Planning tool plugin

Hi! In our editorial board, we are looking for ways to collaboratively organize future thematic issues online, where there are no manuscripts to be submitted yet. Instead of using yet another platform, it would be great to be able to do this within OJS itself. We’ve been abusing the Issues >> Issue Data >> Description text field, but that’s hardly ideal and very fragile. I’ve already looked for plugin that would provide very simple and generic “Discussion-Board with File-Attachment”-style functionality but was not successful. Any suggestions?

Hi @cboulanger,

Interesting idea. I don’t know that a plugin that meets this profile exists. Your idea of using the description is somewhat of a makeshift solution, but it is an informal conversation or notes on an issue, you might want to link off to a shared, private Google Doc, or similar cloud service that allows for more easy discussion. It might be interesting to have the ability to have an internal recorded discussion within OJS that is independent of any submission (right now any discussion threads are tied to submissions), but I think you’d want to consider to what extent such a conversation needs to be recorded within OJS and if it needs to remain private (e.g. if an editor left the journal, if it would be necessary to pass it on to the editor’s predecessor). You could post an issue on this on our Github issues page and see about community / developer interest there: GitHub - pkp/pkp-lib: PKP Web Application Library

I’m not sure what your coding skills are like, or if you have access to developers or other resources to be able to develop a plugin on your own, but here is our plugin development guide to give you a sense of the process involved in developing a plugin: Plugin Guide for OJS and OMP

Best regards,

PKP Team

Hi @cboulanger,

Just to add – the “Discussions” tool you’ll see peppered around the workflow actually works something like what you describe, but at a per-submission level, not a per-issue level. I think adapting that code to apply outside the submission context would be doable and have interesting opportunities elsewhere. (In the code, a “discussion” is referred to as a “query”.)

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team

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@rcgillis @asmecher Thank you very much for your replies and the suggestions! On second thought, what we would actually need is a “virtual issue”, i.e. one in which contributions which not yet have materialized could be added without having to go through a fake submission process. If there was a way to add a submission to future issues outside of the review process with just a description containing author and a working title, then the rest of the machinery, such as the “Discussions”, or the file uploads would be completely sufficient for our needs. I’ll look at the resources you provided. In theory, I think I could could contribute such a plugin, however not anytime soon, unfortunately.

But then again, it would also be useful to also have place to store general data (such as a table containing some aggregated metadata which is not available through OJS such as the word count of all current and planned articles). From experience, our editors are very reluctant to set up yet another account, that’s why I am looking forward to something that will “just work” from inside OJS.

Rather than integrating the functionality into OJS, it would probably be easier to write a plugin that embeds an already existing Open Source solution such as Humhub or OwnCloud etc. and use OJS as an authentication and account data source. Alternatively, configure both OJS and the external platform to use a yet another authentication provider.