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Scholarly Journal Publishing Guide

Resources for McGill journal editors

Learning OJS3

Tutorials (free with Wordpress login):

Guides and documentation:

Editorial workflow

Implement reviews
Set up review
Ensure blind peer review


In Dashboard>Submissions, click on the article title or author names to go to detailed submission record (shown below). Modify the metadata, check the editorial history, assign tasks to the fellow staff members, and initiate discussions.


Tip! The Role setting determines the list of Participants you can assign tasks to (see Assign your team to their roles). 

Set up review 

In the Dashboard of your OJS account, hover over the Navigation panel and choose Settings>Workflow>Review. You can set up:

  • Reviewing deadlines
  • Automated email reminders for reviewers
  • Peer review type
  • Feedback form for reviewers

Implement reviews 

Tip! If you have reviewers who are new to OJS, send them this 6-minute PKP video tutorial:   Editorial Workflow in OJS 3: Module 6 The Reviewer’s Steps or the YouTube link:  Module 6.

Ensure blind peer review

In Dashboard>Submissions>My Queue (or All Active), click on the article title to access to the detailed submission record. Click on Add Reviewer.

add reviewer

Choose Double-blind, Blind, or Open in the bottom of the pop-up window.

blind review

If you have decided on blind or double-blind peer review type for your journal content, you need to customize the review setting before you proceed to the editorial workflow.

In Settings > Workflow > Review, check “Present a link to “Ensuring a Blind Review” during upload” as shown below:

customize review

With this option chosen, your authors will see an “Ensuring a Blind Review” link when they are making a new submission:

ensure blind review

Clicking on the link will bring out a checklist for removing the identities of the authors and/or the reviewers. This checklist includes:

  • The authors’/reviewers’ names are removed from the manuscript text
  • With Microsoft Office documents, author/reviewer identification can be removed from the properties of the file. In File>Info>Check for Issues>Inspect Document, check the box of “Document Properties and Personal Information,” and click on Inspect. Then click on Remove.
  • With PDFs, you can anonymize the file by removing the metadata. Choose File>Properties>Description, and remove all the personal information about the authors/reviewers.


How do I create a new issue?

How do I schedule an article for an issue? 

How do I publish an issue? 

How do I make changes after an issue is published?

How do I extract usage statistics?

How can I publish articles in HTML?

What are the different roles in OJS (e.g. editor, section editor etc.)?

How can I publish articles as they are ready (rather than releasing an issue all at once)?


How do I create a new issue?

  1. Login (must have editor or journal manager role)
    • Add volume number, issue etc. 
    • It’s helpful to have at least one future issue created. You can assign forthcoming articles as they are ready.
  3. You can go back and edit this information at any time.
  4. Click PUBLISH ISSUE when it's ready to go live


How do I schedule an article for an issue? 

  1. Under SUBMISSIONS--> ALL ACTIVE ands select the article in question.
    1. Note: The article must be in PRODUCTION in order for it to be published. 
  3. Double check the metadata, galley, and other article information. 
  4. Click SCHEDULE FOR PUBLICATION on this screen
  5. Select the issue 
    1. Note: If the issue is already published, the article will immediately go live on the site. 

Note: If you don't see any issues there, refer to the above question about how to create a new issue. 


How do I publish an issue? 

  1. Login (must have editor or journal manager role)

  3. Click the volume number to arrange the article order
  4. Click the blue arrow to expand and select PUBLISH ISSUE
    • Note: You have the option to email all users/readers of the journal with the announcement of a new issue published. 

screenshot of OJS 3 publishing a new issue


How do I make changes after an issue is published?

  1. Login (must have editor or journal manager role)
  2. To edit an Issue, select ISSUES-->BACK ISSUES
    1. Click on the issue in question. Edit directly in the pop-up screen
  3. To edit an Article, click SUBMISSIONS-->ARCHIVES
    1. Search for the article in question and select it. 
    2. Click PUBLICATION tab
    3. Click UNPUBLISH
    4. Make edits and hit save
    5. Click ISSUE tab and ASSIGN to ISSUE
    7. Pop-up will appear, click PUBLISH


How do I extract usage statistics?

  1. Login (must have editor or journal manager role)
  2. Select STATISTICS
  3. View various stats by article views, editorial history etc.


How do I publish articles in HTML?

Once the article is ready for layout, you can elect to publish it as either a PDF, HTML, or both. To create an HTML file, save the final document in Microsoft Word. Click SAVE AS →Web Page, Filtered. You can then upload the HTML document to OJS. 

This is the simplest, most cost-effective method however it does have limitations. Web design software like DreamWeaver etc. could also be used but requires an individual subscription. 

Note: You may still need to make slight formatting adjustments once the document has been converted. Also, columns are not supported in the HTML conversion. 

To publish pictures, when you are uploading the HTML file, make sure to upload each individual picture under IMAGES


What are the different roles in OJS (e.g. editor, section editor etc.)?



Editor Oversees the entire review, editing and publishing process. The Editor, working with the Journal Manager, typically establishes the policies and procedures for the journal. In the editorial process, the Editor assigns submissions to the Section Editors to see through Submission Review and Submission Editing. The Editor keeps an eye on the submission's progress and assists with any difficulties. The Editor also creates the journal issues, schedules submissions for publication, arranges the Table of Contents, and publishes the issue as part of the Publishing Process. Same as editor-in-chief
Section Editor Have access to the entire Editorial Workflow, but cannot make any changes to journal settings. Available predefined Section Editor roles: Section Editor, Guest Editor
Journal Manager Have access to the entire Editorial Workflow, as well as all other journal settings. Available predefined Journal Manager roles: Journal Manager, Journal Editor (formerly “Editor” in OJS 2), Production Manager
Copyeditor  Edits submissions to improve grammar and clarity, ensures adherence to the journal's bibliographic and textual style; produces a clean copy for the Layout Editor to turn into the galleys that will be in the published format of the journal. Can only access Copyeditor stage of process. 
Layout Editor Transforms the copyedited versions of the submission into galleys in HTML, PDF etc. OJS does not provide software for converting word processing documents to galley formats, so the Layout Editor should have access to and be able to use third-party software to create galleys for the articles to appear on the screen in a well-formatted and readable layout. Can only access Production stage of process.
Proofreader Carefully reads over the galleys in the various formats in which the journal publishes (as does the author). The Proofreader (and the Author) record any typographic and formatting errors for the Layout Editor to fix. 
Reviewer  Selected by the Section Editor to review a submission. Reviewers are asked to submit reviews to the journal's web site and are able to upload attachments for the use of the Editor and Author. Appear when assigning reviews in the Editorial Workflow and have access to that stage when they’re assigned.
Author Submit manuscripts to the journal directly through the journal's website. The Author is asked to upload a submission file and to provide metadata or indexing information. The Author is able to track the submission through the review and editorial process — as well as participate in the copyediting and proofreading of submissions accepted for publication — by logging in to the journal's website.
Reader Registered Readers receive a notification email with the publication of each issue. 

*Note: A user may have more than one role. For example, the editor might also be the journal manager. 

See also Users and Roles (PKP)


How do I publish articles as they are ready (rather than releasing an issue all at once)?

  1. Assign articles (see previous FAQ
    • If the issue is not yet live, see previous FAQ
    • Note; You can add a title to an issue such as "Early Release". 



This section of the guide was adapted from the University of Toronto's Journal Publishing Guide.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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