# Inclusion of superscript, subscript and special characters in the title of an article title in OJS

We have accepted an article that has chemical formula and special character (column, :, to be precise), and the title on the title field in OJS is different from the one in the manuscript. How can I input correct characters in the title field in OJS?

Hello @glintplus,

Thank you for your inquiry. Currently, OJS does not support special characters in the title field. This is a feature other users have requested this change and there is an open issue for it in PKP’s Github repository, where we manage and track our software development: Inconsistent HTML display in article titles.

Please add a comment to the issue to let our developers know this is a community priority. You just need to create a free Github account in order to comment on issues.

I hope that this clarification is helpful, but please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Kind Regards,
Patricia
Public Knowledge Project Team

Hi all,

Just to note that the title field does support UTF8, so special characters are allowed; UTF-8 includes many super and subscript characters; Google “UTF-8 superscript generator” to find web-based tools to generate these, which can be copy/pasted into title fields.

This is not a complete solution, as some journals will want more complete HTML and/or MathJAX support in title fields, which is what Patricia referred to above.

You may be able to support MathJAX in titles (and other fields) by using the custom header plugin to include the MathJAX javascript in your journal website. However, note that MathJAX-style scripts in title fields will be passed verbatim to downstream services like CrossRef and Google Scholar, which might not know what to do with them.

Regards,
Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team

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Thank you very much for your response @pmangahis and @asmecher. I will comment on the topic as you have suggested. However, I wish to know if colon sign, :, will be accepted if I follow any of your suggestions, @asmecher?

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Hi @glintplus,

Do you mean a colon symbol? You can enter this in titles without any problems.

Regards,
Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team

Hi, @asmecher!

The problem is that the page having title and abstract is not saving which I thought the input of colon caused. Please see the message displaying when I try to save revised title and abstract as attached.

Hi @glintplus,

I don’t think the colon could be causing this, unless your server is somehow configured outside of OJS to reject this character (e.g. a mod_rewrite rule). One of our test submissions that’s part of our automated testing process includes a colon in the title, so that case is known to work fine.

Is there any more information on what the problem is, other than the note in the screenshot? What happens when you click to “Jump to next error”?

Regards,
Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team

Thank you @asmecher.

Nothing happens when I clicked on it.

There is no more messages than what I’ve shared.

The abstract does not exceed the required number of words.

The issue may be due to our recent upgrading because we recently upgraded to OJS 3.3.0-6 and the error is common to all our journals.

Hi @glintplus,

And just to confirm, when you remove the : character (but don’t change anything else), does it start working?

Regards,
Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team

No, @asmecher.

Re-saving exactly what is there without changing anything gives the error.

Hi @glintplus,

Can you try removing the colon symbol and re-saving? That will help confirm whether or not your suspicion about that character is correct.

As another investigation, I’d suggest opening your browser’s web developer console and checking to see what the response your server is giving to the browser when you attempt to save the metadata. For example, is it a 200 (OK) code, or a 403 (Forbidden)? This will help ascertain whether something on your server is preventing OJS from receiving the data you’re trying to save.

Regards,
Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team

The page is not saving at all, even when the title and the abstract are not edited.

From the console, error 400 (bad request) was displayed. See attachement

Thanks

Hi @glintplus,

The 400 Bad Request is not coming from OJS; I’d suggest checking your web server’s logs and seeing if you have a security tool like mod_security that may be intervening.

Regards,
Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team

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