OJS download for MAC -OR- how to deal with the web-only version

Hi everyone,

I have been brought on as a new editor of a journal where only the online version of the OJS is used. We just follow the link and log into our journal and there’s a page with just a few links. You can’t do much at all besides read and leave notes. We haven’t been using a downloaded application.

So I have a few questions:

  1. If I continue to use the webpage-only version, is there a way to make new folders and move submissions into them? I also can’t find a way to set notifications for comments or decisions on submissions. The Help Guide provides zero help.
  2. I tried to download the OJS app onto my Mac and couldn’t get access to anything except read files. Not sure what I may have done wrong here. Is there a trick for getting the app to work on Macbook Pro?

I would appreciate any help you can provide! I’m at a loss here and am not at all technologically savvy. Thanks so much for reading!

Cheers, Sunny

Hi Sunny,

I’m not really sure what you’ve been using up to this point, but OJS is a web application that runs on a web server, requiring a database. There is no downloadable application, per say. Typically journals using OJS use web hosting or have an IT staff at their institution maintain the software for them.

What did you download? Can you provide a link?


Dear Jason, Thanks so much for your response! Now that you’ve said this, I wonder if I have the correct OJS… I’m attaching a photo of what the website looks like when I log in. Also, here’s the link with the download: https://pkp.sfu.ca/ojs/ojs_download/
I would love to hear your thoughts!
All my best,
Pluralist site

Hi @sunnywilliams

Okay, so that’s correct, and you appear to be using OJS version 2. OJS is a web-based application requiring a web server and a database server, and as such there isn’t an easy way to run it on a Mac, as an “app”. You would need to set up all of the web environment in order to accomplish this (run your own database server, and so on).

PKP does host documentation for OJS2, although that is the old version of the software. You can find it here:



Thank you so much, Jason!
So, I’m guessing this would mean that whoever is running the server for the journal could update it to the more recent version of OJS, and then I could access that via a weblink?
Alternately, I do have a PC. Would it be worth it to download it on the PC to get the updated version? Or must it be updated from the main web server?
Finally, I appreciate this link so much and I’m going to start perusing it. Do you know, off the top of your head, if this OJS2 version allows for notifications or creating new folders? I can’t seem to find anything on that.
You’re the best!

Hi @sunnywilliams

There’s no app for PC either. There really is no way to run this on a home PC without a fair amount of IT knowledge.

I’m not quite sure what you mean by “creating new folders”. OJS has a workflow for submissions, and it manages files and storage locations internally, and that can’t be manipulated by users. For notifications, the version of OJS that your journal is using should create notifications on its own as submissions move through the workflow. It is tightly integrated with the software.


Thank you again so much, Jason! I’m going to see if I can figure out where this server is located and who is running it, and hopefully, there can be some progress (or at least an upgrade to the new version) from this point. I really appreciate your direction!

With gratitude,