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Journal Publishing Guide


About Open Journal Systems

Open Journal Systems (OJS) is the journal management and publishing platform maintained by the Library's Journal Hosting Service. 

OJS supports all aspects of the publication editorial workflow, including submissions, peer review, editing, online publication, indexing and exposure.

See  PKP School for tutorials on how to use OJS.

Welcome to your new OJS site

Congratulations! You’ve got the "keys" to your brand new OJS site, and you are one step closer to opening up your journal to accept submissions. At this stage, your journal is set up to be only visible to registered users so you can control who sees it while you get set up. This section of the guide will guide you through some of the common activities new journals do at this stage.

This page assumes that you will allow users to self-register as Roles of: reader, author, and/or reviewer, and that you will be using OJS to accept submission and to manage your review workflow. If you prefer to not use these features, email us at to discuss your new publication and we can help you configure the workflows differently. 

To learn the OJS system, we recommend the following resources:

User roles

One of the first things you will do after getting your OJS site is to add your editorial team as users and assign them the appropriate OJS role. 

What are the different roles in OJS (e.g. editor, section editor, etc.)?
  • Journal managers & editors have access to all the editorial workflows and most of the settings, including assigning articles to editors

  • Layout editors & Copyeditors can only see certain stages of the process for articles to which they’ve been assigned

  • Guest editors & Section editors can see all stages of the process, but only for articles to which they've been assigned

  • Reviewers can only see the review stage of articles to which they’ve been assigned; reviewers can also decline assignments

  • Authors can only see their own papers at certain stages, depending on the settings configured for the anonymity of the review

Users can have multiple roles. To assign someone to a particular task (e.g. review) they’ll need to be assigned that role in the system. These roles are predetermined in OJS; changing them could lead to confusion about user privileges. We strongly recommend you keep them as-is. You can learn more about users and roles in the PKP Documentation.

OJS Settings Checklist

The OJS software has a number of settings we suggest you review before going live. During our setup, we’ve entered in as much information as we had from your original journal proposal. We have also populated some text with default OJS information or recommended policies.

  • Review the Settings Checklist for OJS which includes a description of the key settings and links to further documentation on the settings and examples from their demo OJS journal. 

Designing Your Journal

  • Consult Designing OJS Journals, a guide from PKP, especially the section on inclusive & accessible web design. In addition to the technical information, this document contains easy-to-understand principles on good design and effective branding.

General theme and design resources

Logo and image resources (sites are external to Queen's University)