OJS Workflow Flexibility

A number of our editors have mentioned that they find the OJS workflow difficult or cumbersome and only use OJS for some of the editorial workflow. They have described their interaction with the OJS platform as follows:

  1. They receive author submissions via OJS
  2. They then communicate required edits to author submissions outside of the OJS system.
  3. Both editors and authors then hit a ‘road block’:
    • editors in being able to re-upload annotated manuscripts including required edits post peer-review
    • authors in understanding how to re-upload corrected manuscripts - it does not appear in their workflow when logged in as author

When using OJS to manage the complete editorial workflow (not the quick submit process) can I just confirm -

  • for paper versions to comfortably move thru each stage in the system eg from submitted version - to peer-reviewed edit request - to author corrected final version - to final published version - editors MUST use internal emails (or at the very least press the ‘skip email’ option if they communicated via their own personal emails outside of OJS
  • OR is it possible for editors to ‘jump in’ at say, the post-peer-review stage and upload an annotated file which the author can then see in their active submissions workflow?

How flexible is the OJS workflow?


Hi @rcoughlan,

The OJS 2.x workflow is fairly fixed and linear, and we’ve incorporated a lot of feedback on that into our forthcoming OJS 3.0 release. We’ll be releasing a beta for testing purposes in August and will work out a schedule for the 3.0 final release shortly thereafter based on feedback.

Meanwhile, I wonder if you couldn’t use some of the setup options to better facilitate capturing communication within OJS. OJS is intended to capture and archive communication, so if you’re using parts of it but contacting authors directly for other parts, it’ll fragment the record and make OJS cumbersome to use because your workflow doesn’t match its linear model.

OJS’s workflow is intended to be telegraphed via emails; every time the responsibility for a stage goes from one person to another, there should be an email received by the new baton-holder indicating that they have something to do. It should also link directly to the workflow area where they have to perform that work.

If those emails aren’t working for you, can you outline where they fall short? Perhaps I can suggest some configuration tweaks that’ll help.

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team


Thanks for this!

I’m still a fairly novice user of OJS. I’m wondering – does PKS or might PKS be open to offering a webinar for our Queen’s editors on OJS. I would provide guidance on the specific aspects they wold find most interesting to explore.

This would be really appreciated by a good number of them.

Our instance of OJS is hosted by OCULhttp://www.ocul.on.ca/ Scholars Portal in Ontario. Perhaps I should contact them directly about this – but thought I’d pop the questions here too.

Hi @rcoughlan,

We would be more than happy to host a webinar for you! Queen’s is a PKP Bronze level sponsor (https://pkp.sfu.ca/sponsors), which includes 1 hour or free services and support each year: https://pkp.sfu.ca/sponsorships/

Could you email me at kmeijerk@sfu.ca so we can figure out the details? Thanks!

Best regards,
Public Knowledge Project Team