Getting started with Open Journal Systems

The Library now offers hosting and training for those at UChicago who want to start an open access journal

As part of its commitment to increasing open access to research, the Library is offering a new service for University of Chicago faculty, staff, and students interested in open access publishing. The Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship will provide journal hosting on the Open Journal Systems (OJS) platform and expertise in getting started, training for editorial boards on OJS’ infrastructure, and support for establishing an ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) that will catalog and index the journal in major discovery systems.

OJS is a flexible platform that supports every stage of the editorial process, from manuscript submission to final publication of each issue. The system allows each journal’s editors to customize editorial workflows to meet the needs of a wide variety of publications. For example, OJS supports blind, double-blind or open peer-review workflows, but can also streamline the peer-review process as needed. OJS additionally supports a wide variety of administrative and editorial roles with different functionality and permissions (e.g., editor, section editor, peer reviewer, copyeditor, layout editor, and proofreader), but can also be implemented more simply for straightforward publications, such as technical report series. In addition to supporting the editorial and production processes, OJS provides a customizable interface that allows journals to create their own look and feel, provides author tools such as online article submission and tracking, and provides support for sharing via social networking platforms.

Why open access? Create an inclusive scholarly environment

This service will allow members of the University community to publish free online journals, research or technical reports, working paper series, and related types of scholarly publications within their disciplines that are readily available to all scholars regardless of academic affiliation. Open access journals help researchers create work for highly specific scholarly audiences while still sharing research and data with broader communities. They also provide a means for scholars to share their work outside of traditional publishing models that paywall critical research.

Open Access platforms also help researchers create higher visibility and impact for their scholarship, avoid topic duplication, and can speed innovation in science and engineering disciplines, as shorter editorial timelines mean researchers can have faster access to contemporary research. Open Access platforms also serve a public good by providing the means for researchers to share their federally funded research with communities whose lived experiences either make up the data points or may be affected by policies resulting from that research, and by providing accountability of taxpayer spending.

In this way, the OJS platform creates and supports an inclusive scholarly environment for researchers regardless of level of department or individual funding to share their work with their academic peers and practitioner communities, which then allows the Library to expand its overall information resources.

Contact Us

Those interested in using this new publication service should contact the Center for Digital Scholarship for a consultation to discuss and evaluate your needs and determine what associated services the Library can provide to ensure your open access publications can fully participate in the scholarly ecosystem. Contact to schedule a consultation about Open Journal Systems or other open access-related publishing inquiries, including information about Knowledge@UChicago, the University’s institutional repository.