From single to multiple OJS installs

We have a single OJS instance hosting various journals, and thus sharing the same database of users. However, Journal managers do not have rights on users of their journals which registered first in other journals. We think the best solution is to split the instances so that each journal is hosted by one instance.
Question: is there a better way to do that, in order that no journal looses anything in the process ?
Thank you for any hint.

Hi Claude,

Can you describe why you’d like to split your journals? It’s certianly a possibility, but it’s a one-way trip, so make sure you really want to do it first.

As for how to do it, you can clone your installation into as many copies as you want, then under Site Administrator, delete the journals you don’t want from each cloned install to leave just the content you want to have there.

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team

Hi Alec,
Thanks for the hint.
We face problems with sharing the same database of users, which can be actors in various journals, but the JM of a given journal cannot login as some users since they are first enrolled in another journal. We do not want to give administrator rights to JM because of deontology (one JM could be author in another journal). Also, some journals want to give less rights to section editors, which imply some modification of the standard code, like restricting the right to give the final decision, while some other want to keep as it is. Since there are only few journals, we feel that it may be better to split the instances to ease the various managements.


Hi Claude,

Agreed, those are good reasons to split into multiple installations. If you’re curious, there are some community-contributed tools for managing groups of installations – see e.g. – but if you’re only looking at managing a small number of installs it’s probably not worth the time.

At PKP we use git heavily to manage hosted installations of OJS and have found it to be very helpful when dealing with modifications.

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team


We have an ojs installation with one journal. We’ve created a new journal in this site and set it up via our admin account. We want this new journal to be launched under a new domain name which is purchased. I was wondering if in this case we need to have a second ojs installation. Do I need to have a second copy of ojs codes under the new name in our server?
Is there any other settings which needs to be done except adding a line of code in as this:

base_url [new_journal_name] = new_url

Would you please guide me on that?

Thanks in advance

Hi @salehig ,
you can manage individual domain name for each journal within one OJS installation through these steps:

  1. Edit your httpd.conf to add virtual hosts
  2. Edit of the OJS and set base_url
  3. Edit .htaccess file for OJS

Here you can find a detailed guide:

Hi marchitelli,

Thanks for your reply.

I tried to follow the instruction. However there is an issue in directing the url which I couldn’t fix it yet with RewriteRules.
I have set base_url [journal2] = “
also in the journal setting via admin account I have set the “path” as “journal2”.

However when I click on links like about and archives it goes to with a 404 error. Although both of below links work fine:

In my htaccess file I have:

RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /index.php/journal2$1 [QSA,L]

Neither RewriteRule ^(.)$ /index.php/journal2/$1 [QSA,L] nor RewriteRule ^(.)$ index.php/journal2/$1 [QSA,L] worked.

I am not sure what I am doing wrong. Would you please give me some guides?


Did you edited apache configuration (http.conf) setting up journa2 virtual host?

Hi @marchitelli and @asmecher
Will this still be a solution for OJS 3.x please? Is the instruction still the same?

Hi @Dilan_Rostam,

Which instructions are you referring to? There are several subjects discussed in this thread.

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team

Dear @asmecher

I was referring to the instruction that @marchitelli has posted above.

Thank you

Hi @Dilan_Rostam,

Yes, OJS 3.x is the same as OJS 2.x in this regard.

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team


Will the user of Journal A in one OJS 3 installation still have access to Journal B and Journal C …? or users will be specific to ONE valid Journal that they register with please?

Hi @Dilan_Rostam,

OJS will still have a central set of users (though they can e.g. have several roles in one journal, none in another, and a different set in a third). The approach @marchitelli describes only affects the URLs that the journals will appear at.

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team

Thank you @asmecher,

We are trying to decide whether we should have separate OJS 3 installation for our two journals or combine them in one OJS 3 and have separate subdomain for them.

Kind regards

How do I separate (split) a journal from multiple journals installation and then add it again to the multiple journal installation in separated database and installation? So, when I click the name of the journal in the multiple journals, it will be redirected to the separated journal installation?

Thank you

Hi @Dilan_Rostam

Short time ago, I started a project about publishing multiple journals having individual domains on single OJS 3 installation.

Although I read many documents, I couldn’t handle it, but a freelancer programmer wrote the right code for it.

You may see test site here:

I can’t share his code here because of my respect, but you can contact him at I can say that it is technically possible to remove index.php and journal path, and publish each journal on its individual domain like an enterprise publishing company. I couldn’t test the DOI Registration plugin yet since we register DOIs via a third party reseller. If you have got success on that point, can you share your experience on DOI registration via OJS plugin?A great thanks to OJS developers.