# symbols appears in our main page, visible for readers

We are using OJS 3.0.
Our journal has a good appearance, except for this:
in several spaces of our web the symbol #, as a code, appears instead the clear link.

For example:
##journal.viewAllIssues## instead http://ourweb/ojs/index.php/ourjournal/issue/archive (the “code” links to our page, correctly, but the appearance is horrible).

Into the article page, appears this message: ##submission.howToCite.citationFormats## before the citations.

It seems that the visible web, the interface, has a problem with the programmation code, but we don’t know what it is.

Thank you!

Hi @Isabel-M,

Is this English, or another language? Do you use OJS 3.0.0, or OJS 3.0.1?

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team

Dear asmecher,
the site is in Spanish. I’m using English (or trying it) :slight_smile:

The site uses

Thank you!

Hi @Isabel-M,

I think the Spanish translation is incomplete in 3.0.0. I’d suggest upgrading to 3.0.1 – that should resolve the problem.

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team

Hi @asmecher,

I have installed OJS and still have the same translate issue.

Maybe there’s a lost translation, but I don’t know where I can modify or add the correct translation.

Please help. We have to publish on Sunday!!!


Have you tried to reload the locale from the site settings? But NOTE, I think that it could affect the custom email templates, if you journals has them. I am not sure.

Or have you tried the translator plugin: GitHub - pkp/translator: PKP Translator plugin for OMP 1.1.1+ and OJS 3.0+


Thanks for the immediate answer, I add the translation on lib/pkp/locale/es_ES/submission.xml and it works. I had to compare that file with the one located on en_EN, the ##journal.viewAllIssues## was missed on the submission.xml of es_ES, maybe that’s the reason of the translate problem. I also had 3 or 4 other translate issues like this, so I follow the same procedure in other folders, and it works.

I do most of the small fixed just by editing the xml files with a text editor, so that is fine as well. However, when you upgrade next time, your changes may be lost if the next release does not have that key translated.

Dear Alec, @asmecher , we are using OJS
We have already the same problem.

This way appears the content on our web:

The problem, as you can see, is some information appears with ##symbols. It seems some plugins are not translated to these latest versions.

In our admin intranet, the information is like this:
symbols ojs

Our journal and journal’s intranet are in Spanish.
How we can solve this problem?

Thank you in advance.

Hi @Isabel-M,

The best start would be to upgrade to OJS 3.0.2 (the latest release), as the translation is at least partially updated there.

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team

our site is having the same problem. what exactly did you do so solve the issue? did you install the translator plugin? if so, how do you make a backup of the database? thank you!

Hi, in resume I compared the archive placed at lib/pkp/locale/es_ES/submission.xml with the lib/pkp/locale/en_EN/submission.xml
If you try this, the es_ES/submission.xml file may not have some lines of code. So if this lines are missed in the file, try to copy the corresponding lines from the en_EN/submission.xml file. I remember that the text were quoted, so if there is no line (example: ##journal.viewAllIssues##) yo have to copy that line from the en_EN/submission.xml file to the es_ES/submission.xml file and complete the missing text with the correct translation.
When I try this, the translator plugin don’t work very well for Spanish language.
The same error could appear in other .xml files, so you can repeat this procedure for similar pages. Always using the en_EN files for reference, and comparing their code lines with the es_ES .xml files.

I hope it could be useful also for you.

Best regards

i just realized that our cpanel does not have an en_EN folder. our site is in english.

Mmmmm… are you looking at the files of the OJS folder? If you have CPanel you can use the file editor to search for the submission.xml file. The folder which contains the submission.xml file is the one you have to use to follow the procedure I described.

Hi all,

Note that it’s usually en_US for United States English and not en_EN as you wrote above – notwithstanding PKP’s Canadian birthplace :slight_smile:

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team

which lines should i specifically look for? can you give me an example? our site is in english. where will i base the procedure you gave if i will only use english? thank you.

Hi alec! Thank you for this information.

i think i already understand this. it seems that en_US is not “activated” that is why only the codes appear and not the exact text. how do i “activate” this? when i go to website settings and in the languages tab, the language page is blank.

Hi @cxl,

A blank page usually means a PHP error occurred. What do you see in your PHP error log?

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team


This is what our languages tab looks like. There are no Error Logs shown in our cpanel as well.