About a year ago I looked at using OJS for our new journal, but I quickly gave up for several reasons that are not relevant to discuss here. Our society currently has two journals that “sort of” run on OJS. They don’t use the reviewing part, and they don’t use the editing process. They only use it for hosting. As a result, they have to do a lot of manual work to import the papers into OJS, and the process often involves errors along the way.
After I gave up on OJS, I started building a system to compile LaTeX in the cloud and extract metadata from it during the compilation process. A paper on this appears on arXiv and the Tex User’s Group journal in 2023. The system is nearing completion, and produces PDF/A along with crossref XML to register for a DOI (including the bibliographic references, multiple affiliations, ROR IDs, funding information, etc). It also has a copyedit workflow built into it, but that is optional. I’m now considering whether to write an OJS import plugin. The way I imagine it happening is that authors would be directed from OJS to the external system to upload their final versions, and then OJS would import the PDF/A and metadata once it is completed. The journal could choose between which copy editing workflow to use, so that the paper is either imported before or after copy editing. There are advantages to using the external copy editing platform, because it recognizes many problems that arise during the LaTeX compilation phase (e.g., missing DOIs on references, missing metadata, widows, orphans, etc).
I assume this would be useful for journals in computer science, mathematics, and physics (possibly others like economics). I know it would be useful for our journals. There are two questions however:
- are there any successful examples of an import plugin? When I looked in the past, the only import plugin was barely functional and kept breaking when new versions of OJS rolled out. The sample plugin is an export plugin, and it’s not clear what schema is stable for imports. The external system is written in python, but I can also write PHP. It would use a REST API to the external system.
- is there sufficient demand for direct OJS support for LaTeX?