How to ALM (unofficial guide)

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A few months ago, a fellow asked about how to deal with ALM, so I wrote this brief unofficial guide.
Take it as is… as a personal experience, with personal opinions. Feel free to comment and improve.


ALM is still under development and, IMHO, not recommended for production sites.
The plugin itself (to enable your OJS as a client), the servers (that collect data) and the human resources involved are in a definition/development process.

You also need to take in consideration:

  1. Some ALM process could take 24 hours to be executed: so your configuration could not be validated at the moment.
  2. ALM works over multiple tools: If something fails, could be in your side (OJS is not configured properly), because of the server (PKP’s side) or an issue with third party services (social networks, biblio sites…)
  3. Some features are not completely developed or could be inestable.
  4. PKP team is working in ALM server right now and this guide could be outdated.

If you are still interested, keep reading…


ALM refers to “Article Level Metrics” and need to be understood under the alternative metrics tools, but this is the only thing in common with altmetric. If you are looking for an altmetric plugin for OJS, this post is not for you.

I other words: ALM is not Altmetric for OJS.

To make it clear and discover what is ALM and what are the alternative metrics, take a look to those posts:

Now that we have a clar idea that we don’t have a clear idea about what are we going to measure, let’s do it.


First, it’s important to understand that ALM is a complex system based on a client/server model:

  1. Your OJS (with the ALM plugin) is the client,
  2. … that will submit articles’ DOIs (unique identifies) and statistics
  3. …to a server (a Lagotto installation).

So, to make it all work, you will need to:

  • Setup your OJS properly: Activate plugins, configure your scheduled
    tasks, setup your statistics…
  • Create an account and request to make submissions to a server: You can do it with Mozilla Persona credentials.
  • An article with references in social networks or biblio sites…
  • A lot of pacience… To see results you must wait because some tasks will be performed once a day.


  • OJS 2.4.3 (recommendation is 2.4.5 or higher)
  • DOIs at articles’ and/or pdf’s level.
  • Credentials to login at the server (recommendation is Mozilla Persona)

SETUP YOUR SYSTEM (in 6 “easy” steps)

Ok, let’s go…

  1. Institution registration:
    1.1. Fill the following form:

  2. Server sign in:
    2.1. Create your Mozilla Persona credentials here:
    Click on “Connect” (top right) and follow the wizard.
    2.2. Create an account in PKP’s Lagotto server:
    Click on “Sign in with Persona” (top right)

  3. Enable the ALM plugin.
    3.1. As a Journal Manager, go to Manager -> Plugins -> Generic Plugins
    3.2. Click “Enable” on the ALM Plugin
    3.3. Click “Settings” and fill in the form.
    —> Note: Your “API Key” can be found at (once you’ve created an account with step 1.2)
    3.4. Publisher request:
    If you assign DOIs, contact with the IP address of your server and API key found on the plugin settings page in OJS (this will be used to enable automatic deposits).
    —> Tip: To be absolutely sure the plugin is correctly enabled:
    SELECT * FROM versions WHERE product = ‘alm’;
    If query returns nothing try registering again with “$ php tools/upgrade.php upgrade”.

  4. IF you want to count PDF views -> Enable extra plugins.
    4.1. Enable “Usage Statistics” plugin.

  5. Setup your cron.
    5.1. If you use the new ACRON plugin, you are done (go to 6)
    5.2. If you use your operating system crontab:
    5.2.1. Disable ACRON plugin
    ------> Where? As a Journal Manager, go to Manager -> Plugins -> Generic Plugins)
    5.2.2. Check your scheduled tasks: Testing the job:
    ------> How? $ php /home/ojs/htdocs/ojs-elcvia/tools/runScheduledTasks.php
    ------> Note: If you got errors, you need to fix them first. Review dates in your DB:
    ------> How? SELECT * FROM scheduled_tasks

  6. Check your scheduled tasks


Q: here are no metrics found. I signed in to and I see that there are no articles in the “Articles” section. In the “Sources” I see that many of them have either “inactive” or “waiting” or “disabled” status. I posted few weeks ago my IP and journal urls as stated in the original post, and what’s next? Should I activate something or wait the sources become active?

A: Sources sometimes become enabled/disabled if something is going wrong with the API calls to the sources. They should become enabled automatically in the coming days. We’re trying to get to the root of what is causing the errors in the API calls. Thanks for your patience.

Q: Do I have to enable “Article View Counts (for Authors only)” in Stats and Reports for PDF Views in Article Metrics to be add up? The Article View Counts seems to not working at all.

A: What you need to make sure is that your OJS is gathering and processing the usage metrics. This is done by the usage stats plugin. It should be activated, and also the acron plugin should be activated if you don’t have a cron job running to process the stats. Check your ojs files folder, at usageStats/archive and see if there is any files there. If yes, it’s because the system is processing your stats. After that, check if the metrics table has records.


This howto is based in work published in OJS forums as well as the following links:


Config Article-Level Metrics OJS
Abstract views, PDF views and Download Stats Made Public :no_mouth:
Authors accessibility to abstract views and downloads stats
How install ALM plugin?

Dear, I did all above steps for tracking PDF files but ALM still not working. Also, I look at many others tutorials bit still nothing. Where I made mistake and what is next step which I have to do?


As is explained in the post, to run ALM you need a server (Lagotto) and a client (your OJS plugin).

AFAIK, ALM server is overwhelmed and not accepting more institutions so right now is not possible to run “Alternative metrics” unless you build your own ALM server installation.

This “common” server was paid and maintained by PKP but it means a hight cost and we are now under-discussion about new models to keep it running.

This video could help to get context:

Note: Without a ALM server is possible to setup your ALM plugin to show local statistics (ie:, but never from social networks, that need to be collected by Lagotto.

ALM Plugin issue

I was wondering if an API key can be reused in other ojs installations?



Also I get “No metrics found.” at the bottom of each article page. Why is that?



If you are trying to setup your ALM installation, follow the guide and describe your issue in a new post.



Hey People,

I have recently installed OJS 2.4.7 but i couldn’t find the ALM plugin. Can someone send me a link on how to add this plugin. Additionally, is it a must to have a Mozilla Persona and Lagotto account to activate the ALM plugin?



Hi @Dein,

The ALM plugin is not being distributed with OJS, but it is available here:

If you get stuck, I’d suggest using the tools on the github repository to file an issue.

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team


Hey @asmecher,

Thank you for the GitHub link.




I have followed all the steps described above. However I get below warning in admin email address:

[Warning] ALM plugin is not enabled in any journal. No article information sent.

It’s been more than two weeks that I have also contacted regarding this. This is while the PDF views ALM diagrams are being displayed for each article.

Thanks for your help.




Has someone got any answer to my last question? I’d appropriate that.



Hi @salehig,

You haven’t enabled the deposit articles setting on the ALM plugin settings. That’s why the task is not sending your articles data to the ALM server and you’re receiving this warning.

And yes, the plugin should work with the OJS internal statistics even if it can’t reach the server or you’re not depositing your articles data.



Hi @beghelli,

Thanks for your reply. I have set “Article information deposit url” to “” based on some old pkp post but this address doesn’t exist. I’m not sure how to enable the deposit articles setting. What value I should set for deposit url?




The url to deposit the data is correct. If you need to deposit it, uncheck the “Automatically deposit article information?” under the ALM plugin settings, and your installation will start sending the article data to the ALM server.

Try that and then check your scheduled tasks log files again, specifically for the Article info sender log, related to the ALM. There you can check if the deposit happened or not.



Hi @beghelli ,

I have unchecked automatic deposit a couple of days ago but I still get:
“ALM plugin is not enabled in any journal. No article information sent.”

I am wondering about this part:
"When contacting PKP to set up the ALM service, please provide this IP address: "

I had emailed ‘’ long time ago and provided the ip address.



PKP ALM service was officially closed a month ago.
If you are still interested in making it work, you will need to setup your own ALM server (lagotto).



Hi @marc,
It is a year plus since you posted the above, but let me take you back a little bit, just a little bit.

Before i set up my server, lagotto etc, shouldn’t i be able to even click on ‘settings’ and see the next form after enabling ‘ALM plugin’ in OJS 2.4.8?. See what i get:

So i hit ‘Settings’ and…

Any help will be appreciated.


Hi @otuya1 ,

ALM plugin is deprecated, since PKP ALM server is abandoned.

I never tried, but you can still make it work if you install and config your own Lagotto server and you point your plugin to your own instance. It’s not trivial.

Once the plugin is installed and enabled (as you did) “settings” link should work.
Without digging into the code I can’t tell you why are you getting this error (just guessing: did you check your plugin files permissions? did you register the plugin correctly? ($ php tools/upgrade.php upgrade) …)

May be @Juan (the author) can point you to the right direction… although, right now, if I were you, I wouldn’t spend much time in ALM.

PKP is working in a “replacement” for ALM that will be released soon. May be @asmecher can tell you more.


Hi all,

This announcement describes the replacement service:

Watch for more information on the PKP blog as it becomes available.

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team