OJS 3.1 Authors can see the activity log

An issue on our OJS 3.1 installation was pointed out by an author – after trying to submit a revision, he was then able to see the whole activity log of the paper (see Screenshot). He is enrolled as an author and reviewer in the system. So far, we upgraded our old OJS 2.4.8 to the current stable release of OJS. I tested it for another Reviewer and Author enrolled user and got the same result. Only author enrolled users cannot see the activity log. The problem is that the author can now see the emails and thus the rewiever names.

Hi @bternes,

Is this OJS 3.1.0-0, or OJS 3.1.0-1? If it’s OJS 3.1.0-0, then you may be encountering issue 3070.

Regards,
Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team

Hi @asmecher,

we are currently running OJS 3.1.0-1.

Hi @bternes,

I’m unable to reproduce this myself with a user that is assigned as an Author, even if that user also has a Reviewer role. No Activity Log link appears.

As an Administrator or Journal Editor, can you go to the Users page and look up the associated user? Click the Edit User option and look at what roles that user has assigned. Let me know what roles the user is assigned there so I can try to reproduce this.

Also, if the user is assigned to the submission as a Participant, what roles do they have assigned there?

Hi @NateWr,

the user is assigned as “Section Editor, Reviewer and Author” in the system. So far, i didn’t recognize that he is also Section Editor. Nevertheless, he shouldn’t see the activity log when submitting a revision as an author, or?

The user is assigned to the submission as an author.

Hi @bternes,

At the moment, the system takes account of a user’s global roles to determine what they can and can not access. This is under discussion in order to allow their per-submission assignments to take precedence, but as you can imagine there are a lot of specific user-cases to cover. You can read more in this issue.

I’ll flag up your use-case there to ensure it gets considered as we make adjustments.

I think that this is a very high priority issue that is raised here.

The section editor role has been suggested as a work around to a situation where an editor will submit also her own articles for review. See for example @asmecher’s answer here: Hiding editor’s own article including reviewer identities?

If the situation really is as described above (the user has both section editor and author roles, but in that submission she is only assigned as an author), the whole role/permission level of a section editor becomes basically useless.

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We temporarily removed the role “Section Editor” from the users to “ensure” a double-blind review process. I think this is – as stated by @ajnyga – an important issue, because it is common that section editors submit articles and thus the role combination section editor and author is basically useless.

Thanks for both the support @asmecher, @NateWr and @ajnyga and flagging the use-case to GitHub.

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Let’s see what @asmecher thinks. I’m not as clued into how common this specific use-case is. Fixing this one thing – removing the activity log when a user is assigned as an author on a submission – would be fairly straightforward. But I’d like to address it alongside the more comprehensive review we’re doing of the multi-role access issues in the issue I linked above.

In my experience this is something that journals ask for constantly. I think that I have instructed the use of section editor role for this purpose at least for 5 journals in our installation alone. It seems to be fairly common that a person closely working with a journal also sends in manuscripts.

Of course using the section editor role is not ideal and that is why I suggested this a while ago: New role (permission level) to to solve a central problem in OJS But there can be other solutions as well of course.

Hi all,

I think Section Editor roles are used in two relevant cases:

  • When a journal wants an Editor to sometimes act as a Reviewer; as pointed out above, until we have a solution for issue 3130, it’s what editors have done in the past to permit editors to perform blind reviews
  • Journals may also pull guest editors from their reviewer pool, e.g. for a single issue

One question about this particular issue: is the Section Editor assigned to the specific submission that they’re also reviewing? If so, what is the use case for that?

Regards,
Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team

Hi,

I am referring (and also the issue I linked, other similar issues can be found from the forum) to a situation where the editor wants to submit her own papers, so basically act as an author. Reviewers are relevant here only because this issue is compromising blind reviews.

If I understand correctly the scenario above is that (correct me if I am wrong):

  • user has both the author and section editor roles in the journal
  • the user has submitted an article as an author
  • the user can now see the activity log and the names of the reviewers just because she has the section editor role in the journal (section editors should only see details of assigned submissions)

So no stage assignment as section editor to that submission, but the user can still see the activity log thus breaking the blind review.

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Hi all,

It’s correct what @ajnyga has written: The user has been assigned as Section Editor, Reviewer and Author and has submitted an article as an author to our journal. Unfortunately, he is currently able to see the activity log and therefore the reviewer names.

We primarily assigned users with the Section Editor role regarding the first relevant case @asmecher pointed out. Additionally, but rarely, for coordinating special issues and request reviewers for these papers.

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Hi all,

For everyone interested in improving OJS’s behavior when a user is assigned as both editor and reviewer, or both editor and author – we could use your help with some quick testing!

The very talented @NateWr has posted his proposal for these changes at issue 3130 – if you’re handy with git and can confirm whether this meets your expectations, we would very much appreciate your feedback. We’re trying to release OJS 3.1.1 with this change included in the very near future.

Thanks,
Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team

Hi, I’m using ojs 3.2.1. It’s possible hide review panel to author? The editor does not want the authors to see the number of reviewers who have replied or the date of the last update of the submission.

Thanks

Hi @gtibana,

See: https://github.com/pkp/pkp-lib/issues/4092

Regards,
Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team

Thanks @asmecher

I’ll expect for this inclusion in 3.3
Until soon,

Hi @gtibana,

That issue has not currently been scheduled against a specific release; when it is, you’ll see the release under the “Milestone” field in the Github entry. It’s also still waiting for a clear decision. If you have concrete feedback on the things being discussed there, I’d encourage you to add it to the github entry; we depend on feedback from users to make decisions that are helpful to the whole community.

Regards,
Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team