Disappeared articles? OJS

One editorial board asked me to help. They have published two issues with articles in November 2017. Today they entered their OJS installation and noticed that two are missing and that in list of issues they exist but it is visible that there is 0 items in those issues.
Issues that they published in different times still exist with correct number of articles. See screenshot.
Hmm, is that possible that somehow articles disappeared?

Hi @vvucic

Hmmm… Strange… Some dangerous magic happening there :slight_smile: Maybe an editor was practicing some new magic words? :slight_smile:

Can you find those articles anywhere in the submission list and/or DB table submissions?

Do you mean OJS 3.0.2?


In the list of submissions there are only 93 that are listed in issues that are published as on image above.
Yes, that is OJS 3.0.2.
Is there any log in which I can find are there mistakenly deleted or something else happened to them?

Hi @vvucic

Maybe to first double check in the DB? – If they are regularly removed, all the references in the DB will be removed too. If they were published and removed there could maybe be something in the DB tables data_object_tombstone_… Else, if they are not deleted you would find them in the DB.
Also, take a look at the files folder, if any of them is there…
Else, you would need to investigate the server/apache access log files, but it could be hard to find something here – at least you would need to know a time frame when to look at…


A common thing that happened with OJS3.0.2 was that an editor removed a journal section that had articles attached to it. In 3.0.2 this meant that the submission section_id was set to NULL and the article basically disappeared. Of course this could be something else, but I would check the submissions table for cases where the section id is NULL.

@ajnyga Did you ment on assoc_id column and look for NULL values?

No, there is a field called section_id in the submissions table: https://github.com/pkp/ojs/blob/master/dbscripts/xml/ojs_schema.xml#L446

This is the bug that was in 3.0.2 [OJS] OJS 3.0.2. Removing a section makes all submissions connected to that section disappear · Issue #2415 · pkp/pkp-lib · GitHub that can not happen anymore in 3.1

There are no NULL values in section_id column? Do you have any other idea?

No, sorry. See the other things @bozana mentioned above in her post. You could check the id of one of the issues and the track down from the database if the articles are still there. But this looks a bit unpromising.

I found out that here are two files in data_object_tombstones but they are not related to the issues in which submissions are missing. I found that they confused years and number is sometimes written 1 and sometimes 01, but I guess that this cannot cause that submissions are missing.
I found that some original file names in database are present but I do not know how to connect them with issue, metadata so they can show up in issue. Please advise

Hi @vvucic

Hmmm… Do you see those submissions in the DB table submissions and submission_settings? Do you see them in the files folder?


Hello, I see from teh databse table data_object_tombstones that item in that bale should be article:
I do not see that item in Archive of submissions . I guess that it was deleted.
Is it safe to delete that item from data_object_tombstones table?

Hi @vvucic

Those entries in the DB table data_object_tombstone are for the OAI interface, to inform the data provider that a record, that was published once, has been deleted. Thus, they should not be removed.


Ok. But, two complete issues disappeared. We will put them again but is strange how they can disappear although files are on server.

Hi @vvucic

Yes, strange… :open_mouth:

And there are no other links to those submissions, in other DB tables (that contain submission_id/article_id column)?


I suspect that someone who was entering those articles did not manage something properly. So, let them enter those articles again.