Transferring an established journal from a commercial publisher to OJS?

Does anyone have experience in transferring an established journal from a commercial publisher to OJS-based self management? I am particularly interested in any organizational problems like

  • handling accumulated content?
  • can one transfer the ISSN number?
  • can one transfer the Web of Science registration?
  • what unexpected issues did you experience?
  • did you experience any change in the numbers of submission?
  • were these temporary or permanent?

Many thanks. If you know of any checklists or experience reports, please, let me know.


These are all good questions, we’ve been working with the John Donne Society to get their journal from a print publication to an online, open access, self-managed setup so I have encountered some similar things although we’re still in the middle of it for sure :slight_smile:

When you say handling “accumulated content” do you mean back issues/older articles? I suppose it depends on what you are allowed to take from the current publisher…?

For us, we digitized back issues and then imported them into OJS using the Native XML plugin but it took some doing to get the metadata and files into a form the template could understand. But it did work in the end… it would depend a lot on what format(s) you have for the current articles and their metadata.

When you are asking about “numbers of submission” what does that refer to? We were able to keep the old volume and issue metadata but we imported it directly per the process above. But I think even the QuickSubmit plugin makes you choose a volume and issue to add the article to… not sure how it would get changed so maybe I am thinking of the wrong thing.

For the ISSN, this seems useful:
It would suggest that just a change of publisher doesn’t mean the ISSN has to change.
But if you were changing from print to online, or changing the title, you’d have to change the ISSN. the link above has details about a few other scenarios.

Anyways, happy to give more details if it’s at all useful but they are somewhat different scenarios! Still exciting having more journals moving to OJS :slight_smile:

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