Once Upon a Time There Was… a Scientific Journal (III)
Once upon a time… the emergence of internet led to the digitalisation of academic journals, although many publications retained their physical formats. This technological leap made it necessary to create new tools to help transform old journals into WWW digital content and run newly founded web journals. And thus, at the beginning of the 1990s, a whole new horizon of possibilities and needs opened up associated with the creation, publication, and dissemination of scientific and academic information.
A series of programmes emerged principally designed to help manage tasks related to the publishing world in general and electronic journals in particular. Some, like Bench Press, Editorial Manager and Manuscript Central TM, were payware, while others, like DPubS, GNU EPrints, Hyperjournal and Open Journal Systems (OJS) were free. This last programme, OJS, is currently the most widely used, and it’s the one we implemented in VAD.
“Open Journal Systems (OJS) is an open source journal management software created by the Public Knowledge Project and released under a GNU General Public License.”
PKP OJS is a comprehensive academic journal management tool which, thanks to communal development, now has several versions (the latest is 220.127.116.11) and includes plugins for importing/exporting content and metadata, themes, etc.. It is also interoperable with digital libraries, web search engines, and directories/indexes like DOAJ, Redalyc, Google Scholar, Crossref, PubMed and Scopus. The continuous growth of the PKP community has made it possible to correct errors and increase functions, which are hosted at GitHub.1
OJS covers all the facets and needs of online journal publishing, from hosting on a web site to operational tasks like submission processes, peer reviews and comments, editing control, publishing, and archiving content. It also offers a certain amount of choice regarding design (depending on the theme chosen), the structure of the journal, and the monitoring of the work done by editors, reviewers, and authors, while aiding correspondence and reader notifications. In short, it is a fairly comprehensive tool which allows many procedures to be automated. Full information can be found in the manuals available at the programme’s web site and also in this online article.
After our own little experience with VAD. veredes, arquitectura y divulgación, we recommend two things. The first is to install the programme on a test server to try out different functions and that way learn how it works. The second is to contact a professional IT consultant capable of providing advice and solving any problems that may crop up, because although the programme is fairly stable it still requires a certain amount of familiarity with programming.
You never know when a programme might decide to crash, and it may be at the most inconvenient moment. Also, don’t forget to check on the forums. The problem might already have been listed and solved.
See related posts:
- Alonso, Alberto: Once Upon a Time There Was… a Scientific Journal (I) (April 2020)
- Alonso, Alberto: Once Upon a Time There Was… a Scientific Journal (II). (May 2020)