Proposal for OJS Abandoned Submissions Cleanup Plugin

1. Justification: Over the years, the accumulation of abandoned submissions on Open Journal Systems (OJS) has become a significant issue, consuming valuable server resources. As depicted in Figure 1 (attached), a typical journal site with 1000 submissions often harbors a substantial number of abandoned submissions. This phenomenon not only hampers system efficiency but also poses a challenge in terms of data management and storage. To address this concern, we propose the development of a plugin designed to automatically or manually clean up these abandoned submissions.


Figure 1: Print of Abandoned Submissions on a Journal Site with over 1000 Submissions.

2. Plugin Functionality: The proposed plugin, if someone possesses the capability to develop it, should perform a thorough examination to identify submissions that have not been finalized. The key criterion for identification would be the last modification date in the database. By filtering based on this date, the plugin aims to avoid inadvertently deleting submissions that might still be in progress, allowing users a chance to resume their submissions.

3. Cleanup Mechanism: Upon identification of abandoned submissions, the plugin will execute a cleanup process. This process involves the removal of relevant data entries from the database associated with incomplete submissions. Additionally, the plugin will responsibly handle attached files, ensuring the deletion of any associated files that are no longer needed. The goal is to free up server space and optimize the OJS system by removing redundant and obsolete data.

4. Benefits:

  • Efficient utilization of server resources by eliminating unnecessary data.
  • Optimization of database performance and responsiveness.
  • Enhanced user experience as cluttered interfaces are decluttered from abandoned submissions.

5. Future Considerations: Potential future enhancements may include advanced filtering options, user notification mechanisms for impending submission deletion, and integration with OJS updates for seamless functionality.

By implementing this plugin, OJS administrators can effectively manage and maintain a clean database, promoting a more streamlined and resource-efficient journal submission process.

We hope to have a plugin later this month that will help with removing incomplete submissions.

Please see it:


Very nice proposal @Hugo_Melo!

@abadan Please let us know when your plugin get ready!


Thank you for the info!
I will be waching close for the development of the plugin, good work for you guys.

1 Like

Is there a deadline/timeline to release this plugin/tool?

I know this is not the right way, because clearly any uploaded files remain in our /files folder, but for incomplete submissions or uploaded only for testing purposes (therefore without attachments, so to speak), once you have seen the ID just go to the database and delete hence the string.
in the meantime it could be useful to those like me who had a series of test submissions made when ojs was installed for the first time.
in order not to waste too much time with the ids I actually sorted the submissions by date_submitted eliminating all those with a NULL value.

what do you think I did something dirty? :slight_smile:

I found your tip very valuable, especially regarding the submission date being ‘null.’ However, upon analyzing the database, I noticed there are several different tables: submissions, submission_artwork_files, submission_comments, submission_files, submission_file_revisions, submission_file_settings, submission_search_keyword_list, submission_search_objects, submission_search_object_keywords, submission_settings, submission_supplementary_files, submission_tombstones, etc.

I believe that simply deleting a submission by its ID in the ‘submissions’ table will leave various remnants in other tables, which I think will have a greater impact than the ‘submissions’ table itself. Performing this manual task on all tables would be too costly.

We don’t have an estimated date yet. Our expectation is to launch it in November, but we are implementing 3 other plugins (sponsored by customers) this month and, depending on the availability of our team, it may take a little longer.

We are making an effort to be as early as possible. I’ll let you know as soon as I have news!

1 Like

yours is certainly a fair observation. however I only deleted the submissions with title and that’s it, without even the uploaded files. probably that tables you mentioned could be empty

There are times when an author thinks they have completed a submission but they really have not. I doubt if there is a simple criterion to detect such cases consistently, but at least when a file has been uploaded I wouldn’t want to remove the submission without a quick look by a human.

We have a preliminary version of the plugin. Please follow updates via this issue: Tools to clean old incomplete submissions · Issue #4540 · pkp/pkp-lib · GitHub


Hello @abadan. I have the pre-release v0.1.2 installed and configured in my journal, but how to know if it is working? Since we don’t have access to the abandoned submissions.
If you have an idea of how we can check if it is working please let us know.

Thx for all the effort!