refer to Removing Identifying Information for more information.

Reviewer: Reviewers cannot see the authors in the queue if the Anonymous Reviewer/Anonymous Author has been selected.

The image below shows that all identifying information and metadata is removed.

A sample of the metadata a reviewer will see in a double anonymous review - no identifying information is included.

Author: The reviewer will also remain anonymous to the author when they view the manuscript.

A sample of what the author will see after their submission is reviewed - no identifying information is included.

Editor’s Decision: The email that is sent to authors when the review is complete has generic reviewer titles.

A sample decision email identifying the reviewer only as "Reviewer A".

Anonymous Reviewer/Disclosed Author: Author details can be seen by reviewers, however, reviewer details cannot be seen by authors.

Reviewer: They have access to the metadata that the author has entered under the View All Submission Details window. The author’s name is also seen by reviewers in the queue.

Author: The reviewer remains anonymous to the author.

A sample of what the author will see after their submission is reviewed - no identifying information is included.

Editors Decision: Authors will receive an email once the review is complete and the generic titles of the reviewers are also included.

A sample decision email identifying the reviewer only as "Reviewer A".

Removing Identifying Information:

Several inbuilt functions allow for anonymous reviews. Additional safeguards taken outside the Open Journal Systems 3 platform are advisable to keep in line with the principles of Anonymous Reviewer/Anonymous Author.

A submitted document's properties may hold some information that could be used to identify authors.

A sample of a document whose author is visible within the document properties.

It isn’t uncommon to see authors enter their names in the body of the article, in footnotes or references stated. The editor has to take the effort to remove these before the manuscript is sent for review.

Asking authors to redact such information from submission files could also work, they could enter some placeholder text to convey the presence of the information.

Follow these steps, depending upon which tools are used:

MS Word/Windows OS

Go to File

Select Info

Click Check for Issues

Click Inspect Document

In the Document Inspector dialogue box, select the checkboxes to choose the types of hidden content that is to be inspected

Click Remove All

Click Close

Click Save

MS Word/Mac OS

Go to Tools

Click Protect Document

Select Remove personal information from this file on save

Click OK and save the file

The "Remove personal information from this file on save" option in Mac OS.

Re-uploading the Document:

Journal Managers and Editors have access to upload documents that have gone through the anonymous review process.

To upload the docs click, Upload/Select Files in the Review Files section.

The Upload/Select Files button under the Review Files section.

Click the link at the top right corner that says Upload Review File.

The Upload Review File button.

Select the article component from the dropdown box and upload the file.

The article component identification dropdown.

Review Details: It is advisable to rename files before reuploading them to avoid confusion. Click the blue arrow towards the left of the article.

The Edit button in the expanded menu under the list of review files.

Once done, click Complete and choose the file that is up for review.

The files can be viewed under the first upload. When an Editor or Journal Manager sends a file for review, deselect the first draft from the Files to be Reviewed section.

Options to toggle which files are included for review.

Place a checkmark next to the file that is to be reviewed and then click OK.

Responding to Reviews: Section Editors can view the results once the reviewers have submitted the reviews. The OJS dashboard will show notifications indicating that reviews are submitted along with how many are submitted.

Sample notification of completed reviews in the Section Editor's dashboard.

In the Reviewers box, click Read Review on the right side of the box to read comments from reviewers. Editors can view comments meant for the author as well as comments meant for the editor.

A sample review with comments.

Select the Confirm link at the bottom of the screen.

The Review Confirmed status applied to a review.

The Open Journals System allows editors to send reviewers a thank you message. On the right side of the Reviewers box, click Thank Reviewer.

The Thank Reviewer window.

Once the message is composed, click Thank Reviewer again to send the message. The button is at the bottom left of the email page.

Making the Decision: Editors have action buttons that allow them to ‘make decisions.’

The various action buttons for making a decision regarding a submission.

The decision action options are:
They are similar to the options available for editors.

Request Revisions: The Editor uses this function to request that the Author make some small changes to the document, the Editor will also decide if another round of review is required.

Accept Submission: This means the submission does not need to go through further review and is sent to the Copyediting phase.

Decline Submission: When a submission does not meet the requirements or has failed a peer review it can be removed from the process by using this option. The submission is moved into the Archives.

Declined Submissions can be deleted from Archives. As mentioned earlier, OJS 3.3 allows the decision to be reverted during the submission and review stages.

Click Change Decision then click Revert Decline.  The submission goes back to the stage before it was declined.

How to Request Revisions:


Click Request Revisions. A new window pops up where a message can be composed.

The Request Revisions window.

The text can be changed according to the user’s needs before it is sent.

The Add Reviews button allows the user to include the reviewer’s comments. Comments left in the Editor-only section are not displayed, but comments meant for both the Editor and Author are included.

Desired files can be attached here. Keep in mind that files need to be redacted of any identifying information. In versions of the Open Journals Systems 3.1.2 onwards, new files and attachments can be added.

Once this is done, press Record Editorial Decision to send the message.

A sample request for revisions with imported comments and options to share files.

The Author will go through the manuscript and respond with changes.

Author Responds: Editors will receive a message when the Author sends the revised document.

The author's revision found in the Review Discussions panel.

The revised file can be seen in the Revisions section.

The file should be checked again to make sure it is ready and the decision can be communicated to the Author in the Review Discussions Panel.

In this instance, the Author is being informed that the revisions made are being accepted. Click on the title of the discussion and a discussion box opens up.

An expanded discussion.

To reply, click Add Message to request more revisions or to inform the writer that the submission is being moved to the next part of the workflow.

A sample reply to an author's revisions.

Additional Round of Review: If another round of review is required, an Editor can initiate the review. This is the same for the second, third or fourth round of review.

Setting up new revision rounds are best done after the Author has gone through the file and uploaded their revised version. This avoids confusion, as the dashboard by default goes to the new round of revisions.

Authors can change back to Round One of the review and upload the revised file there. The file will have to be downloaded from Round One and then uploaded to Round Two.

It is not advisable to start a new round if there are technical issues when reviewing the current round. Examples of issues that one might face are: Unable to Record Decision, Re-invite Declined or Removed Reviewer.

Click the tab labelled New Review Round under the Review section of the manuscript.

The New Review Round button in the Review panel

This action opens up a new window. Author files can be selected from here and put in for a new review round.

File selection options for a newly created review round.

Additional files from the previous round can also be attached by clicking Upload/Select Files.

The Upload/Select files button in the Review Files window.

Place a check in the box on the left of Show files from all accessible workflow stages. The files available in previous rounds of review, uploaded by the author, are available here. If the review process is in its third or fourth round, the files will have to be downloaded onto a desktop and uploaded from there.

The list of files for a submission including previous round after the "Show files from all accessible workflow stages" option is enabled.

More files can be added by clicking Upload/Select Files.

A new Revisions Round is in the Review section of the dashboard

The Round Two tab in the Review panel.

Assign reviewers to the task once the new round of review is initiated. The steps to add reviewers are the same. OJS allows different reviewers to be added or users can request the same reviewers to execute the task.

Reviewers cannot see comments they or other reviewers made in previous review rounds.

Editors can copy the comments and start a discussion board if the reviewer requests those comments.

Some journals may prefer the submission of Response to Reviewer as part of further submissions.

The steps above can be repeated until the manuscript is ready to move to Copyediting.

Moving/Sending to Copyediting:

On the right side of the OJS dashboard under the Review section, click the Send to Copyediting button - a blue button on the right side above Decline Submission.

The "Send to Copyediting" button in a submission panel.

A new window opens up.

The Send to Copyediting window including information about the notification of acceptance to be sent to the author.

Some journals enable APCs (Article Processing Charge) to Authors. The authors are duly notified that payments are due.

Clicking Request publication fee sends a notification email to the author with instructions that can be followed to make payments. To understand how to do this, refer to the Subscriptions chapter > Payment Types and Distribution settings > Enable Payments.

A sample notification for a journal with APCs enabled.

Once this is done, click Record Editorial Decision.

The submission is then sent to the Copyediting stage.

The status under the Review tab will show that the submission is accepted.

The "Submission accepted" status of a submission.

5. Copyediting

Once a submission goes through the review process it is sent for copyediting.

Adding a copyeditor: A notification indicating that a copyeditor needs to be assigned to the submission is sent as soon as the document reaches this stage. Click on the link labelled, Add, under the Participants panel.

A new window opens up:

The Add Participant window in the Copyediting stage.

Click the Role dropdown to select copyeditor. Click the Search button to show all available Copyeditors.

Choose the desired copyeditor.

The provided email template can be edited and sent by clicking Send.

A notification appears stating that the submission is ready for copyediting. The copy edit request can be seen in the Copyediting Discussions section and the Copyeditor is now included in Participants.

The "Awaiting Copyediting" notification and updated participants list.

The copy editors will execute their tasks and revert.

Copyeditor: The individual assigned as the copy editor receives an email sent by the Section Editor asking them to accept the task.

The copyeditor has to log in to the OJS dashboard and select the submission.

To move to copyediting, the copyeditor has to click on the link labelled, Copyediting.

All the Draft Files can be seen in the next window. These are the list of files that need to be copyedited. The files can be downloaded to the user’s computer by clicking on the title.

Copyeditors will execute their tasks outside the Open Journal Systems.

Copyeditors can view the manuscripts metadata by clicking the Production tab at the top left.

They can also view article title, abstract, contributor names, keywords and other relevant information.

Copyeditors can save any changes they made by clicking on Save, before leaving the window.

A Preview of the abstract page with the metadata present can be seen by clicking on Preview at the top right-hand side of the window.

Consult with the Author: The copyeditor can get approval for the changes made by the author after the edits are made. To do this, add a new discussion from the Copyediting Discussions section and click Add Discussion.

The appropriate author can be selected from the Add Discussion window and the message can be edited as desired.

The Add Discussion window.

Scrolling down reveals the Upload File link at the bottom of the page. The edited file can be uploaded here.

The file upload area of the Add Discussion window.

Click Upload File, select the Article Component and then upload the submission.

The File Upload screen.

Press the Continue button.

The file name can be edited under the Review Details tab. It is advisable to change the name to indicate that it is an edited file.

The Edit option next to the file name.

More files can be added one by one. Once done, click Complete at the bottom left.

The Confirmation step of the file upload.

The attached file is visible now.

The newly upload file attached to the discussion.

Click OK and the message is sent to the author.

Copyediting Discussions shows the file that is being processed.

The discussion added to the Copyediting Discussions section.

The author will go through the edited file before responding.

Author Replies: Author feedback can be seen in the discussion reply.

The previous Copyediting Discussion now containing a "1" in the reply column.

This panel shows whether further changes are required.

A sample reply from an author approving the copyediting.

The Final Copyedited Document:

At the bottom of the page, click Upload/Select Files to upload the final version of the copyedited document.

The Upload/Select Files window.

There are a few different options available here.

The Copyeditor can upload a new file with the changes made.


Use the original version if there are no changes.


Upload the file sent back by the author after review.

To select the desired file, place a check in the box next to the title and then click OK.

The file then appears in the Copyedited section found at the bottom of the window. This shows the editor that the copyediting process is complete and it is ready to move to the Production phase.

The selected file seen in the Copyedited panel.

Inform the Section Editor:

The Section Editor should be informed once the copyediting process is complete.

To inform the Section Editor, initiate a new Copyediting Discussion by clicking the Add Discussion link.

The list of Copyediting Discussions

Add the desired Section Editor to the discussion and compose a message.

A sample message from the Copy Editor to the Section Editor

Press OK to have the message sent.

The copyediting window will not reflect the message posted in the discussions.

The message added to the list of copyediting discussions.

The Copyeditors role ends here.

Moving to Production: The Section Editor receives a notification and an email stating that the copyediting process is complete.

The review can be downloaded and viewed from the Copy Edit section.

The final copyedited version uploaded to the Copyedited panel.

Section Editors have the option of requesting more changes from the copyeditor. Or, if the document meets the requirements it can be moved into Production.

Click the Send to Production button.

The author is notified that the submission is processed and moved to the production stage.

The Send to Production window with notification to the author.

Click Record Editorial Decision to move ahead.

The "Sent to production" status.

Production and Publication of Journal Article

Copyedited files are converted into formats that can be published as Galley files. The manuscripts are proofread before being published.

At this stage, a new journal issue is created and the manuscript is queued for publication in a future issue.

OJS 3 also allows users to avoid the entire editorial process described in the previous chapter. The manuscript can be sent straight to production and be published. This is covered in the Quick Submit plugin section, described in previous chapters.

The first step is for either the Section Editor or the Journal editor to log into OJS and select the submission on the dashboard.

Click on the article to view the submission record.

The copyedited files are seen in the Production Ready Files section of the Production tab.

The Production Discussions window allows for participants to be added and messages exchanged.

1. Publication Tabs

All publishing-related activity is conducted here. Information about the submission, including its contributors, metadata and identifiers can be changed here. The final Galley files are also added here.

Publication tab that displays metadata information of a manuscript.

Title & Abstract: This is where the article title, subtitle and abstract can be edited.

Click Save once the desired changes are made.

Contributors: Article contributors can be added or removed.

Metadata: Desired keywords can be changed, removed or added.

Ensure that Save is clicked before exiting.

Identifiers: Unique identifier information can be added here, such as the date of issue.

Galleys: This is to upload the final publication.

Permissions & Disclosure: Information about copyright holders and article licence links can be found here if they have been uploaded.

Issues:  This is to assign the submission to the Journal Issue.

Multilingual Submissions

As explained earlier in this chapter, Title & Abstract, Metadata, Permissions & Disclosure can be in various languages. For this function to work, languages must be enabled. Go to Website Settings > Setup > Languages to enable.

Choose the language on the left side, below the Schedule for Publication button to change the metadata.

Multilingual button and text fields for French (Canada) in the metadata subtab within Publication.

More than one cover image can be added in selected languages from the Issue tab.

Multilingual button and upload field for an issue cover image for French (Canada) in the Issue subtab within Publication.

2. How to Format the Article for Publication

Assign Layout Editor: A notification will appear informing the user that a Layout Editor has to be assigned to create the galley files.

In some journals, this role could be executed by Production Assistants.

Any person that a user wants to communicate with in OJS must register for a user account and be added as a participant in their respective roles.

Click Assign under the Participants list to open the window seen below.

New window to assign participants such as Layout Editor.

Select the appropriate role from the dropdown list on the left side and then click Search. Choose the user from the list that appears and send one of the email templates by clicking OK.

The user will get an email and a notification will appear on their dashboard.

Manuscript dashboard after additional participants have been assigned.

The Layout Editor now appears in the Participants list. The Productions Discussions panel also shows the notice. The Layout Editor can complete the assigned task.

Layout Editing: Login to the OJS dashboard to receive an invitation to create the galley.

Click on Production next to the submission to view the submission record.

Download the files to the computer from the Production Ready Files section. The files can be worked on outside Open Journal Systems and be changed into the desired file format.

Prepare and Add Galley Files:

The final publication file is referred to as a Galley. It has gone through various processes and is ready to be published. Users are advised to use table non-editable file formats. Supplementary material such as audio, video and images or relevant research data can also be published. Galley files can also include supplementary material such as multimedia files and research data. A galley file can be published for a single article or an entire issue.

Galley File Component Types:

A Component Type needs to be selected when uploading a galley file. These component types are the same as the ones authors select when they upload their submissions.

Go to Workflow Settings > Submission > Components.

The configurations are as follows:

Dependent: The link will not be in any published content.

Supplementary: The link is seen on the article landing page.

Neither supplementary nor dependent:  The link is on the article landing page as well as the table of contents.

In this example, HTML files are embedded and are configured to reflect on the landing, issue and submission pages. Follow the instructions below:

Settings > Workflow > Submission > Components

Click on the blue arrow next to the HTML Style sheet and then click Edit

Click to remove the checkmark from Mark files of this type as dependent files and Mark files of this type as supplementary files then click Save.

Click the blue arrow adjacent to Multimedia and then click Edit

Remove the checkmark from Mark files of this type as supplementary files. Be sure to leave a check in Dependent files and then click Save.

Galley file formats: There are different file types that online journals could use. Most journals use PDF and HTML, although other formats are being used more now.

In OJS, plugins can be used so that PDF, HTML and XML files can be viewed in a browser such as chrome or internet explorer. If a user is unable to view the files in a browser the plugin may have to be enabled from Website Settings > Plugins.

  • PDF.JS PDF Viewer: supports rendering articles as PDF files
  • eLife Lens Article Viewer: allows articles to be rendered JATS XML Article files
  • HTML Article Galley: this plugin supports the rendering of HTML Article files

Additional plugins may be needed for other formats. Journals can also host full-text on another platform and embed a URL. To do this, place a checkmark in the box: This galley will be available on a separate website.

Using templates:  Using document templates that are formatted with the publication style that is preferred by the journal makes converting the documents easier.

Once you’ve created a template that matches your journal style, it may be useful for submitting authors, layout editors, or other users. Here’s an example of an OJS journal that requires authors to download and use a template file: Paideusis.

PDF files:

PDF documents are easy to convert from MS Word. Most Open Journal Systems use PDF format to publish.

Readers also find PDF formats most convenient, they are a closer representation of a printed document. On mobile devices, PDFs are not as versatile as they need to be. It is important to optimise any content for mobile and tablet usage.

HTML Files: HTML files on the other hand are more flexible. Linking and multimedia work better in HTML. HTML files are also better to view on mobile screens.

It is advisable to have options for your readers, making files available in both formats is better.

To convert MS Word documents to HTML follow these steps:

Use one of the numerous free online tools to make the conversion.

Open the HTML file in a Notepad or similar application. Tidy up the formatting.

Do the basic formatting to make the document easily legible. The rest of the design elements will be done in OJS automatically.

Once that is done, upload the file as an HTML galley file

OJS’s HTML viewer renders HTML files in an iframe. This may change the method of navigating to web pages that are hyperlinked.

To avoid this, open the hyperlinks in a different tab and add the "_blank" attribute to the HREF tags.

Style HTML Falley files:

HTML galley files can be styled individually or for many articles. However, for this to happen a customer theme must be used.

Follow the instructions:

Single Article Styling:

Ensure that the HTML file has a reference to the stylesheet in the <head> section,

Like this: <link rel="stylesheet" href="./article_styles.css" type="text/css" />

Upload galley file

Edit the file

Upload the CSS stylesheets make sure to select the correct Component Type - HTML Stylesheet

Bulk Styling:

A customer theme plugin allows users to write in a line of code that includes a custom style for all the HTML files in the galley. HTML pages that are individually styled will not be affected.

Adding Images and Multimedia to an HTML Galley:

Upload the desired multimedia files as Dependent Files; they have to be linked to the file so that they can be displayed.

A HTML containing any of the following is needed for this:

<audio controls> element (for MP3)

<video> element (for MP4), or

<img src=”imagename”> tag for images

The file name that is being connected to should be in the HTML page with the precise name.

The additional multimedia file needs to be saved in MP3, MP4, JPEG or GIF formats.

Audio files will need the coding below.

Component Type settings have to be set up before multimedia files can be added. Multimedia and Image files have to be configured as dependent files.

Form to add Multimedia as a dependent component type.

Once this is done, return to the submission and upload the HTML stylesheet.

It is advised that the galley is labelled according to the format of the multimedia file that is attached.

Choose HTML Stylesheet from Article Component dropdown options.

Upload the HTML file.

Click Continue.

Add Dependent Files under Review Details.

Step 2 of uploading production ready files where users will go to upload their dependent files.

From the Component dropdown choose Multimedia or Image and upload the file.

Step 1 for uploading dependent files, dropdown bar lists Multimedia and Image as selection for Article components.

Add captions, credit, copyright owner, and permission terms where needed.

Step 2 for uploading dependent files. Text fields to enter Caption, Credit, Copyright Owner, and Permission Terms.

To finish uploading click on the Continue button at the bottom left.

Go through the details and then confirm the submission.

ePUB Files:

This file format, much like HTML, is mobile-friendly. However, it needs coding. Some tools can be used to convert the file format.

The format within the document may have to be rearranged as is with HTML files.

XML Files:

XML files allow each section of the article to be tagged as a separate element, making it easier for readers to access the desired parts of the article. This is an extremely efficient method of publishing. This also allows PDFs, HTML and ePub formats to be generated automatically.

Multimedia Files:

More and more journals are publishing multimodal content. Audio and video files are increasingly being published along with text-based manuscripts. These are becoming more valuable as ways of learning.

These files can be embedded into the article or they can be linked to a site outside OJS. External websites may offer better quality, however, this prevents OJS from being able to collect statistics on galley views and downloads.

Select Article Text from the component dropdown list to upload the files directly.

Embedding images or audio and video files on an HTML page is another way that viewers can view the file through their browsers.

Uploading a Multimedia File from an External Site:

This has to be done during the production stage.

Make sure that a checkmark is placed in the box next to, This galley will be available at a separate website.

Pop-up window to add Video as an external Galley File.

Copy the URL from the desired location.

Paste the copied URL into the remote galley field and click Save.

The linked content should appear in the submission.

Contacting the Author:

At this stage, the author has to be roped back into the process to provide the final approval.

Click Add Discussion under the Production Discussion panel.

A new window opens up.

Creating a discussion post in OJS to indicate that galley are ready for proofreading.

Add the author to the message and then compose the message and subject.

Attach the file that is ready for publishing; click Upload File to do this.

Step 1 of uploading galley file in discussion- uploading file.

Remember to select the correct Article Component and then upload the PDF.

Click the Continue button at the bottom left.

Make any changes that may be required.

Step 2 of uploading galley file in discussion- confirming file name.

Upload any necessary additional files.

Step 3 of uploading galley file in discussion- option to add additional file or complete.

Click Complete and then click OK to send the message.

Discussion box showing the uploaded galley file as attachment.

The author will receive the message and a notification and will revert with the approval.

Author Response: The author’s approval reply can be viewed in Production Discussions.

List of Production related discussion on author account.

Add Galley Files: At this stage, final touch-ups to the article can be made after the author has granted approval and then the manuscript can be uploaded to submissions.

Click Galleys under the Publication tab.

Galley subtab within the manuscript's Publication tab to add galley.

Once that is done, click Add Galley to open a new window.

Creating new galley for with the galley label PDF and english as the language.

Enter the desired label and click Save at the bottom right.

Step 1 of uploading file. PDF file uploaded displays option to Change File, Continue, or Cancel.

Select the right article component and upload the galley file.

Press Continue to proceed.

Step 2 of uploading file. Displays option to edit file name, Continue, or Cancel.

The file name can be changed before clicking OK.

Step 3 of uploading file. Confirming file has been added. Displays option to Complete or Cancel.

If there are more files that need to be uploaded, it can be done here.

The galley file is now visible under Galley.

Galley subtab within the manuscript's Publication tab. Displays previously uploaded PDF.

Click the blue arrow under Galleys, the option to edit, change the file, or delete are now seen.

Edit Galley Files: Galley files and labels can be edited after they have been uploaded. A published article has to be un-published or a new version created before changes can be made.

Follow the instructions below:

Click Submission in the submission section of OJS

Switch to the Publication

Under Galleys

Click the blue arrow adjacent to the file that is to be edited.

Click Edit to change the Galley label.

Click Change File and upload a new file

Click Save once done.

Galley subtab within the manuscript's Publication tab. Blue arrow for PDF expanded to reveal additional option to Edit, Change File or Delete.

Inform the Section Editor: The Section Editor will have to be apprised that the galley is ready. Go to the Discussion section and click Add Discussion.

Creating a discussion post in OJS to indicate that galley files have been uoloaded.

Enter the Section Editors details and compose the message. Press OK to send the message.

List of Production related discussion Section Editor account.

Section Editor Informs Editor: A notification is then sent to the Section Editor by the Layout Editor. They can then review the galley files.

The Section Editor will either green light the submission or request additional changes.

Add a discussion link in Production Discussions to intimate the concerned editor.

3. Finalize Metadata

The articles metadata has to be completed and should be the same in the PDF and OJS. This is vital to make sure that the content is indexed by Google Scholar and can be found by other services and readers.

Go to Submissions under the Publication section and check Title, Contributors and Metadata.

At this stage the manuscript can be put into the correct category, references can also be extracted and saved.

Adding Article Category: Articles can be organised into thematic collections using the categories in the journal.

In the Article Submission section the Publication tab,

Click Issue.

Select the categories that the article is to be a part of from Categories.

Click the Save button.

Extract and Save References:  The articles bibliographic references can be displayed optionally in OJS, Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) can also be linked.

The article references can also be submitted to CrossRef along with its metadata.

Choose the Extract and Save option to do this.

This can only be used if the journal is using DOI and CrossRef plugins to export the metadata to CrossRef. This allows for each reference to be stored as a separate reference while adding the DOI to the reference on the article page.

This also helps when it comes to indexing services.

References need to be enabled as a metadata field for submissions.

Follow these steps:

Workflow Settings > Submission > Metadata

Go to References and remove the checkmark next to Enable references metadata.

Once this is done, the user can select from the menu:

  • Do not request references from the author during submission: This removes the references field from the submission form and an editor can add the references.
  • Ask the author to provide references during submission: The submission form will show the references field and authors and editors can add references.
  • Require the author to provide references before accepting their submission: The author can add the references in the submissions form.

Click Save.

Setting option to Eanble Reference metadata with additional options for authors during the time of submission.

References are to be in separate lines and the text that is pasted has to be unformatted. If DOIs are going to be added later, using the CrossRef reference linking plugin, they should be removed from references here.

Now the published article will show the references on the article page and the references will also be submitted to CrossRef.

The DOIs can be inserted once metadata has been exported to CrossRef, provided the journal is using the CrossRef Reference Linking plugin.

If that is the case, the DOIs from CrossRef can be inserted into the references again.

Follow these instructions:

Open the submission

GO to References in the Publication section.

Click on the option that says Check CrossRef DOIs.

DOIs are added to references.

4. Create Issue

An issue needs to be created before the article can be published. Once the issue is created articles will be scheduled for publishing. The entire issue has to be created to publish the submitted article.

Follow these steps to create issues:

Click Issues on the left side.

Future Issues and Back Issues

Future Issues refers to all the issues that have not yet been published. There is no limit to how many submissions can be created here.

Back Issues are all the issues that have already been published.

Click Create Issue and then fill in the subsequent form that appears.

Form to create new issue.

The fields available are:

  • Volume
  • Number
  • Year
  • Title Information
  • Description
  • Cover Image
  • Custom URL

The cover image and description are displayed at the top of the issue page on the site. If you do not want to enter the volume, number and year, deselect them. The option to deselect them is found below the title information bar.

Click Save

Edit Issue: Under the Future Issues section users can click on the blue arrow on the left to edit future issues.

Click Edit to open a new window.

Table of Contents for Vol 1 No 6 (2016): June 2016.

There are four tabs here.

The first is the Table of Contents: ToC for new issues are blank, however, scheduled submissions will have ToCs here.

The blue arrows expand options to get submission records or remove the submission.

Issue Data: This is where a user can find the volume, issue, and number data.

Issue Galleys: Users can upload galleys of completed issues.

Identifiers: This is where DOIs can be added if supported by the journal.

Order Sections and Articles: Articles are shown under the journals sections.

To configure this go to Journal Settings > Sections and edit a section.

Sections can also be dragged and arranged to change their order.

Follow the steps to change the order of sections per issue or within a section:

Click Issues to access the issue that is to be edited.

Go to Order.

Arrange the sections in the desired order.

Click Done.

Preview Issue and Articles: Click on Preview under Publication to see how the articles will appear once published. T

Those permitted to preview will have this option from the Copyediting stage onwards.

Publication tab of Manuscipts shows subtab and option to Preview and Schedule Issue and language toggles to enter metadata in Espanol and English.

To see how an article appears in the issue click on Issue Preview:

Expand the options by clicking the blue arrow seen next to the future issue.


Select the article in the table contents from the new window that opens.

Vol 10 No 10 (2019) in Future Issues with blue arrow expanded to show additional options to Edit, Preview, Publish Issue, or Delete.

Publish Issue: Publish the vetted issue by clicking the Publish Issue link.

Notify Readers: Notifications can be sent to readers about the new issue.

If it is not required to notify everyone, remove the checkmark next to Send notification email to all registered users and then click OK.

Option to notify readers upon issue publication.

The notification cannot be edited. Users can also use Announcements to inform everyone. This option allows the content being sent to be edited.

Un-publish Issue: If an issue has to be removed from public view, click Un-publish Issue. The issue is sent back to Future Issues.

Delete Issue: Clicking Delete removes the issue. This will remove all information about the issue. The assigned articles will go back to the status of unpublished.

5. How to Add the Article to an Issue

Add the Article to an Issue: Since the issue is created, an article can be added to it.

Follow the steps to add an article to the issue:

Open Submissions.

Select the desired issue.

Click on the Publication tab then go to Issue.

Select the desired issue.

The metadata is auto-populated but can be edited.

As explained above, a category can also be chosen here.

Upload an image if desired by clicking on Cover Image.

Page numbers that will be added to the metadata can also be included here.

When the issue is published, Data Published is selected automatically. If an article needs to be back-dated a date can be entered.

Click Save.

Continuous Publishing: OJS by default uses a traditional publishing model that allows users to publish in issues. There is also a continuous publishing model.

Articles can be published as soon as they become available by creating an issue and adding articles to them. The current issue page will reflect the articles.

This issue can be renamed with an issue number when it is full.

Individual announcements can be created to notify readers as they will only be notified automatically when a new issue is published and not when articles are added.

6. Scheduling the Article for Publication

Schedule for Publication: The articles can now be scheduled for publication.

Schedule for Publication is the final step to confirm that the article is ready to be published.

Journal Editors are the only ones that have access to schedule a manuscript for publication.

To be able to schedule an article for publication it has to have passed the Review stage and also be assigned to an issue.

To publish the article follow these steps:

Access the submission in question.

Click on the Publication tab.

On the top right, click Schedule for Publication.

Articles had to be assigned to issues and the issue published in older versions of the Open Journal System. In versions of OJS later than 3.2, dates to publish can be specified.

Follow these instructions to specify publication dates:

Go to the Publication section and then click Issues.

Towards the bottom of the window, there is an option that says Data Published. Enter the publication date if it is different from the date that the issue was published.

Leave the field blank if the date of publishing is the same.

Issue subtab with an Manuscripts Publication tab highlights the Date Published field.

An individual publication has to be assigned to an issue and passed reviews for it to be published.

Future date publications will be published when the tasks for that date are run.

If the submission is unscheduled from the issue, the publication date that was previously scheduled does not change.

7. Versioning of Articles

One of the new features of versions after Open Journal Systems 3.2 allows different versions of articles to be published. If any major changes are made to the manuscript the feature allows for pre-print publication and also allows new versions to be published.

New versions can be clearly denoted and the updated version can be shown.

A published article’s metadata and galleys cannot be edited once it has been published.

If a revision is needed, there are two ways to do it:

Publication tab of article highlighting options available after article has been published to Unpublish or Create New Version.

Unpublish and republish:  Changes can be made to an unpublished article without having to create a new version. Enter the new metadata and galley files and then the article can be scheduled for publication again.

An automatic notification is NOT sent to readers.

Create new version: Changes can be made to a new version. Click Save to make sure the changes are not lost.

Version updates can be tracked under the All Versions section. Every version that is published is denoted with a number and the date it is published.

The version that is in the process of being published is labelled Unpublished and has a number.

Publication tab of manuscript showing a list of all versions available for this article. Article currently has 4 published version and 1 unpublished.

The new version can be published by clicking the Publish button. If it has been scheduled into an already-published issue readers can view it immediately. Once again, if this is the case, the readers will NOT receive an automated notification.

All the versions that have been published are listed out under the published article page.

List of dates for all versions for article that displays on the article abstract page on the front end.

Readers have access to the older editions of the publication as well. Within the galley pages, readers are notified that a newer version is available and they are directed to it.

The notification will look like this:

Warning notification of outdated version on article abstract page and prompt to read the most recent version.

DOIs and Indexing of Versions:

Metadata and assigned DOIs are not changed automatically in the new versions. Update the CrossRef metadata in the plugin. This has to be done manually and the article has to be deposited.

Indexing services, as well as repositories that use Open Archive Initiative (OAI), have to process the metadata again.

While Google Scholar’s index tags the updated version correctly, the harvester needs to find the new version.

It is wise to understand specific repositories or indices processes to see what is needed for this to work.


OJS 3 has vastly improved since its inception and the creators are constantly striving to make it a more useful platform with new features and a more modern dashboard for ease of use.

Our recommendation would be for you to explore SciSpace discover if you are looking for research platforms that streamline workflows.


A comprehensive end-to-end solution simplifies the process of finding, writing, and collaborating on research papers. It enables you to evaluate the quality of a source by showing its references, citations, and performance metrics.

Reference: PKP Docs - Learning OJS 3.x