[OJS 3.1.2.4] Automatically assigning a user with assistant permission to new submissions

Context: OJS 3.1.2.4.

Journal A => I created a new role for Editorial Board members (EBM) with :

Permission level => Assistant
Stage assignment => Submission only (no other stages checked)
Role Options => Nothing checked

(EBM need to see the files, interact (discussion; send emails) with authors and editors, but not be involved in the review process whatsoever, nor copyediting/production stages) [and yes I’m also contemplating to maybe use a role based on a modified section editor but I really would want to sort out the assistant based role issue I’m experiencing right now].

I was surprised to see that users given this new (and sole) EBM role, all of them, were automatically set as active participants for all the new articles submitted (and hence appearing in the Participants right hand side menu), even before an editor was assigned. I would have expected an editor to assign a given EBM user to a given submission. I observed the exact same behavior with the OJS 3.x online demo testdrive. I also tested (both locally and demo test drive) by adding a new user as a Funding coordinator (with the default parameters for that role set to permission level = Assistant, and first two stages checked) and this user did also appear as an active participant for new submitted articles… (making the author able to initiate a discussion with these users even before an editor could/would step in). However users that have another assistant-based role for another stage, say copyeditor for stage copyediting, are not automatically assigned to submissions (that, to me, is the expected behavior).

So my 1st question is : Is this intended behavior (i.e. having users (which role is based on “Assistant” as permission level for submission stage) being automatically assign to new submissions)? If so, what is the rationale behind this behavior? I don’t understand why my EBM users are automatically set as participants. I would have expected an editor to assign them manually.

So I continued testing many things, creating and deleting users and roles. At the end I had 2 identical roles : EBM1 and EBM2 (same parameters: “Assistant” as permission level ; submission stage only) with designated users that would have only one of those role and not other. But, once a new submission comes in, EBM2 user is automatically assigned (as is the funding coordinator user) but EBM1 user is not (!). I can’t see what causes that. I looked at the tables underneath (user_groups; they have all the same role_id : 4097 (question #2 would be : how can I get more info regarding role_id in this table (What is role_id of user_groups table)) and question #3 : where else can I look to understand why I get different behavior for the users of those 2 roles. Log files seem ok to me.

Other relevant(?) info: All user’s actions were done by first logging in as admin and than logging as a given user.

Thank you,

Marie-Hélène V.

Anyone here that could give me advices/cues with assistant role’s behavior? I’m still struggling with this and I now have another journal with a similar request for this kind of role :frowning:

Thanks.

Marie-Hélène

Hi @Marie-Helene,

For the users you had given the EMB role to, do they have any other assigned roles?

Kind Regards,
Patricia M.

@pmangahis no other role, just this new EBM role.

Marie-Hélène

Hi @Marie-Helene,

Thanks for confirming, and is there only 1 person that has this role assigned to them?

Kind Regards,

Patricia M.
Public Knowledge Project

Hi @Marie-Helene,

I have consulted with one of the developers of OJS who had indicated that what you’re seeing is an accommodation that was made for small scale journals.

It was designed so when there is only one person available in a journal for a manager or assistant (copyeditor, proofreader, etc) role, that user is automatically assigned to new submissions when they come in.

The moment you assign a second person in the Editorial Board Member role within the journal, this will stop auto-assigning them to a new submission.

Kind Regards,

Patricia M.
Public Knowledge Project

2 Likes

Thank you Patricia! Yes, indeed, when I added another person with that role for the journal, they were not automatically assigned. I will now be able to recommend that route to my journals with this new info you gave me.

Is this (crucial) info about having a sole person automatically assigned written somewhere in the documentation?

And last, may I ask what is “role_id” in the “user_groups” table? Where are those values defined?

Again thank you very much for helping me.

Marie-Hélène V.

I arrive sooo late to this post. :frowning:

@Marie-Helene just in case you still like to know (or for others like me that find this conversation useful), this is how role_id works:

Cheers,
m.