The A-Z of Open Journal Systems (OJS): Chapter 1
Guides and eBooks OJS Open Access

The A-Z of Open Journal Systems (OJS): Chapter 1

Deeptanshu D
Deeptanshu D

Table of Contents



A Brief About the Guide: The User Guide is for OJS 3.x Version

This tutorial is for Open Journal systems (OJS) version 3.3, released in April 2021; it has substantial improvements over earlier versions.

This guide will dig deeper into the fundamentals of OJS and showcase how it can help journal publishers take advantage of the highly versatile OJS software, especially if they are using Open Access (OA) routes towards publishing.

Why You Should Read This Guide

Through its management systems, finely grained indexing of research, and the context it offers for research, OJS aims to improve the scientific and public quality of refereed or peer-reviewed research journals. This guide explores the various aspects of OJS. Subsequently, it will provide authors and publishers with in-depth knowledge and tools to efficiently manage their scholarly publications and the various operations associated with them.

Detailed Background of Open Journal systems (OJS)

Open Journal Systems or OJS is a free (open source) software application that allows publishers and authors to easily manage all facets of their online publishing workflow, spanning from building a journal website to various management tasks involved, including editing, submissions, publications, academic peer-reviews, and the archival of journals. In addition, OJS is very user-friendly and easy to use for publishers, reviewers, and editors.

OJS is designed and developed by the Public Knowledge Project (PKP) as an R&D enterprise at the University of British Columbia. After its release in 2001, the system has garnered a user base of more than 10,000 journals globally.

Every journal within OJS has a unique and individual URL along with its aesthetics. Besides the fact that a single system installation can handle the management of several journals, OJS allows a single editor to operate all the parts of a journal and its website. Moreover, OJS can also provide users with a support team of global editors and a broad range of responsibilities to help maintain the journal system. The system has reduced publishing costs to the point where it has become feasible to implement open-access features to the journal's contents, free of charge.

Benefits of Using Open Journal systems (OJS)

The most significant advantage of using OJS is that you get an out-of-the-box software application with an array of built-in features that are free to use under an open-source license. Furthermore, OJS is significantly better than those expensive, paid-for systems that large publishers use.

  • While OJS allows delayed and subscription-based journals to be published, Open Access advocates are the primary users of OJS. It strongly supports the policy of making research papers available to as many people as possible.
  • OJS 3 also comes with a responsive, theme-based reader interface that supports multiple languages.
  • OJS 3 contains a new internal conversation tool for each editorial stage to help track the discussions that are a vital component of a submission's workflow (Submission, Review, Copyediting, Production). A user creates a topic to start a discussion, asks others to participate, and submits a message, similar to how an online forum works.
  • More importantly, it adheres to the JATS XML standard. Articles written and published in JATS XML format, of course, expand your journal's visibility and audience.
  • You may quickly export article data to third-party organizations, databases, or systems like CrossRef, PubMed, ORCID, DOAJ, and more using OJS's advanced export capabilities.
  • OJS 3 provides a more powerful and flexible editorial workflow that you can easily personalize/customize.
  • The editorial workflow is simple (even the most technically challenged editors can do it), and the production quality is excellent.

Advanced Features of Open Journal systems (OJS)

  • Editorial discussions with open access
  • Extremely versatile plugin architecture and framework
  • Editors configure requirements, sections, and review processes
  • Responsive design to various devices
  • Designed to be discovered by search engines
  • Email notification and option to comment for readers
  • Complete context-sensitive online help and support
  • Open Journal systems is installed locally and controlled locally
  • Unlimited number of submission files
  • Multilingual support

What’s New: Latest Features and Improvements in OJS’s Latest Upgrade

Several new features and improvements have been incorporated into OJS 3.3 that users may look forward to leveraging. This section explains how to use these new features and enhancements.

OJS 3.3 extends the changes made in OJS 3.2 and differs dramatically from its predecessor, OJS 2.x. It incorporates community-driven updates and new features, rigorous user testing, and new software design capabilities.

The dashboard navigation menu in OJS 3.3 is more user-friendly; the update added new features relating to submission management, user communication, and accessibility.

Dashboard Interface and Navigation Menus

One of the primary features you will notice in OJS 3.3 is the simplified dashboard and navigation menus. In OJS 3.3, only users in roles with access to the settings menus will see the left-hand navigation menus.

There are also new menu buttons for issues, announcements, and payments, and the latest release has relocated some of the menu links. However, users like authors and reviewers will still only have access to their contributions in earlier versions of OJS.

OJS 3.3 has relocated the connection between the dashboard and the front page of the public journal site. By clicking the journal's name in the top left corner of the screen, a Journal Manager or Editor can now visit the public journal site.

Editorial Workflow

Uploading Submission Files

One of the features authors can look forward to is the ability to upload multiple files at once as well as drag-and-drop files. During the submission process, authors can select multiple files from their file browser or drag-and-drop their files. Instead of identifying the various file types following each upload, the uploaded files are now identifiable by the authors through a single menu.

Submission Filters

Journal managers and editors will also find new filters in the active and archived submission tabs. With these new filters, you can now filter for assigned issues and assigned editors, although only managers can filter by “assigned editors.”

You will need to go to your active or archived tabs and click on filters to use these new filters. For example, for the Editor filter, type the editor’s first name, last name, or full name followed by ‘Enter.’ The dashboard should show you results for the manuscripts assigned to this editor. Users can also use this to filter by username, email, affiliation, ORCID ID, and multiple editors at the same time.

Reverse a Declined Decision

Editors can now change a denied decision during the submission and review stage, thanks to a new editing action. To reverse a declined decision, go to the manuscript you initially rejected on the right menu and click on Change Decision. You will then see the decision buttons for Request Revisions, Accept Submission, or Revert Decline. After you click on revert decline, you will see a pop-up box confirming your decision. This action will revert the submission to its previous state.

Delete Only Declined Submissions

Users can only remove rejected entries from the list of submissions.

Improved Terminology

The review types in prior versions of OJS were “Double-Blind,” “Blind,” and “Open.” These are now “Anonymous Reviewer/Anonymous Author,” “Anonymous Reviewer/Disclosed Author,” and “Open.” in OJS 3.3.

Category Displayed on the Article Page

An article’s assigned categories now appear on the article landing page.

Disable Submissions

In OJS 3.3, journal managers and editors will have the ability to disable either all submissions to their journal or particular sections. Disabling sections will not affect previously published content but instead restricts authors from submitting into these specific sections. To disable all submissions to your journal, you will need to go to Workflow under Settings, followed by Submission and Disable Submissions. Next, click the option for Disable Submissions. Users may utilize this for journals that are only using OJS for archived content.

User Management and Communication

Several features have been added around user management and communication. This update includes the ability to notify users within a specific role and export user lists in CSV format.

Export Users

It has also released an export tool that lets you export your users to a CSV file. You can find this tool under the Tools > Import/Export section. Users can also be imported into third-party mailing systems using this method.

Notify Users

OJS 3.3 includes a much-requested feature that allows you to inform, notify, or send a message to all users in a role.

Filter email templates by workflow stage
Under Workflow Settings > Email, journal managers and editors can manage and filter email templates by workflow stage. Further instructions have been explained in the Workflow Settings section.


OJS 3.3 also features several improvements to the Default theme based on their 2019 accessibility audit feedback.

OJS was audited in 2019 to assess the accessibility of OJS to people with impairments and those who use assistive technology. The audit’s recommendations were all adopted in OJS 3.3, including an accessible Default Theme and custom blocks that now require a title.

For Multilingual Journals

OJS 3.3 includes many enhancements for journals that work and publish in various languages.

Date and time formats: You can change date and time formats.

Right-to-left languages: There is better support for languages that read right-to-left within the text editors throughout OJS.

Remote URLs: Navigation menu items with remote URLs can now have different remote URLs for each language.

Community Contributions

Contributions from the developer community are encouraged by the OJS team. The vast number of languages in which OJS is accessible are excellent instances of community contributions. OJS also accepts external Software and Bug reports. Anybody anytime if encounters any glitch in the OJS handling can directly report it.


For OJS, PKP provides the following free resources:

  • You may find user guides, development documentation, and publishing advice for the tools on the PKP Docs Hub. There are also links to videos created by the community.
  • PKP Community Forum: An online discussion board where you may ask questions, respond to them, and share your thoughts.
  • PKP School: A collection of online, open, and self-paced courses in English and Spanish created by PKP professionals. Set up Your Journal, the Editorial Workflow in OJS , and Becoming an Editor are all covered in video tutorials.

In Open Journal systems, you can also access information on the current page, including its functions, by clicking on the "Help" option located in the top right corner of the page.

How to install OJS

Download and Installation Steps

Downloading and installing the latest version of OJS can be done using the following steps:

  1. Evaluating system requirements
  2. Downloading the application files
  3. Installing the newest version of OJS

Evaluating System Requirements

Your server will need the following to run the current version of OJS 3.x:

  • PHP version 7.3 or later along with MySQL, MariaDB, or PostgreSQL support
  • A database server: Preferably MySQL/MariaDB 4.1 or later OR PostgreSQL 9.1.5 or later
  • Apache version 1.3.2x (or later), or version 2.0.4x (or later), or Microsoft IIS 6
  • UNIX-like OS recommended (such as Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, Mac OS X, Windows, etc.)

Make sure you have all the prerequisite system requirements before installing OJS. Then, if you meet the above system requirements, you can directly proceed to the installation of OJS 3.

Downloading the Application files

The Public Knowledge Project website has the most recent version of OJS 3.x available for download.

Installing the latest version of OJS

Extract the OJS application files into the chosen folder location within your web server directory. These files will have to be within the server files for Apache, MySQL, and PHP.

Make the files and directories listed below (along with their contents) writeable (by using chown or chmod to change the owner or permissions):

- (optional – if this file does not have “write” permissions, you’ll be prompted to overwrite it manually during the installation process)

- public

- cache

- cache/t_cache

- cache/t_config

- cache/t_compile

- cache/_db

We suggest having the directory placed within a non-web-accessible location to create a protected environment (or prevent direct access, for example, through .htaccess control).

Go to and follow the on-screen prompts or instructions to complete the installation process.

Steps to upgrade your old OJS version to the latest version

Upgrading an OJS install is considerably complex, and a successful upgrade may take many hours to complete. Furthermore, an erroneous or incomplete OJS upgrade can lead to an OJS malfunction and the loss of your data. There are around five to seven OJS updates released per year, with a few being minor or system-deep upgrades. The minor upgrades essentially deal with the bugs from a previous release, and the systemic upgrades come with new features (and consequentially, bugs).

Before upgrading your current installation, make sure you create a backup of all your data files and database. A potential failure in the upgrade process or an unfortunate system crash can lead to the loss of your data.

Moreover, it is necessary to determine which version of OJS you currently have installed on your server before proceeding with the upgrading process.

How to Upgrade From OJS 2.0.x, 2.1.x, 2.2.x, or 2.3.x

To upgrade from these older versions of OJS, you first need to upgrade to a version of OJS 2.4.x. Then, download the latest release of OJS 2.4.x and follow the instructions included within.

Upgrade From OJS 2.4.x

We advise that you execute the upgrade script under the same user account that your server uses to run OJS. If this trick doesn’t work, you will have to enable file permissions in your files directory to allow the upgrade script to access files within the same directory before the upgrade and then reset the file permissions after you finish the upgrade. Keep in mind that upgrading from OJS 2.4.x to OJS 3.0 will completely rearrange your file storage, so make sure you have a backed-up copy of the files before upgrading.

Upgrading to the most recent version of OJS involves the following steps:

1. Obtaining the latest OJS code

The OJS source code is available either in a complete standalone package or through read-only GitHub access.

Full Package:

  • Download and extract the upgrade files from the OJS website into an empty directory.
  • Copy the files mentioned below into it from your current OJS installation:
  • public/
  • If it’s within your OJS directory, your uploaded files directory (“files dir” in
  • Match the new changes from to
  • Replace your current OJS directory with the new OJS directory.


  • Updating from GitHub is the suggested upgrade path if you have made local changes to the system.
  • If your current install of OJS was from GitHub, you could update the OJS code using a git client.
  • To update the OJS code through git, run the following command from your OJS directory:
git rebase --onto <new-release-tag> <previous-release-tag>

The above steps work under the assumption that you have made local changes and committed them on top of the old release tag. The command will take your modifications and apply them on top of the new release tag. This upgrade path may cause merging conflicts that require merge tools like kdiff3 to repair the damage.

2. Upgrading the database

After getting the new OJS code, you will need to execute another script to finish the update by upgrading the OJS database and running more upgrade code. You can run this script using the OJS web interface or from the command line.


If you have the CLI version of PHP installed (e.g., /usr/bin/php), you can upgrade the database as follows:

  • Edit and change "installed = On" to "installed = Off"
  • Run the following command (without the $) from the OJS directory: $ PHP tools/upgrade.php/upgrade
  • Change "installed = Off" back to "installed = On" in


If you do not have the PHP CLI installed, you can also upgrade by running a web-based script. To do so:

  • Edit and change "installed = On" to "installed = Off"
  • Open a web browser to your OJS site; you should be redirected to the installation and upgrade page
  • Select the “Upgrade” link and follow the on-screen instructions
  • Re-edit and change "installed = Off" back to "installed = On"

OJS Hosting for Scholarly/Journal Publishing

1. Why do you need an OJS hosting solution?

Journal, editorial, and publication management systems can get exceedingly complex and usually require specific technical expertise to maintain servers and the time to engage management operations. It can also get expensive to hire an IT team to manage a private web server.

Furthermore, if you are unfamiliar with OJS software, it is best to delegate software maintenance to a third party so that you may concentrate on publishing and journal operations.

You don’t want the administrative responsibility of administering the OJS server to ensure 99.9% uptime, backups, upgrades, and troubleshooting.

2. SciSpace’s OJS Suite — The cost-effective, integrated solution to simplify your journal publishing process

SciSpace (formerly Typeset) is one of the leading providers of OJS hosting and supports institutional libraries, scholarly societies, and university-led journals. The OJS suite we offer is cost-effective and ensures your hosted journal site on OJS has 100% uptime. Used by over 230 journals, SciSpace offers an end-to-end publishing stack.

SciSpace’s OJS suite includes:

  • JATS XML support
  • Unlimited articles and storage facilities along with standalone servers
  • Top-notch backups and security backed by the RDA infrastructure on AWS cloud
  • Email integration with Sendgrid’s robust and scalable infrastructure
  • Dedicated account managers and webinars along with 24x7 support
  • Custom add-on themes

So, for a cost-effective and easy setup of your journal, get SciSpace's OJS Hosting Suite today!

The OJS fundamentals: Managing your user accounts

Open Journal systems employs an extensive role-based system to distribute work among users, assign various workflows, and restrict access levels to different stages of the system.

You can use a single installation of OJS to host multiple journals. Therefore, users can enroll in different roles for various journals.

Defined Set of Roles in Open Journal systems

OJS 3’s workflow works around the idea of enabling different roles for several other users, thereby allowing for the creation of multiple access points throughout the workflow along with varying permissions and responsibilities.

Let’s go over the major roles available in OJS 3:

Site Administrator

Site administrators are created during the installation process. Moreover, there can be only a single Site Administrator. Site Administrators handle OJS installations, set and maintain the server environment and settings, journal creation, adding language files, and more.

Journal Manager

The Journal Manager is responsible for creating the journal’s website, customizing system settings, and managing user accounts. These responsibilities do not require sophisticated technological knowledge, but it does require the completion of web-based forms and the uploading of files. In addition, the Journal Manager enrolls the Editors, Section Editors, Copyeditors, Layout Editors, Proofreaders, Authors, and Reviewers. The Journal Manager can also access the journal’s other management capabilities, such as creating new Sections, setting up Review Forms, editing default Emails, managing Reading Tools, viewing Statistics and Reports, and so on.


Authors can submit manuscripts directly to the journal via the journal’s website. The Author must upload submission files and give metadata or indexing data (Metadata enhances the searchability of online research and journal articles).


The Editor is in charge of all aspects of the review, editing, and publication process. The Editor, in collaboration with the Journal Manager, usually determines the journal’s policies and procedures. The Editor assigns contributions to Section Editors for Submission Review and Submission Editing through the editorial process. The Editor monitors the development of the submission and offers assistance if there are any issues.

Section Editor

The Section Editor is in charge of reviewing and editing submissions that have been allocated to them. If contributions are approved, a Section Editor assigned to see them through the Review Process may also be responsible for overseeing them through the Editing Process (that is, through copyediting, production, and proofreading).


To review a contribution, the editor or section editor chooses a reviewer. Reviewers should submit their reviews and upload the reviewed files on the journal website for the Editor and Author to use. Section editors may rate reviewers based on the journal’s policies.


The copyeditor improves grammar and clarity in submissions and collaborates with authors to ensure everything is in order according to the Author’s requirements.

Layout Editor

The Layout Editor converts the copyedited submissions into galleys in HTML, PDF, XML, and other formats that the journal has chosen to utilize for online publication.


The Proofreader goes through all of the many forms that the publication publishes (as does the Author). In addition, any typographic and formatting problems are recorded by the Proofreader (and Author) for the Layout Editor to correct.


The Reader position in Open Journal systems is the most basic, with the fewest capabilities. With the publication of each issue, readers receive an email notification that includes the Table of Contents for that issue.

How to Register with a Journal Hosted on OJS

The Dashboard is the first page a new user views. Users can edit their profile information or account settings from here and see all of the system’s functionalities that they have access to. A Reviewer, for example, will only see the submission they were assigned to examine, whereas an Editor will see all the submissions in the editing workflow.

Visitors to a journal who are not yet enrolled can usually register as a Reader, Author, or Reviewer. Journal Managers can disable self-registration for visitors, in which case a notification will display explaining that registration is presently closed. However, they can always register people for any position at any moment.

Click the ‘Register’ link placed in the upper right corner to join a journal.

Clicking on the ‘Register’ link will bring up the Registration Form, which you must fill out with all essential information.

All input fields with an asterisk (*) mark are mandatory such as, First Name, Last Name, Affiliation, Country, Email, Username, Password, Repeat Password. In addition, you must choose your preferred language if the magazine is multilingual.

OJS registers new users as both a Reader and an Author by default. Moreover, new users can also opt to become Reviewers.

Viewing and Editing your Profile

Log in and click the Username link in the upper right corner to access and change your profile. Then, select the View Profile option.

You can edit/change your personal details, contact information, roles, add a profile image (which some journals may post alongside your article or on a list of editors), choose your notification settings, and update your password from here by selecting the appropriate options.

Resetting Your Password

You can change your password by doing the following:

  • Logging in
  • Select your username and View your Profile
  • Click on the Password button
  • Entering your current password twice, followed by your new password
  • Click on the Save button

OJS Setup: Site Administration

During the installation process, you need to create a Site Administrator (the primary user account). Logging into the Open Journal systems account will give you Site Administrator level access through the Dashboard.

Site Management

To access Site Management, log into OJS as the Site Administrator and click on the Administration button on the left menu.

Hosted Journals

Here, click on Hosted Journals. The page will display all of the journals within the current installation.

Click on the blue arrow to edit the current Journal. The arrow will drop down into edit, remove, and update settings.

The Remove button will allow you to delete a journal from the installation. This action is irreversible, so a prompt will pop up to confirm the action.

The Settings Wizard button will take you through a variety of settings options for that specific Journal.

On the Hosted Journals page, you can use the Create Journal button to add a new journal.

Site Settings

This segment is visible if you have more than two journals. Here, you can add information about your OJS installation.

Site Setup

This section includes:

  • The Site name and logo
  • An introductory statement for the site
  • A site footer
  • A redirect option
  • Contact information
  • Minimum password length (for registered users)
  • Theme and Style options
  • Sidebar management


OJS is a multilingual system. This feature allows journals to be hosted in a multitude of languages under the same site.

The Site Administrator can change the site's default language and install different locales to enable users to utilize other languages. Journal managers may find the language settings under Website Settings > Languages.

You may see a list of languages installed on your site under Administration > Site Settings > Languages, activate languages, and designate any language as the Default Locale, which means it will be the language that users see when they first visit the site.

To add another language:

  • Click on Install Locale
  • Check off all the locales you want to add
  • Click on the Save button

You must enable the new locale on the Site Settings > Languages page after the installation. A Journal Manager can configure the language's availability on the site further under Website Settings > Languages.


You can enable or disable several plugins from here, making them visible to all of the journals on this OJS installation (or not).

Navigation Menus

Modify your site-wide menus in this section of the site.

Bulk Email

In OJS 3.3, you can send bulk emails to many user groups within a journal at the same time. Again, you can utilize the site settings as the site administrator to choose which hosted journals can send bulk emails.

Under Hosted Journals > Settings Wizard, you can deactivate sending bulk emails to specific roles for individual journals.

Administrative Functions

This section contains detailed information on the server that your system installation is running on.

System Information

The current version of OJS is displayed, and your version history, which includes any upgrades. To see if you're running the latest version of OJS, visit the Check for Updates page.

The Server Information section contains information about the server environment of your OJS installation.

Custom options are displayed in the OJS Configuration section, just as they are in

Additional server information is displayed in the last area of this page: your operating system, PHP version, server, and database information. By clicking the Extended PHP information link (which displays phpinfo()), you may see more information about PHP.

Expire User Sessions: When you click on Expire User Sessions, the system clears all active users. This feature helps ensure that all users log out before an upgrade.

Clear Data Caches: Clearing all cached data, including locale information, help cache, and search cache, is as simple as clicking Clear Data Caches. This function could be handy for forcing data to be reloaded after modifications.

Clear Template Cache: All cached versions of HTML templates get cleared when you click Clear Template Cache. You can use this function to force the reloading of customized templates.

Clear Scheduled Task Execution Logs: If your Journal has scheduled tasks enabled, choosing Clear Scheduled Task Execution Logs will destroy the task execution log files from your server. Dates related to previously completed scheduled tasks are included in the execution log files (For example, sending automatic email review reminders).

Getting Hands-On with OJS Settings

Journal Settings

You can move to edit the Journal settings to sync your OJS installation as per your publication requirements.

Note that a platform user must have Journal Manager permissions to access Journal Settings, that exist in the left menu panel.


  • The name of your Journal is the Journal title.
  • Journal initials are the Journal’s initials.
  • The name of the entity that publishes the Journal is the Publisher.
  • The publisher name you put here will be used for metadata but will not appear on your site. You can add the Publisher’s name under Journal Settings > Contact > Mailing Address to display it on your site. You can also include it in the section below titled “About the Journal.”
  • The ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) is an eight-digit number that helps identify journals. The ISSN is overseen by a global network of National Centres administered by an International Centre in Paris and supported by UNESCO and the French government. The ISSN website can provide you with a number. You can do this at any time during the Journal’s operation.
  • The Journal Summary is a short description of your Journal. The Editorial Team lets you list the members of your editorial team, as well as anyone else you want to mention. You can find this under About > Editorial Team on the public website.

To save your changes, click the Save button.


Add journal contacts in this section.

  • Principal Contact: Include the name, email, phone number, affiliation, and journal postal address for the Journal’s primary contact person. The Journal’s contact page will display this information.
  • Technical Support Contact: Include the technical support person’s contact details. This information will be displayed on the Journal’s Contact page and at various stages throughout the workflow to assist users.

To save your changes, click the Save button.


Use this page to set up various parts/sections of your Journal: articles, editorials, reviews, commentaries, and other sections. This tab is where all of your existing sections will appear. OJS requires at least one section and automatically produces an “Articles” section.

Individual sections can also have submissions disabled. You can do this when sections are no longer used to prevent items from being submitted to that section.

In the section settings, a section can be declared as “inactive.”

You can click the blue arrow to see the modification options, and select create or edit.

Create Section

Click on the Create Section link from the sections page to create a blank window similar to updating a section.

Fill in the details and hit Save to record your work.

Edit a Section

When you click on the “Edit” button, a new window will pop up with several setting options.

You can change the section’s name or abbreviation from here.

Section Policy: Include relevant data such as submission procedures, peer review, and so on in this area.

Word Count: Use this to keep the number of words in this section’s abstracts to a minimum.

Section Options: Each section can be indexed, peer-reviewed, welcome unsolicited submissions, or be listed in the table of contents.

Individual sections can also have submissions disabled. You can do this when sections are no longer used to prevent items from being submitted to that section.

Identify items published in this section as a(n): Some systems make use of this. It’s worth noting that this isn’t a required field.

Section Editors: If your Journal has editors, you will see them listed here and will be able to appoint one of them to the section. Therefore, any submissions to the section are automatically assigned to the Editor, saving you the time to manually appoint or nominate an editor.

To ensure the changes come into effect, click Save button.

Restrict Section Submitter

You can keep the submission rights held with, only, editors and section editors. This will dissuade authors from submitting directly.

To enable this feature, check off the box stating “Items can only be submitted by Editors and Section Editors”. Once enabled, only editors and section editors will be able to make submissions.

Users/ Authors who may try to submit the journals will receive an onscreen message stating “This journal is not accepting submissions at this time.”

Order Sections

You will see an Order button if you have created more than one section. Use this to rearrange the order in which certain sections appear on your Journal’s website.


Create Categories in OJS 3 to organize your articles into topic collections and provide readers another method to explore your content. For example, on your Journal’s website, categories can be shown as a browse block, and readers may select a category to see all articles in that category. You may also change an article’s metadata to put it in a category.

To build a new category for your journal:

  • Click Add Category
  • Enter a name for your category that will be displayed to readers
  • Enter a path for the category’s URL on your site
  • Enter a description which will appear above the list of articles in the category
  • You can optionally change the order of the articles by date or title
  • Optionally add an image which will appear at the top of the category’s page
  • Click Save

To make any modifications in the categories, follow:

  • Click the name of the category you want to edit
  • Make the changes
  • Click OK

In case if the need arises that you have to completely remove a category, you can follow:

  • Click the blue arrow next to the category you want to remove
  • Click the Remove button that appears below
  • Confirm that you want to remove the category.

Website Settings

The Website Settings allow you to customize the appearance and functionality of your Journal’s website.


Theme: The complete design and appearance of your journal's website can be maintained through Themes section. OJS 3.X provides a wide range of options to configure a theme that suits your journal's content tone.

To ensure, all of the themes have been enabled and ready to use, you must:

  1. Go to the Plugins tab under Website Settings.
  2. Scroll to the bottom and find Theme Plugins.
  3. Check the box next to each plugin to enable it.

Additionally, to explore more themes, you can visit themes gallery. In case you like a theme from the gallery, then, it's required that you, first, install the theme and then, enable it as described above.

Once you've installed and enabled the available themes in OJS, you can try those out by going through following steps:

  1. Under Theme you will see a drop-down list of themes. Select one.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save.
  3. The theme may have additional sub-themes or configuration options available. To make these appear, refresh the page in your browser.
  4. If you select a different sub-theme or change the color scheme or other design features, click Save at the bottom of the page again.
  5. Open your site’s home page in a new tab or window of your browser to see how the site looks with the new theme or sub-theme and with different configuration options.
  6. If you do not see the changes appear on your site, you may need to clear the cache under the Administration menu.

Typography: Here, you can choose your Journal’s typefaces. Depending on the theme, this option may or may not be available.

Color: Change the color of your Journal’s header. Depending on the theme, this option may or may not be available.

Journal Summary: If you want to put your journal summary on display of homepage, check this option off. Besides, you can even go to Journal Settings > Masthead, to add your journal summary. Depending on the theme, this option may or may not be available.

Header Background Image: Any image suiting your journal's content tone can be uploaded here, that can be used as header background on the homepage. To enable this option, just check off the side box provided and later, upload the image.


This section enables you to upload images ( For logo, thumbnail, homepage) over the main page and additionally, configure the sidebar menu & footer content.

  • Journal thumbnail:  You can choose to upload logo or any image as a representation of your journal. Multiple images or logos can be uploaded which can be further configure among various journals, in case you manage multiple journal website's through OJS 3.x platform.
  • Homepage Image:  Insert any image depending upon your choice to be served as journal website's homepage.
  • Page Footer: The footer i.e. the bottom portion of website can be designed as per your preferences easily. You can add images, text or even embed HTML codes depending upon how you want to configure it.
  • Sidebar: It allows you to drag and drop different blocks into and out of the reader interface’s sidebar. OJS 3.x gives you complete liberty in making a custom block even provided you must install Custom Block Plugin, first.


Any additional information, journal stylesheet and Favicon can be configured in this part.

Journal Favicon: Include a favicon in the address bar of the reader’s browser.

Additional Content: This block will show any text you add here on your homepage.

Journal Style Sheet: In case, you want a complete unique and distinctiveness in your journal's website, it's better to upload a custom style sheet for your Journal here. You can upload a Journal Style Sheet in Website Settings > Appearance > Advanced if you want to make some changes to the style and layout of your site.

Click Save to set your changes to come into effect.



OJS 3.x provides you flexibility to put information suiting your audience. Simply put, you can directly configure information separately For Readers, For Authors, For Librarians pages on the journal website.

Click Save to set your changes to come into effect.

To prevent these information to get displayed on the journal's home screen, you turn off the check box by going to Website Settings > Appearance > Sidebar Management.


Open Journal Systems (OJS) is multilingual, meaning the interface, emails, and published content is accessible in various languages. Writers can submit manuscripts in one or more languages on a single site or Journal. You can choose one or more languages for your site when you install OJS.

You can see a list of languages or locales installed on your site and adjust how they are utilized in your Journal under Website Settings > Languages. Consider how you wish to configure and use languages in your Journal, as changing the settings afterward can cause issues.

Primary Locale: Here, you can set your preferred language as the primary locale, which is the default language for the Journal.

UI: Check this box if you wish the Journal’s interface to be available in different languages.

Forms: When filling out online forms, all of the selected languages will be available. This feature allows the Publication tab to have the metadata added for chosen languages.

Submission: Check this box if you want authors to have the ability to submit in different languages. When uploading their submissions, authors will be able to provide metadata in a variety of languages.

Note that while enabling multiple language features, the Language Toggle Block option is turned on. It can accessed and enabled via Website Settings > Appearance > Sidebar Management.


This section allows you to customize your navigation menus by adding new links, for example.

Navigation Menu Items: These are pre-programmed links that you can include in either of the menus above. If you want to add a link to the Primary Menu (for example, “Our Society”), use the Add Item link to do so.

The added items will now show up in the “Navigation Menu Items” list. After that, go to the chosen Navigation Menu (for example, Primary), click the blue arrow to see the options, and select edit. You can now drag it from Unassigned Menu Items to Assigned Menu Items and place it into the proper menu location.

Click save to set your changes to take effect.


You can use this part to write and publish news announcements on the Journal’s website.

Create different announcements by clicking the Add Announcement Type option (e.g., News and New Issue Alert).

You can also create a new announcement for your Announcements page by clicking the Add Announcement link.

Lists: Limit the number of items shown in a list (for example, submissions, users, or editing assignments) before moving on to the next page. Limit the number of links that appear on the list’s subsequent pages.

Privacy Statement

Here, you can add your privacy statement if you want it to show on your site.

Date and Time

This option allows you to configure a particular date and time format for each Journal and locale. Note that you can still use the file to specify the time and format for various journals, and unless otherwise specified, the settings for the primary locale will be the default for other locales.


This tab allows you to see all the installed plugins as well as search for new ones.

Installed Plugins: To utilize installed plugins, click the Enable button.

You will notice that some plugins are system-dependent and cannot be turned off. To delete, upgrade, or configure the plugin’s settings, click the blue arrow next to the plugin’s name.

Plugin Gallery: The Plugin Gallery gives you access to third-party plugins that aren’t included in your OJS installation but may be downloaded and activated. Note that, an Administrator user can only install a new plugin.

Clicking over the plugin name will display the detailed info about the plugin like author, description, status and compatibility.

Plugin installation details in OJS

External Plugins:

All the plugins that are developed outside the purview of OJS platform are referred as external plugins. These plugins will not be the part of plugin gallery and in case you require such kind of plugin, then you must download and install it separately.

In order to install an external plugin, you must follow:

  1. Download the tar.gz file of the plugin from its repository under the Releases tab.
  2. Go to Installed Plugins tab.
  3. At top right, click Upload a New Plugin.
  4. Upload the plugin file.
  5. When it has finished uploading, click Save. Give it some time to install.

Sometimes the upload fails and error message stating “The uploaded plugin archive does not contain a folder that corresponds to the plugin name.” comes on display. Need not to worry, just rename the file. For example: change “transcript-ojs-3_0_0-0” to “transcript.”

Click Save to set your changes to come into effect.

Content Enhancement and Discovery Plugins

In order to enhance the user experience and better visibility for your content and journal, OJS platform supports a vast number of plugins. This section is entirely dedicated to spread more awareness about such plugins and the procedure towards its configuration and usage.

Besides, some of these plugins exist as 3rd party plugins, thus, to enable it for usage you must download it's zip file from Github and later, upload it to your Journal's C-panel.

Note that, these plugins are not authenticated by PKP, hence, PKP doesn't hold any responsibility if such plugins fail to work with your version of OJS.

AddThis Plugin

This plugin lets you share your fresh content time to time over various social media platforms. All the social media platforms that you maintain for your journal can be configured here into quick access buttons. Once integrated with the OJS, you can directly share your published content over any social media platforms be it Twitter, Facebook etc.

This plugin requires activation from the Plugin gallery.

Moreover, you can also get the stats i.e. Like, Share and Comments of your shared content on Social Media platform.

You must create a new account over the AddThis home section, in order to extract the posts statistics.

Browse Plugin

Browse Plugin allows you to segregate published content through different categories, for better viewing and easy accessibility. It exists in the side bar menu.

This plugin requires activation from the Plugin gallery.

Citation Style Language Plugin

This plugin provides a "How to" block on article page plus an option to get the citation article in the format of user choice.

It comes as pre-installed plugin that you can configure through Website Settings > Plugins > Installed Plugins.

To enable the plugin:

  • Click the blue arrow next to the plugin name
  • Click the Settings link that appears below.
Citation Style Language Plugin settings button.
  • Select the Primary citation format you would like to use from the first list, followed by the other citation formats you * would like to be available from the second list
  • Next, you can optionally select a downloadable format to make available to readers to export to bibliography management software
  • You can also add the location of your publication/publisher for citations that require it
  • Click OK when you have finished configuring

Here onwards, the How to block will be on the display of every article page in the side bar.

Moreover, this plugin can be customized provided you have the custom codes for that.

Custom Block Plugin

In order to enable and control this plugin, follow:

  • Click Manage Custom Blocks below the plugin name
  • From this screen, click Add Block to create a new block or click Edit or Delete under the block name to manage existing blocks.
  • When adding a new block, enter a name for your block (without spaces or non-alphanumeric characters) and the content to be shown in the sidebar.(Please note: this is a required field)
  • The display and order of blocks can be edited from the Sidebar Management section of Dashboard > Settings > Website > Appearance > Setup

Custom Header Plugin

In case you need to add any JavaScript to any header or block, you can always take advantage of Custom Header Plugin. JavaScript is sometimes/often required to link your journal's website to 3rd party services or external links. For some security reasons, OJS denies any direct integration to a field or block.

This plugin also can be downloaded from the Plugins Gallery.

Example: Use the Custom Header plugin to add a Twitter feed to your sidebar

The plugin can be used to integrate Tweeter feed directly onto the webpage of your journal in side portion.

Starting with, you need to enable and adjust few settings of the Custom Header Plugin:

  1. Go to Website Settings > Plugins and ensure the Custom Header plugin is installed and enabled
  2. Click the blue arrow next to the plugin name and click the Settings button that appears below
  3. Paste the following into the Header Content field:
<script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

4. Click OK to save it.

After this, it is mandatory that you create a custom block.

  1. Go to the Installed Plugins again and enable the Custom Block Manager plugin
  2. Click the blue arrow next to the plugin name and click Manage Custom Blocks below it
  3. Click Add Block
  4. Give the block a name, such as “Twitter”
  5. Above the Content field, click the Source Code button
  6. In the pop-up box that appears, paste the following content - except use your own Twitter account link and name:
<a class="twitter-timeline" href="">Tweets by asmecher</a>

7.  Additional custom timeline parameters can be added if you want, e.g:

<a class="twitter-timeline" "data-tweet-limit="3" ...

8. Click Ok to save the entire configuration.

At last, you need to add the fresh created custom bar into the side bar. For that:

  1. Go to Website Settings > Appearance and scroll down to Sidebar Management
  2. You should see the Twitter block under Unselected
  3. Drag and drop the block over to Sidebar. Use Drag and Drop feature to decide over the sequence of blocks.

Alternatively, you can always opt for a Tweeter Sidebar plugin. The plugin will create a Tweeter block in the sidebar provided you, first, enable and activate the plugin.

Disqus Plugin

User comments are valuable to every article plus it enhances the user engagement of your platform. Disqus Plugin does exactly the same, it allows your readers to put their comments.

Besides, Disqus is a 3rd party plugin and must be downloaded and installed from the Github repository.

Once you are done with the installation and enable the plugin, it is mandatory that you create a Disqus account on their website. While registering, check off the option "use in website".  Available as both free and paid versions, choose the plan that suits you best.

While registering, choose your Website Name, matching up with your journal name. This will help in better identification and will be on display in Disqus feeds, email notifications, and your Community tab. For example, “SciSpacejournal.”

Start with Configure Disqus. Insert your website URL in the space provided. Additionally, enter your comments policy.

Now, move onto your website and configure Disqus settings there.

  1. Go to Website Settings > Plugins
  2. Find the Disqus plugin
  3. Click the blue arrow next to the plugin name and Settings that will appear below
  4. Enter the Website Name from your Disqus account in the Disqus forum’s shortname field
  5. Click OK

Once done with the above mentioned procedures, you can visit any page of your website and see if the Disqus comments at bottom is visible. Moreover, your readers must be registered with Disqus to use this feature. plugin

This plugin will allow for public annotation and commenting, provided the articles are in Open Access mode. HTML galley comments support is enabled for now.

Additionally, this plugin can be enabled from the Plugin Gallery.

Once enabled, tools will be visible on the right side of the HTML galley.

In order to participate in public commenting, you must register a free account with It, even, provides special features of Public/Private Commenting Groups.

Moreover, only signed in users will be able to vies the annotations and highlighted sections.

Keyword Cloud Plugin

This plugin can put a display of tag cloud of Keywords in side portion of the article page.

Besides, it is a 3rd party plugin and must be downloaded and installed from the Github repository.

Once done with the download, install and activation of the plugin, a block form cloud keywords will be visible on the page, that you can later add to the sidebar section.

To add Keyword Cloud to the Sidebar:

Go to Settings > Website > Appearance > Sidebar Management

  1. Drag the Keyword Cloud block from the Unselected column to the Sidebar column
  2. Rearrange the order of the blocks as needed
  3. Click Save

Most Read Plugin

This plugin can help you increase the user spend time on your website. It will put the "5 most read articles of the week, with respective number of views" as a block on display.

Besides, it is a 3rd party plugin and must be downloaded & installed from the Github repository.

Once done with the download, install and activation of the plugin, a block form cloud keywords will be visible on the page, that you can later add to the sidebar section.

To add Most Read Plugin to the Sidebar:

Go to Settings > Website > Appearance > Sidebar Management

  1. Drag the Most Read Plugin from the Unselected column to the Sidebar column
  2. Rearrange the order of the blocks as needed
  3. Click Save

Recommend Articles by Author Plugin

This plugin let users read other different articles published by the same author. It will be visible to users as a block in the abstract section under the author's name.

It comes available as a preinstalled plugin ready to enabled.

Once enabled, it requires no further configuration.

Recommend Similar Articles Plugin

Similar to the previous one, it let users explore the articles of similar domain, available in article abstract page.

It comes available as a preinstalled plugin ready to enabled.

Once enabled, it requires no further configuration.

Usage Statistics Plugin

If you want to display the total no of downloads an article got, you must use the Usage Stats Plugin.

Besides, a platform user must have an Administrator Access to configure settings of this plugin. To configure:

  1. Go to Settings > Website > Plugins.
  2. Under Generic Plugins, find the Usage Statistics Plugin.
  3. Click the blue arrow to the left of the plugin name to make links appear below the plugin.
  4. Click Settings.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the pop-up box that opens to the section Statistics Display Options.
  6. Check the box beside the Display submission statistics chart for the reader.
  7. Moreover, you can choose to display the statistics as a bar or line graph and the maximum number of months to display usage for.
  8. Click Save.

Note that the plugin displays only the stats for the current year and total number of downloads.

Static Pages

In case you want to put forth some additional information like your journal's open access policies or subscription models terms & conditions, you can always opt for Static Pages Plugin to create some new static pages.

To configure the Static Pages Plugin, you must:

  • Go to Website Settings > Plugins and find the Static Pages plugin.
  • Enable the plugin by checking the box beside it.
  • Refresh the page in your browser. Now you should see a new tab next to Plugins called Static Pages.
  • Click the Static Pages tab.
  • Insert a  new page by clicking Add Static Page.
  • Fill in the form that opens with the content you want on the page. The Path will be used as part of the page URL and the Title will appear as the page title.
  • Using the preview option, check if the page looks as you wanted before saving the configuration.
  • Click Save, to enable your preference to come into effect.

Moreover, if you want to add some navigation buttons to this page, you can easily do so by referring the Navigation Menu section, described previously.

In case you want to make some modifications in the page, you can always choose to edit it. To edit the pages:

  • Go to Website Settings > Static Pages
  • Click Edit next to the page you want to edit
  • You can preview the page as you’re working by clicking the Preview link at the bottom of the form
  • When you’re finished editing the page, click Save

Workflow Settings

You can customize many aspects of the Journal’s editorial procedure using the Workflow Settings. There are five primary tabs in the workflow settings: Components, Submissions, Review, Publisher Library, and Emails.


You can configure the submission process in this section.

Disable Submissions

A journal manager will have the ability to turn off submissions for the whole part, a select portion, or the entire Journal.

When the setting is activated, a message appears informing you that submissions have been disabled. Users will no longer be able to submit to the Journal if this parameter is enabled.

Submission of Metadata:

This section specifies which sorts of metadata, such as keywords and references will be collected & stored throughout the submission process.


The file types that authors can upload to the site are called components. For example, the article text is usually one file, and other files may include interview transcripts, data, and photos. Listed below are the components that the Author can pick from while submitting their work.

Additionally, the order in which components appear to a particular user can also be changed, through the Order link provider at right hand top. Similarly, you can even Add a component as per your choice if it is not already listed like a Video. Besides, in case you want to revert back to the original factory settings if someone has made too many alterations, then choose the Restore the defaults option.

Edit Component: By selecting the blue arrow to the left of the component name, you can also change it.

Name: This is the component’s name, as displayed to the Author.

File Type: Select how this component’s files will be handled and presented. Anything labeled as a Dependent file will not go for publishing.

File Metadata: Choose what kind of metadata these files will get. The primary publication files, such as the downloadable PDF, should be set to Document to inherit the metadata from the publication. For most file types, choose Supplementary Content instead. For files that require distinct credit, description, and licensing metadata, the artwork is acceptable.

Key: The component’s optional short symbol.

Checklist: As a final process, the user must confirm that he/she ultimately agrees over every item present in the list. To make any last minute modifications in the items like add or edit a component, the user can use the options on the right hand top.

Author Guidelines:

This box will be displayed over the website. It reflects and helps user to understand the etiquettes or the specified terms and conditions to be followed in order to get their article published.

Author Guidelines: This section must include the file format for document submission, preferred citation guidelines & formats or any detailed information to be included in the submission journal article.

Copywrite Notice: This can be used as a legit agreement between your journal and author towards any copywrite issues under the specified guidelines. The authors or users must agree to the specified terms and conditions.


This page allows you to customize the review procedure for your Journal.

Default Review Mode: This option allows you to disclose the information about your reviewer panel. Whether you will be disclosing the identity of reviewer or not, that's entirely up to your journal policy. However the same should be mentioned in this section.

Restrict File Access: Untick this option if you want the reviewer's response towards accessing submitted articles.

One-click Reviewer Access: This option exist as a shortcut & enabled by default for reviewers to have direct access for the journal to be reviewed. Hence, no need to go to the website, make the login and search for the required document.

Default Review Deadlines: This represents the time frame a reviewer is supposed to avail to decide whether to accept or deny the reviewing request. Additionally, it displays the time required for complete review process.

Automated Email Reminders: Assigned reviewers receive email notifications; however, you can choose to enable or disable reviewer reminder emails. Additionally, there exist an option in the drop down to select the number of days or Never Remind after which the reviewer receives a reminder mail to update the status about the acceptance of review request.

Last, click onto the Save button to set your preferences.

Review Guidelines: In this section, you can provide put on display the detailed criteria over which the reviewer must review the submitted document.

Competing Interests: Contrasting and competing interests of your journal can be disclosed in complete details in this part.

Review Forms: Review forms ask reviewers to answer a series of questions to establish feedback loops.

Create a new review form by clicking the Create Review Form button.

On the Review Forms page, click the blue arrow to the left of the form name to reveal the Edit link.

On the Review Form page, click the Edit link next to the title of the review form, and then pick Form Items to begin adding questions (or “items”) to this review form. Next, select Create New Item from the Form Items page.

Click on Create New Items to create form questions. Moreover you can choose which questions to be kept as mandatory or not. Additionally, you can even choose what will be visible to whom. Simply put, you can choose what will be visible to a publisher and what not. Similar options exist for authors and other platform participants, too.

Response Options: The OJS provides you an option where you can select how exactly the reviewer should answer your question. Among the many options there exists, response options like-

  • a single word text box
  • a single line text box
  • an extended text box (for longer answers)
  • checkboxes (where the reviewer can select multiple possible responses)
  • radio buttons (where the reviewer can only select one possible answer)
  • dropdown menu (also where reviewers can only select one possible answer)

Moreover, the response options comprise answer options available against check boxes, radio buttons or dropdown menus. A Likert Scale is befitting example for response options, where a reviewer is supposed to submit a single option answer either as Good, Bad or Average

Lastly, don't forget to click the Save button to set your changes to take effect.

Besides, you can have the preview of the designed form to test the final appearance by clicking the Preview button.

Note, once the form goes out to the reviewer no further modification is allowed thereafter. Now, in case, any need for amendment arises, you can copy the form, make the changes and then, release the updated form.

Blind Review/ Anonymous Reviewer : You can tick this option in order to keep all submission files as anonymous. Besides, it will even display a link which will be directed to the submission instructions and copywrite terms and conditions.

Publisher Library

Resource sharing has been made a lot easier in this upgraded version of OJS. Anybody be it Journal managers or editors, if, want to share any document can just upload it here and it will be shared across the platform with other users. Moreover, user's can easily access the shared document in the manuscript's Submission Library.

You just need to upload the document that you wish to make publicly accessible via a simple URL. Besides, the uploaded file can be linked to any other part of your website including the author guidelines, submission checklist, or a static page.

Moreover, any kind of forms be it Galley approval forms, Supplemental material cover page or any document related to the journal workflow can be internally linked and integrated easily.

To upload a new file, just move your cursor to the top right of Publisher Library box and click ADD File.

Name: Title of the uploaded document that will be visible to all the shared users.

Type: IT refers to significance of the document to identify the shared docs belongs to which domain like marketing, permission, reports etc. You can choose among the options suiting your document type.

Public Access: Provided as an option which you can enable if you want the file to be publicly accessible via a URL, so that it can be downloaded by any shared user. Note, for download to happen it must be hyperlinked in one or multiple parts of the website.


Notification sent out to the platform users can be customized and controlled from here swiftly.

Signature: This section provides you the option to add your signature i.e. your name, designation, organization etc. This information will be attached at the bottom of every sent email.

Bounce Address: If the recipient e-mail address is mistakenly entered wrong or otherwise not valid, it will of course not get delivered. In such a case, you(specified email address) will get notified non-delivery of such e-mails.

Email Templates

In order to keep the work flow communications swift and top notch, OJS allows sending ready made tailored in different contexts. Additionally, these ready made emails can be accessed via email templates.

After going in the Email Templates section, you will find a lot of templates made as per the requirements with the title and description on display in the list. Besides, you can modify these templates as per your requirements.

Select a template and then move your cursor to arrow button highlighted at the right end of the selected template. After clicking the arrow, you can get some additional info like default sender and receiver of the email.

Moreover, a search option is also provided to find a particular template of your choice. Just enter the keywords of what you are looking for and hit enter. The corresponding template will be right in front of you.

Besides, Filter option is provided at the right side top corner, to get the exact template as per your choice in a better yet easier way. The Filter option can be used to sort and view different the templates by status, sent from, sent to, and which workflow stage it is used during.

Edit Email Templates

Editing an email template will change its usage for permanently, means after editing is done, the modified email will be sent every time when that particular template is chosen. Besides, for editing templates only for once, it can be done during sending time. This approach will prevent any permanent modification in the template and the original format will remain same.

You can edit email templates in OJS by following below steps-

  1. Move your cursor to and click Workflow Settings > Emails > Prepared Email Templates
  2. Next to the template name, you will find a blue arrow. Click the blue arrow to proceed further.
  3. Click Edit
  4. Make changes to the subject and the body text. Be careful to not delete any tags such as “{$authorName}:,” which automatically insert content from a submission.
  5. Once done, Click Save.

Disable Email Templates

As default selection in OJS, all of the email templates exist as auto enabled. Now, in case you want to disable some templates, just click he Disable Button. OJS system emails templates used for auto-notifications can be easily disabled. Once disabled, the auto-notifications will stop for all the OJS platform participants.

You can disable email templates in OJS by-

  1. Move your cursor and visit Workflow Settings > Emails > Prepared Email Templates
  2. Next to the template name, you will find a blue arrow. Click the blue arrow to proceed further.
  3. Click Disable ( If there does not exist any disable button, it means that particular template can't be disabled)

Reload Default E-mail Templates

Many a time, mistakenly, changes made during the template editing gets saved. OJS latest version comes equipped with the feature to revert back to the Default version of the Email template. To reverse the alterations made in the template, you can always reset it via-

  1. Go to Workflow Settings > Emails > Prepared Email Templates.
  2. Click Reset All Templates.
  3. Click OK, once the confirmation message comes on display.

Add Email Template

Now if any need arises where you need to add a custom email template suiting you or your journal's requirement, even that can be easily done in OJS 3.x. Besides, it is worthy to acknowledge that OJS version before 3.1.2 supports adding custom email templates, but can no longer be used in the publishing workflow.

Add Email Attachment

OJS version don't support any email attachment for now. But, the files that you want to send as attachment can be easily shared across various users through Publisher's Library option. To share files-

  1. Go to in Settings > Workflow > Publisher Library > Add a file, upload your document and tick the “Public Access” checkbox
  2. Click “OK” for the URL to be generated
  3. Insert the URL in your email

Template Descriptions

To have an overview info regarding an email template, OJS 3.X versions support showcasing template descriptions highlighting the sender and recipient, stage of workflow.

You can refer to the below table to gain some better insights into section of Email templates.

  • Template: The name of the email template.
  • Description: A brief introduction about the purpose of the template.
  • Sender: The name or signature that will appear at the end of the message. In some cases, the system sends the message automatically but the sender appears as a particular user.
  • Recipient: Who the email can be sent to.
  • Workflow stage: The workflow stage that this template is used in.
  • Editor: One who bears the right to edit the templates and can be anybody from journal editor, manager, production assistant etc.

Distribution Settings

The section of distribution settings is provided for enhanced user control to manage access and visibility of your journal. The section comprises options towards feeding information and preferences related to License, Search Indexing, Payments, Access, and Archiving.

In case your journal supports multiple languages, you can switch to your preferred language by selecting the Help button on the top right. Moreover, if you have some sort of embedded Forms and that too, enabled for multiple languages, then, it is required for you to set down your preferred settings configuration in each language.


Whatever the licensing and copyright regulations you've laid down for your publication, you can rightly configure it in this section.

Copyright Holder:  The Open Access platforms are made to promulgate transparency. This section allows you to assign the copyright authority to the rightful owner of the article and that can be either you or the author or anybody else.

License: Among the plenty of options provided, you can choose the suiting License for your journal in this part.  With features like maximum sharing and multiple usage, CC Attribution 4.0 is the most widely used license for OA journals. In case, you want a something distinct for your journal, you can just provide the URL for that in the option provided.

The selected license will be on display of each article page and will be added to its metadata automatically.

Copyright Year: Here, you can choose to derive the copyright year from the article’s or the issue’s publication date by default.

Moreover, this default can be configured separately for each journals.

License Terms: If there exists any further terms and conditions that you want to add in the License terms, you can easily do it here.

Search Indexing

In this part you can configure the SEO settings to enhance the search engines ranking and making sure your journal pops up against every relevant search query.

Description: Provide a brief yet sharp introduction of your journal to search engine crawlers.

Custom Tags: It allows you to add custom HTML header tags to the header of each page of your Journal, which can assist search engines in indexing your site. Users must insert tags as HTML elements, otherwise it will get displayed at the top of every page rather than staying fixed in site's metadata.

You can refer below to have better understanding of how custom tags can be leveraged for better SEO settings.

<meta name="description" content="The Journal of Public Knowledge. Publication of the Public Knowledge Project - PKP and Simon Fraser University - SFU" />
<meta name="keywords" content="open access, scholarly publishing, open source software, non-profit organizations, scholarly journals, free software" />
<meta name="author" content="metatags generator">
<meta name="robots" content="index, follow">
<meta name="revisit-after" content="3 month">


OJS comes with in-built feature of receiving online payments, subscriptions and author fess, if any.

OJS 3.x has been integrated with PayPal plugin to allow seamless online money transfers. In case your journal accepts other payment modes like cheques a email remittances, then, OJS will not be keeping the automatic records of that. Additionally, manual payments must be done outside OJS.

Moreover, if your journal requires any other payment mode, then it is required to be created and integrated by your own developer team.

Enable Payments

You must first allow payments under this tab before you can use the payments and subscriptions capabilities. Additional setup settings will appear below once you check Enable.

Choose your preferred currency type.

Choose the Payment Plugin, either PayPal or Manual Payment.

Once PayPal is selected, further option will appear.

Additionally, to accept payments through PayPal it is required that you activate the plugin through Website Settings > Plugins. Any further details like Account Name, Client ID, and Secret fields depending upon your preferences can, also, be configured there itself.

Again, if you chose manual payments option, then similarly like PayPal plugin you need to first enable it in the Website Settings > Plugins.

Thereafter, a pop up box will appear where you can list down the rules and regulation towards the manual payments like cheque & other payment transfer modes. This pop-up box will appear to the journal participants who will choose to make manual payment mode.

Also, don't forget to Save the settings you configured previously. Hereafter, Payments option will be added to the Dashboard menu as quick access option type.


You can choose whether you want your Journal’s contents to be open access, subscription-only, or a combination of both under the Access tab. Open Access option will be selected as default unless you want to change it otherwise. However, choose the second option if you want to use OJS for a subscription journal. If you choose the second option, you’ll be able to defer open access for more extended periods.

Moreover, if your journal leverages OJS only to mange the backend journal management operations, you can always chose the third option where OJS will not be publishing any articles online.

OJS let you decide which article or issues to be kept under Open Access or Subscription. To configure the Access status of an issue or article, just go over to the Access Tab and you can set the status as per your choice either as SUbscription or Open Access.

Moreover, OJS provides a further detailed option where you can choose the date to make the issue available to all via Open Access.

Additionally, there exist a check box option available in the Table of Contents, where you can individually choose the status of each article either as Subscription or Open Access. Simply put, in this way you can decide which articles will be Open Access, even though the whole issue will be Subscription based.

For better journal indexing and crawlers access to your journal's metadata, Enable OAI (Open Archives Initiative) will be chosen by default. However, if your journal is not based OJS for content publishing, you can always chose to disable the Enable OAI.


PKP Preservation Network (PN) have made some robust advancements in OJS in case an instant access is required for an old journal. The archiving feature is just a part of its larger content preservation network.

In case if your journal uses LOCKSS or CLOCKSS network, it can be directly activated by providing the license number. Moreover, PKP has launched its own PKP PN plugin to keep the archiving process smooth enough for users on OJS 3.1.2 or newer.

In case you journal uses some other network, that even can be activated, provided you have contacted the network provider freehandedly towards this activation.

OJS User Guide: Chapter 2

With OJS 3.x archiving feature being described, we have reached at a stage where the platform has been already setup, ready for use. But the upgrades and the enhancements introduced in the OJS 3.x are massive and huge. The next chapter will help you explore, discover and configure about multiple user access & roles, managing users along with permissions and site access options. Moreover, the next chapter will also provide you the details in how to measure the KPIs of your journal or article via number of views on abstract, article, galley files clubbed with tracking clicks, crawler and bots as well as even more of custom usual publishing industry scenarios.

Read Chapter 2 of The A-Z of Open Journal Systems (OJS) here.

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The integrated publishing tools, copyright detection technology, efficient profile management, and search-friendly indexing make it possible to manage and showcase your content seamlessly.

Reference: PKP Docs - Learning OJS 3.x