Reader Roles & "emailed_notification"

Upgrading from OJS 2.4.8 to 3.1.2.

According to https://docs.pkp.sfu.ca/learning-ojs/en/user-accounts#reader
Readers receive a notification email with the publication of each issue, which includes the Table of Contents for that particular issue.

How is this related to the setting “emailed_notification” in notification_subscription_settings table migrated from OJS 2.4.8?

Hi, not getting any response to this query, so thought I’d elaborate on the circumstance leading to my question:

AJOL was an early adopter of OJS, starting with the original OJS 1 and eventually upgrading to OJS 2 around 2009. Because of various issues resulting from the early uptake, the system has been quite heavily modified, although I’ve been working on it for some years now doing various upgrades (currently on OJS 2.4.8), and trying to remain as close to OJS core code wherever possible.

AJOL is also quite complex due to the size of the installation, currently supporting 525 live journals (with over 178 000 articles in close to 15 000 issues). Some journals are open access and some have their full text pdf’s behind a paywall.

One major modification that was done years ago, was to create a site-wide registration system, where a user would automatically be enrolled to all 500+ journals upon registration. At the time, in order to limit database growth and improve system performance (being situated in a developing country we’ve always had problems with slow internet and limited resources in general), AJOL got rid of the ‘Reader role’ requirement, and programmatically assumed all users had the Reader Role (0x00100000), else 300 000 registered users registered in 500 journals would inevitably result in millions of records just to manage Reader roles.

Each user could then select which journals they wanted to receive notifications for and this was recorded in table notification_subscription_settings with setting ‘emailed_notification’, which it seemed standard procedure up to OJS 2.4.8.

We’re currently upgrading to OJS3 and one of the last items on the to-do-list is to decide how to proceed with the Reader Role scenario, bearing in mind we’re generally using the upgrade as an opportunity to get our code in line with core OJS code wherever possible. In the past, OJS documentation has been rather sketchy, so I was pleased to find a definition of the Reader Role at https://docs.pkp.sfu.ca/learning-ojs/en/user-accounts#reader
“Readers receive a notification email with the publication of each issue, which includes the Table of Contents for that particular issue.”

This leads to the following questions:

  1. How is this related to the “emailed_notification” setting in notification_subscription_settings table as migrated from OJS 2.4.8?

  2. What other purpose does the Reader Role have in OJS 3?

  3. If that is the sole purpose of the Reader role, should the notification_subscription_settings simply be migrated to Reader roles instead?

Perhaps @ajnyga or @asmecher has some input?

Regards
Jannie

Hi,

Firstly, the documentation has an error there. The notification does not contain a TOC. It just says “A new issues has been published”. I think the old issue notification in OJS2 had a TOC.

  1. My understanding is that the emailed_notification setting is not used at all in OJS3. OJS3 uses that table for storing data about blocked notifications that you can control with a form from the user profile in tab called “Notifications”.

The form has a selection also for “New issue” notifications.

So the code here for sending the issue notifications will check which of the users have disabled that notification and will send it to the rest of the users.

It will send it to all users with some role in the system who have not blocked that notification type.

  1. I do not know any other reason for reader role that receiving notifications.

  2. Alec can answer this

A counter question: why did you need to give users a reader role to all journals in the first place? Thinking if this was due to something that has been solved in OJS3.

Thank you AJ. The adjustment creating universal Reader roles was made years ago on OJS 2.2.3, so not 100% sure of the logic now, but was probably related to early OJS not being geared towards multi-journal installations. From what I recall, registration was required to access full-text content, then the registration process assigned a Reader role only for the particular journal the user was registering for at the time, which would then enable the user to access the full-text content. With 100’s of journals on the site, registering for each journal was a cumbersome process, so this was a workaround giving users access to full-text on the entire site.

I think you should consider finding out whether such mofification of the core is still needed. By default OJS of course does not require a reader role for reading. It is really just a role that allows you to receive public notifications (new issue, new announcement).

One difficulty we had with a multijournal installation was the submission process. If the user registered in journal A and then tried to submit a proposal to journal B, the system would say that you do not have the needed author role. But that is now changed so that the user is given the author role automatically during the submission process.