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Research Services

Information for university researchers to support your work throughout the research lifecycle

Open Journal Systems

open journal systems logoOPEN JOURNAL SYSTEMS

The Texas State University Libraries provides open journal hosting services to all TXST faculty, staff, and students. Through our membership in the Texas Digital Library consortium, journals are published using Open Journals System (OJS), an open-source editorial management and publishing system. OJS provides a professional online presence and can be used to manage some or all of the stages of the journal publishing process: submissions, peer review, the editorial process, online publishing, and indexing. Articles are licensed for reuse using a Creative Commons license.

Using Open Journal Systems (OJS), faculty can set up and publish an online journal (or migrate an existing journal) without any costs for the software or Texas Digital Library (TDL) technical assistance.

The OJS software helps with every stage of peer-reviewed publishing, handling online submissions from authors, managing workflows from submission to publication, publishing issues online, and indexing content.

Using OJS, journal managers and editors can:

  • Customize submission requirements, the peer-review process, and the journal appearance
  • Perform all journal management tasks online
  • Provide comprehensive indexing of content (e.g., DOIs, ISSN, Google, ORCID)
  • Use OJS email notification and commenting tools

Examples of TXST OJS Journals

In addition to choosing what type of journal to publish, content, and title, there are a number of other decisions you'll need to make during the planning stage. Whether launching a new journal or migrating an existing journal to OJS, consider:

  • What need will your journal be filling?
  • Are you offering a unique contribution to the field?
  • What discipline(s) does this journal fall into?
  • How will the journal be funded? Time and money?
  • Who will be on the editorial board?
  • Do you have defined aims and scope?

Texas Digital Library Guidebook: Setting Up an Open Access Journal Using Open Journal Systems

Step 1: Submit New Journal Request Form

When you are ready to submit a request for a new open access journal, you'll first need to complete this online form:

The form will require the following information:

  • Title of the journal
  • URL 'slug' or acronym for the journal
  • Name and email for the Primary Journal Manager
  • Name(s) and email address(es) for any additional Journal Manager(s)
  • Purpose and scope of journal
  • Planned publication frequency
  • Information on journal editorial board, if applicable
  • Plans for staffing the journal
  • Estimated date for publishing the first issue
  • Is this an existing journal with back issues that must be migrated? If so:
    • How many issues?
    • How many articles?
    • What platform/format are back issues in?
  • Will journal articles and issues be Open Access?
  • What language(s) does the journal use?

Step 2: Setup and Testing

  • You will receive a follow-up email to confirm the new journal request and all information is complete
  • The Texas Digital Library (TDL) will setup your journal
  • All Journal Managers will receive login instructions via email
  • You will be ready to setup your new journal!
    • Assign roles and users (e.g., reviewers, staff, etc.)
    • Create information pages (e.g., Journal Policies, About the Journal, Editorial Board, etc.)
    • Choose the layout, colors, themes, and other styles from OJS templates
    • Create automatic email templates (e.g., reviewer requests, author submissions, etc.)
    • Input your workflows (e.g., single or double peer-review, open or blind reviews, copyediting, approval, etc.)
    • Prepare and publish your first issue
  • What is meant by a "URL slug or acronym" for the journal?
    • All of our hosted journals include the prefix "https://journals.tdl.org/" which will be followed by a slug/acronym for the journal 
    • For example, the Journal of College and Academic Support Programs (J-CASP) utilizes the "jcasp" slug and the URL is "https://journals.tdl.org/jcasp"
  • Does OJS support assigning Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs)? 
    • Yes. The journal manager(s) will need a membership with Crossref, Datacite, or another DOI registration agency and there is typically a fee. For more information on getting started and using the DOI plugin for OJS, see: https://docs.pkp.sfu.ca/crossref-ojs-manual/en/gettingStarted
    • You are not required to assign DOIs in your journal, but it is useful. This is often where some funding to support the journal comes in, as you will need to setup the DOI registration and pay the associated fees.
  • How do I ensure my journal is indexed to maximize discovery?
    • There are a few options for indexing your journal. The three that we recommend are:
    • Typically, registering for your journal to be indexed requires that you have published at least 1-2 issues. 
    • Including current or past issues of your journal in the University Scholarship repository will help your journal get indexed in Google and Google Scholar faster. In addition, you can ensure long-term preservation of your journal regardless of any changes.
  • What options are there for customizing the theme, colors, design, etc. in Open Journal Systems?
    • OJS comes with built-in theme, layout, and color options to choose from. You are also welcome to go in and edit the CSS or graphics that you'd like. More information is available in the Public Knowledge Project OJS Themes site: https://docs.pkp.sfu.ca/pkp-theming-guide/en/
  • Could I test out Open Journal Systems before deciding if it is a good option for my new journal?
    • Yes. We can setup a "sandbox" or test OJS site for you to experiment in before creating your new journal. The Texas Digital Library (TDL) also has a training and testing OJS instance that you can be given access to for experimenting and learning your way through OJS. Contact us and we will send login information: uscholarship@txstate.edu
  • Is there a way to publish articles and issues without the full editorial workflow? 
    • Yes. There are many tools and plugins already in OJS that you may find useful. One is the Quick Submit Plugin. This allows automatic publishing of an article or issue without the full editorial process, which may be useful if you have a few existing issues or articles in a backlog or if you have an existing external editorial workflow and are just using OJS to publish and display. More information is available in the Public Knowledge Project Tools tutorials: https://docs.pkp.sfu.ca/learning-ojs/en/tools.html
  • Who do I contact with questions about OJS or for technical support?