Submit an Article -> Upload Submission for journal stuck in the file upload step

Description of issue or problem I’m having:

A journal has custom domain, it fails to create new submission being stuck in the upload file step. Please see attachment.

Steps I took leading up to the issue:

  1. log in this custom journal, then go to Dashboard click on Submission, click on New Submission top right, then follow onscreen instruction to check all required boxes, then click on Save and Continue that will take you to Upload Submission
  2. Click Add File top right and browse for a file on your computer. The upload will get stuck as seen in attached screenshot.

What I tried to resolve the issue:

Searching the web, tried uploading different files and types, no message found in error logs.

Application Version - e.g., OJS 3.1.2:

OJS 3.3.0-8

Additional information, such as screenshots and error log messages if applicable:

1 attachment.


Please help us out and thank you so much in advance.



Hello @dung,

Do you have access to your PHP error logs and can you share any relevant error messages here - that might help to identify the problem.

Best regards,

PKP Team

Hi @rcgillis ,

I have full access to the server, this error does not seem to show in the logs but I am attaching here anyways.

I can always reproduce the issue if you want to see it in a remote session, I will be happy to show.

Thank you so much for your time!



log 1 (freshly generated just before the error):

[Tue Jan 04 09:52:53.744346 2022] [php7:notice] [pid 39572] [client] ojs2: 404 Not Found, referer:
[Tue Jan 04 09:59:05.320813 2022] [php7:notice] [pid 39798] [client] ojs2: 404 Not Found
[Tue Jan 04 10:01:35.039624 2022] [php7:notice] [pid 40006] [client] ojs2: 404 Not Found
[Tue Jan 04 10:09:24.632205 2022] [php7:notice] [pid 40624] [client] ojs2: 404 Not Found

log 2 (freshly generated just before the error):

[Tue Jan 04 09:28:02.950744 2022] [php7:notice] [pid 37916] [client] ojs2: 404 Not Found, referer:’A=0
[Tue Jan 04 09:28:15.405010 2022] [php7:notice] [pid 37921] [client] ojs2: 404 Not Found
[Tue Jan 04 09:29:43.788356 2022] [php7:error] [pid 37991] [client] script ‘/var/www/html/ojs/xmlrpc.php’ not found or unable to stat
[Tue Jan 04 09:33:02.910172 2022] [php7:notice] [pid 38245] [client] ojs2: 404 Not Found
[Tue Jan 04 09:36:27.852490 2022] [php7:notice] [pid 38442] [client] ojs2: 404 Not Found
[Tue Jan 04 09:36:56.758504 2022] [php7:warn] [pid 38439] [client] PHP Warning: Illegal string offset ‘en_US’ in /var/www/html/ojs-3.3.0-8/lib/pkp/classes/core/ on line 133, referer:
[Tue Jan 04 09:36:56.758533 2022] [php7:warn] [pid 38439] [client] PHP Warning: Cannot assign an empty string to a string offset in /var/www/html/ojs-3.3.0-8/lib/pkp/classes/core/ on line 133, referer:
[Tue Jan 04 09:36:56.758543 2022] [php7:warn] [pid 38439] [client] PHP Warning: Illegal string offset ‘fr_CA’ in /var/www/html/ojs-3.3.0-8/lib/pkp/classes/core/ on line 133, referer:
[Tue Jan 04 09:36:56.758546 2022] [php7:warn] [pid 38439] [client] PHP Warning: Cannot assign an empty string to a string offset in /var/www/html/ojs-3.3.0-8/lib/pkp/classes/core/ on line 133, referer:
[Tue Jan 04 09:36:56.779461 2022] [php7:warn] [pid 38439] [client] PHP Warning: Illegal string offset ‘en_US’ in /var/www/html/ojs-3.3.0-8/lib/pkp/classes/core/ on line 133, referer:
[Tue Jan 04 09:36:56.779490 2022] [php7:warn] [pid 38439] [client] PHP Warning: Cannot assign an empty string to a string offset in /var/www/html/ojs-3.3.0-8/lib/pkp/classes/core/ on line 133, referer:
[Tue Jan 04 09:36:56.779500 2022] [php7:warn] [pid 38439] [client] PHP Warning: Illegal string offset ‘fr_CA’ in /var/www/html/ojs-3.3.0-8/lib/pkp/classes/core/ on line 133, referer:
[Tue Jan 04 09:36:56.779504 2022] [php7:warn] [pid 38439] [client] PHP Warning: Cannot assign an empty string to a string offset in /var/www/html/ojs-3.3.0-8/lib/pkp/classes/core/ on line 133, referer:
[Tue Jan 04 09:37:30.893895 2022] [autoindex:error] [pid 38507] [client] AH01276: Cannot serve directory /var/www/html/ojs/public/journals/41/: No matching DirectoryIndex (index.php,index.html,index.php) found, and server-generated directory index forbidden by Options directive, referer: The Closure of Rideau High School: A Case Study in the Political Economy of Urban Education in Ontario | Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy
[Tue Jan 04 09:42:26.572398 2022] [php7:notice] [pid 38832] [client] ojs2: 404 Not Found
[Tue Jan 04 09:48:08.921398 2022] [php7:notice] [pid 38844] [client] ojs2: 404 Not Found, referer:
[Tue Jan 04 09:50:33.123136 2022] [php7:error] [pid 39177] [client] script ‘/var/www/html/ojs/wp-login.php’ not found or unable to stat
[Tue Jan 04 09:50:33.372194 2022] [php7:notice] [pid 39177] [client] ojs2: 404 Not Found
[Tue Jan 04 09:53:54.804368 2022] [php7:notice] [pid 39662] [client] ojs2: 404 Not Found
[Tue Jan 04 09:54:17.126254 2022] [php7:notice] [pid 39715] [client] ojs2: 404 Not Found
[Tue Jan 04 09:57:32.342520 2022] [php7:notice] [pid 39929] [client] ojs2: 404 Not Found, referer:
[Tue Jan 04 10:03:05.635118 2022] [php7:notice] [pid 40293] [client] ojs2: 404 Not Found
[Tue Jan 04 10:06:48.813683 2022] [php7:notice] [pid 39803] [client] ojs2: 404 Not Found
[Tue Jan 04 10:13:42.564495 2022] [php7:notice] [pid 40690] [client] ojs2: 404 Not Found
[Tue Jan 04 10:14:15.299178 2022] [php7:warn] [pid 40938] [client] PHP Warning: ini_set(): A session is active. You cannot change the session module’s ini settings at this time in /var/www/html/ojs-3.3.0-8/lib/pkp/classes/session/ on line 69
[Tue Jan 04 10:14:15.952372 2022] [php7:warn] [pid 40942] [client] PHP Warning: ini_set(): A session is active. You cannot change the session module’s ini settings at this time in /var/www/html/ojs-3.3.0-8/lib/pkp/classes/session/ on line 69

Hi @dung,

Thanks for sharing. Not entirely sure what is going on here, but I will pass it along for some of our other team members to have a look at when they are available.

Best regards,

PKP Team

Good Morning @rcgillis ,

I have spent quite a bit of time (with other colleagues) we found out for some reason that this problem will only happen on a *custom domain names for example:

We are hosting multiple journals/instances as opposed to single instance/journal. So we have a **main domain name which has many journals such as:


then we also have other *custom domain names for some other journals (each domain name is for one journal only) because there is a need for that such as:



… and a few more (I will attach its configuration to show you) …

Again for some reason this UPLOAD problem is only happened on *custom domain name such as (https->:// So I am wondering if it is possible for the configuration of *custom domain names to interrupt the upload process (or interrupt the javascript if any)?

In a sandbox environment where we do not have *custom domain names this problem does not happen.

Here are my multi ojs instance related configurations:


; Usage stats warnings: system can't remove the base url - #6 by ajnyga
; ** main domain name

base_url[hic] = “History of Intellectual Culture
base_url[49parallel] = “49th Parallel Ejournal
base_url[ajer] = “Alberta Journal of Educational Research
base_url[arctic] = “ARCTIC
base_url[ariel] = “ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature
base_url[cpmss] = “The Calgary Papers in Military and Strategic Studies
base_url[cjeap] = “Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy
base_url[cjnse] = “Canadian Journal for New Scholars in Education/ Revue canadienne des jeunes chercheures et chercheurs en éducation
base_url[cjpe] = “Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation
base_url[cjt] = “Canadian Journal of Transportation
base_url[cmej] = “Canadian Medical Education Journal
base_url[ai] = “Canadian Perspectives on Academic Integrity
base_url[currents] = “Currents: Scholarship in the Human Services
base_url[em] = “Education Matters: The Journal of Teaching and Learning
base_url[ep] = “Emerging Perspectives: Interdisciplinary Graduate Research in Education and Psychology
;base_url[esjlegacy] = “Engaged Scholar Journal: Community-Engaged Research, Teaching, and Learning
base_url[fd] = “Functional Diversity
base_url[ijnss] = “International Journal of Nursing Student Scholarship
base_url[jah] = “Journal of Applied Hermeneutics
base_url[JournalCA3] = “Login | Journal of Central American Art and Archaeology
base_url[jet] = “Journal of Educational Thought / Revue de la Pensée Educative
base_url[jisd] = “Journal of Indigenous Social Development
base_url[mbr] = “The Journal of Mind-Body Regulation
base_url[jura] = “Journal of Undergraduate Research in Alberta
base_url[opuscula] = “Opuscula: Short Texts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance
base_url[pplt] = “Papers on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching
base_url[sppp] = “The School of Public Policy Publications
base_url[srs] = “Login | Science, Religion, and Society: An Interdisciplinary Journal
base_url[tigrants] = “
base_url[UCJURI] = “Login | University of Calgary Journal of Undergraduate Research and Inquiry
base_url[ugrad] = “Login | University Graduate Research and Academic Database
base_url[test] = “Login | Journal of Important Things
base_url[TLI] = “Teaching and Learning Inquiry
base_url[wprs] = “Login | Werklund Peer Review System

; *custom domain names

base_url[cdm] = “
base_url[jhs] = “
base_url[jmss] = “
base_url[rcc] = “
; DISABLED because TLI took over domain for splash page
;base_url[TLI] = “

_ I can also helping out with debug if you can tell me where to inject debugging code.

Thank you so much for PKP support!



Hi @rcgillis

I now found the error, I think it will probably be useful for you. Can you please have a look at it?

[Mon Jan 10 11:10:57.009192 2022] [php7:notice] [pid 127316] [client] PHP Notice: Undefined index: submissionFileId in /var/www/html/ojs-3.3.0-8-prod/lib/pkp/controllers/api/file/ on line 40, referer: https-://

Using error message, I found there is a code change in this new version 3.3.0-8 from previous version 3.2.1-4 I am wondering if that causes the issue?





Access log and Error log combined:


Thank you so much!


Hi @dung,

The file is probably not the culprit. This file is invoked when uploading a file during the submission workflow (ie - Review Files, Revisions, Files for Copyediting, etc). It is not invoked during step 2 of the submission wizard in 3.3.0-8.

I suspect the problem is related to domain configuration and the base_url. Unfortunately, I’m no good at this, but probably someone in our community is running in such a configuration and will have some ideas.

In the meantime, can you tell us what the HTTP response is? In the first screenshot, you showed the Console log. There’s a Network tab there and inside of that there should be a XHR tab. When you upload a file, you should see a record of the XHR request(s), and you can inspect the Request and Response. If you can show us both the Request and the Response we might be able to deduce something from that.

Hello @NateWr




Thank you Nate for your work!


Thanks, that files request is the one we’re interested in. Did it really take 45.8s? That’s a red flag for sure.

If you click on the request (just the “files” text), you should see more details about the request like this:


Can you show us the Headers, Payload, Preview and Response tabs? The Response may not fit on the screenshot, so you can just copy/paste it.














Thank you Nate.



smaller .txt file:





Please read # Timing breakdown phases explained in the above url as you mentioned the time and STALL status can possibly be issue.

Thank you!


I tested with giving permission 777 on files_dir still does not help.

*Also I want to share that this issue does not happen on a server where we do not use custom domain name such as

as oppose to Login | Contributions to Discrete Mathematics

**However the issue does happen with non-custom domains with some specific files such as the one attached here below:

Thank you for any help.

If you need anything kindly let me know.

Hi @dung,

Hmm, I can’t tell what’s going on, unfortunately. I did notice that there seems to be a 302 redirect in one of the screenshots.


The first files request has a 302 status and then a 200 status. I wonder if this is causing the problem. Can you look at both requests to determine the Request URL? (This was the small .txt file that worked.)

My guess is that maybe the API call leads to a 302 redirect, but that on large files this is causing it to fail for some reason. But I’m definitely out on a limb here. How large is the .pdf file?

Good Morning @NateWr ,

Thank for looking into it.

It never worked for small .txt or any files on a custom domain configuration.

The difference between a successful upload and unsuccessful upload is that the unsuccessful upload will result in Chrome’s debug network console status “stalled” as I pointed out in this thread previously.

The .pdf had 522 kb that will upload successfully on my local development Win server with the same OJS version.

What do you think of this article? http - Understanding Chrome network log "Stalled" state - Stack Overflow

Do you think the problem is with server/apache config? or network firewall/proxy? or is it the js code?

I really appreciate your time!


It’s looking likely to be something like this. The requests look correct (they go to the correct URL and have the right payload). I’m still curious about that pair of requests with 302 / 200.

But it’s looking like a server config thing and I’m afraid I can’t be much help with that.

Hi everyone (and @Dung nice to chat with you again),

Just coming in to offer my two cents here. If there’s a XHR request occurring and a 302 redirect happening, you may be moving cross domain, and in those requests are not allowed unless you specifically allow them via a CORS policy. You may not even be seeing the errors here because (if like us) they may be getting logged in an apache log file for a different domain, or maybe the browser console is logging them instead. I see a lot of web developer console screenshots above but I don’t see anything shared from the javascript console.

This is a bit fresh in my mind because we host a journal that is the only journal in an installation using a custom URL. To prevent cross-journal access on the custom url, there are Apache mod_rewrite rules that send requests for other journals to the normal base URL. I had originally forgotten a case where requests to API calls (which do not go through index.php) were not being allowed through and those were being redirected to the regular installation domain and thus being blocked due to the default CORS policy not allowing them.


Thank you @NateWr and @jnugent

Should I allow custom domains in CORS policy, safe? Our University has proxy server in front of our OJS server, on which one do I config to allow CORS policy (my OJS server or Proxy server), notice that I do not have access to University proxy server.