Some small things we'd like to see


Hi PKP folks,

Having used OJS 3 for a few weeks now and I have two small requests:

  1. We would like the be able to search for submissions by Manuscript Number - this option does not appear on the pull-down menu when searching in Submissions

  2. Editors (even the Editor in Chief) are locked out of the editorial workflow for an article if they are also assigned as reviewers (or assign themselves) on pieces they are handling. It seems that the Review assignment overrides the Editorial assignment completely, even after the review process is competed. We occasionally have to assign an Editor to be a Reviewer as well for various reasons. On the old OJS 2.x, any user could choose how to view their stuff (e.g. as Editor, Reviewer, Author, etc.). In OJS 3 you can’t, which is fine until a conflict like this happens.



Editor/Manager and Reviewer - is it possible to see workflow?
How to view as Editor or Reviewer?

Hi @DavidMW,

On searching by submission ID, there’s an issue for that including patches you should be able to apply to OJS 3.0.2. The next release, OJS 3.1, will include a rewrite for the submission lists; that will also include an ability to search by IDs.

On sharing both an Editor and a Reviewer role on the same submission, we are currently collecting use cases on that, but are concerned about the basic incompatibility between blind reviews and editor access to a submission. Can you describe your requirements for this in more detail?

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team



I’ve faced the same issue (2) as reported by @DavidMW. In OJS 2.x the user had more control over the role he wanted to perform at any moment, and in OJS 3 it is more general. Is it possible to return the user “roles view” as in OJS 2?

Best regards


Hi @digitojs,

This rigid separation between roles led to one of the most common criticisms of OJS 2.x – that the role structure was inflexible and arbitrarily imposed on a situation that often had users jumping between roles.

Since a major part of OJS is a blind peer review workflow, I’d still wonder about the root causes behind needing to assign a user as both Editor and Reviewer. If we simply permitted Editors to view full submission details for submissions they’d been assigned to review, that would violate a blind review.

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team


Hi @asmecher,

Thank you for your time.
I understand what you explain, it makes sense, but authors keep asking for that option. If one user is registered in several journals and with different roles, sometimes they get confused or frustrated because of the roles they want or should be performing at that moment in that journal. It is mainly because of this reason, it isn’t that intituitive for them sometimes to operate like this.
The remaining information you are already aware of it, concerning that Editor/Reviewer ambiguity…sometimes there are “ghost” operational needs to be taken care of.
Nevertheless, I would be interested in developing some “view” of this issue.

Best regards


Thanks for addressing the ID issue.

On the editor / review issue, there are several reasons: one is that it is increasingly difficult to get people to peer review and when there have been multiple refusals and time presses, sometimes an editor will review a piece in order to get the thing done. This happens in every journal whether editors will admit to it or not. It’s not something any of us would want in an ideal world, we discourage it, and it’s not that common, but that’s the reality of the situation.

In any case, 1. OJS is not purely a blind peer-review system and never has been - the current options are ‘double-blind’, ‘blind’ and ‘open’ ( see the Review section of the Workflow setup), plus the previous versions allowed significant flexibility; 2. I am not sure that OJS should try to build in morality as any particulr developer sees it, the software should do what users need; and 3. the previous categories made sense, it was just that the way the user interfaced with the categories that were problematic (having to decide to use the system as one or the other from the user home).

In conclusion, I can’t see why it shouldn’t be possible to split the reviewer and editor views in the current system even if they appear on the same page, just as the ‘My Assigned’ and ‘My Authored’ sections are separate. What I am asking for is the ‘My Assigned’ section to be split into 2, i.e. ‘My Reviewing’ and ‘My Editing’ (or similar).

All the best,



Hi all,

We’re not trying to build morality into the system, just trying to figure out a way to improve current behavior that doesn’t also shoot us in the foot. The current behavior is not at all refined – it’s basically a placeholder for further work to pick up on once we figure out a good route.

I’m currently leaning towards improving the editor’s ability to enter a recommendation on behalf of a reviewer. This is useful for other cases, such as when a reviewer returns a review by email. With this, an Editor would be able to assign themselves, and perform the review via their normal editorial interface, which does not promise or deliver any kind of blindness. This would be a more “honest” way of accepting an Editor review than having the editor dive into the reviewer workflow, which does include reviewer guideliness, blindness considerations, etc.

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team


I second the request for and Editor or Section editor to proceed with the editorial workflow if he or she is also a reviewer.

We have assigned one person asa Technical Reviewer: she goes through the submission early on to see that it complies with our requirements. She is also section editor, but once she starts a review, she has to go around loops to access the submission again.

We have gone around this problem by creating another account for her, but ideally, this could be easily done in other ways.

MAybe have a section in the Submissions as My Reviews, seperate from the other lists?




Hi @ssciberras,

Is this supposed to be a blind review?

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team


In this case, the reviewer is a technical person, who reviews the article for compliance with out instructions to authors.

She hence would not be reviewing the submission for editorial matters, hence it would still be a blind review.



Hi @ssciberras,

Have you considered using the Discussions tool for the technical assessment? It’s available e.g. at the bottom of the Submission stage for Editors, Section Editors, etc.

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team


Hi @asmecher
what is submission ID?
My problem is my OJS system has 6 journals, it is difficult to find a paper if it does not have a particular manuscript number for identification.
For example, the submitted file can be downloaded with a file name like this “139-Manuscript-271-1-2-20180125”. I understand 139 is the article ID, is it possible for the name to be shown somewhere?
thank you.


Hi @mujiec,

In OJS 3.x, the file name is constructed (when the file goes to the user’s computer) as follows:


…with the following components:

  • submission_id: Also known as article ID. This is a serial number, and not journal dependent (i.e. submission_id 1 in journal A will be followed by submission_id 2 in journal B).
  • genre_name: See the “genres” list in setup
  • file_id: A unique identifier for the file in the system (notwithstanding revision below). As with submission_id, the sequence applies across all journals.
  • revision: When an existing file is revised, the new file will have the same file_id but an incremented revision, e.g.: file_id 123 revision 1 will be revised as file_id 123 revision 2.
  • file_stage is a number representing the location in the workflow where the file appears. (See `lib/pkp/classes/submission/ for a definition of these constants.)
  • timestamp: An indication of when the file was uploaded.
  • ext: File extension

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team


Hi @asmecher,

I am following the discussion on allowing an editor also to work as reviewer for a pretty long time now. I understand your arguments on “blindness” but when I counted right, there are at least 9 requests for this feature and only some complicated workarounds are suggested yet. There are several use cases described by users. So why not leave it to the journal manager to decide, if they will allow this for their journal? E.g. with an “enable button” within the workflow settings?
Our Editors would very much welcome this :slight_smile:



Hi @sabrinaeck,

Please be patient – we’re a small team with a lot of priorities :slight_smile:

This is under active development and should be released in OJS 3.1.1 in the near future.

As OJS is free software, we depend on community help – contributing code, supporting PKP financially, helping with translations, documentation, etc.

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team


Hi @asmecher,

we very much appreciate the work you are doing - and you are really doing a great job! And I always wonder how you can handle the lot’s of requests and suggestions in this forum …
Thanks for the perspective with OJS 3.1.1 … and as you see, I myself I am not ables to keep up to date with at least the topics I am interested in :slight_smile:

Thank you
Sabrina Eck


Hi all,

For everyone interested in improving OJS’s behavior when a user is assigned as both editor and reviewer, or both editor and author – we could use your help with some quick testing!

The very talented @NateWr has posted his proposal for these changes at – if you’re handy with git and can confirm whether this meets your expectations, we would very much appreciate your feedback. We’re trying to release OJS 3.1.1 with this change included in the very near future.

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team