Announcements e-mail notifications

Hello all,

We are having a difficult time with the Announcements section and its option to notify all registered users.

When adding a new announcement, the option to send a notification email to all registered users is checked by default:


This is causing us a lot of troubles because we use Gmail to send our e-mails from OJS and Gmail has a daily quota of 500 e-mails sent. If that quota is fully used, Gmail stops sending e-mails from that account until the end of the day.

We are currently with 42 journals live and each of them has easily thousands of registered users. All it takes is one journal to post an announcement with that option checked to use our entire e-mail quota alone. The other journals gets penalized because Gmail simply won’t send more e-mails from OJS on that day.

One particular journal experienced a 4 hours delay after posting a new announcement without noticing that the option was checked. The system started sending e-mails too all of its 4178 registered users, after it reached the 500 daily quota, the system performance went aggressively down because it kept trying to send the message to the remaining users but failing to do so – and showing an error notification each time.

There are several things to be taken into account:

  1. Maybe the option to send a notification email to all registered users should be unchecked by default. This wouldn’t solve the problem, but would at least minimize it.
  2. The daily quota of Gmail is something we have to look at ourselves. We are doing tests with Amazon’s mailing service, but I’d appreciate any suggestions or recommendations.
  3. Regardless of which e-mail servise we use, it seems to me that the way the system is sending these broadcast messages could be improved. It would be best if the system could send them on the background, while still allowing the user to navigate to other pages and perform other tasks. It shouldn’t wait until the task of sending all e-mails to be completed. Depending on the number of registered users, this could take a while.

At this moment we are advising our journals to be careful to not notify all registered users, but that is not the best scenario. It’s a very cool and useful feature that should be used. However we are having serious troubles with it.

I just wanted to share our experience and see if there is a way to solve this.

We are using OJS

1 Like

Hi Alex,

One of the things I’ve been suggesting to some of our bigger hosting clients is to use an external mailing list management tool like MailChimp. It’s free for lists smaller than 2 thousand subscribers, is ten dollars a month for 50K subscribers, I believe, has better mail delivery rates, offers features like link and mail opening tracking, and the templating system is better.

This is just one of those cases where that wheel is already really well invented elsewhere. You can probably build a pretty good list if you can export out of your database and examine who’s opted in for announcements, etc.


Hello @jnugent!

But is there a way to use MailChimp in OJS as the sender of e-mails?

We host 42 independent journals, not all of them could afford a signature to MailChimp, I’m afraid. I don’t think it would prevent the most innocent user of sending a notification by accident to all registered users, also.


Hi Alex,

I think MailChimp provides SMTP access using Mandrill, but I’m not sure what that integration looks like. If you used their web interface, only admins can send email.

And yes, MailChimp costs money for large subscriber lists, but you get quite a large feature set out of it.


Hi @jnugent,

We actually use MailChimp at SciELO regularly to send our mailings. We have a subscription since we have a large public.

I’d be curious to know if MailChimp could solve our problem with OJS.