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Publishing with Open Journal Systems (OJS)

This guide provides information about how to set up and manage a journal using the Open Journal Systems software hosted by Dalhousie Libraries.

Publishing a Journal with the Dalhousie University Libraries

The Dalhousie University Libraries Journal Hosting Service provides a digital publishing option to the university community using the Open Journal Systems (OJS) online journal production software (a collaborative, open source software project maintained by the Public Knowledge Project).

The Libraries handle the initial set-up of journals, answer questions about how to use the software, and can make recommendations about how to implement the journal. The journal owners are responsible for publishing content, managing subscribers, and customizing the design of the journal. 

Some of the journals we publish:


Assessing Your Readiness

Implementation will go more smoothly if you have taken the time to learn the initial setup of the system first.

  • If you want to customize the look and feel of your site, you will need to be comfortable with editing CSS and HTML or find someone else who is.
  • If you are moving from print to digital publishing, you will need to build a plan for communicating the changes to your subscribers.
  • If you have content hosted on another platform or backfiles in PDF format, it is possible to import the files. We can provide guidance on batch processing if you have a large number of files. Batch processing requires familiarity with XML.
  • If you do not wish some or all of your journal issues to be open access, you will need to determine how you are going to collect payments. As well, you will need to create subscriber lists in OJS and each subscriber needs to be associated be with a unique email address.
  • If you are new to journal publishing, you will need to allow extra time to become familiar with managing the review process.

 The more complex your setup, the more planning and time you will need to invest.

Request a Journal

If you are interested in setting up a journal, contact us and we will set up an initial meeting to talk about your goals and the ways we can help you get started.

If you decide to go ahead with the journal, we will ask you to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (click to see sample MOU) which outlines the Libraries' and the Editorial Team's responsibilities.

We will also ask you some basic information in order to set up the journal.  We will need: 

  • Journal name
  • Preferred abbreviation of the journal name
  • Primary contact person's name and email address
  • Names and email addresses of editorial team
  • A brief description to be displayed on the Libraries' journal page
  • ISSN or eISSN if available
  • DOI prefix if available

Once we have created a shell for your journal using this information, you will be sent login details and you can then begin to enter additional material about the journal, such as its focus and scope, submission information for authors, etc.