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Creating and Running an Open Access Journal


Everything takes longer than you think it will, and running a journal is no exception. Each step, from getting submissions and peer-reviewers to publishing the issue may take much longer than you think, especially for your first issue.


  • When setting up your journal on OJS, give yourself lots of time to learn how to use the platform, design the website, and create some policies for the journal.
  • Work backwards from the date you want to publish your first issue. How much time will you need for tasks like:
    • getting submissions
    • choosing and contacting peer-reviewers
    • waiting for peer-reviewers to submit their comments
    • revisions
    • copy-editing
  • Build a team for the journal, and each take on a specific role or two. That way, one person is not responsible for every task on their own.
  • You might find that you won't have enough time for each task, especially if you are new to running a journal or have many other commitments. Be willing to be flexible, and make note of how long each step took for the next issue.

Journal Information and Set-Up

Once you have logged in to OJS, go to your Dashboard by hovering over your username. The Dashboard is the back end of your journal. Each option on the left corresponds to a different part of the journal management system.

Key features of each:

  • Submissions: this is where new submissions are found, where editors and reviewers are assigned to articles, where peer-review takes place, and where editorial decisions are made.
  • Issues: this is where volumes and issues of the journal are created.
  • Settings: this is where journal information is edited, website design takes place, workflow decisions (like how long peer review takes) are made, and distribution options (such as copyright license options) are found.
  • Users & Roles: a list of existing users, and what permissions are assigned to different roles (like editor, author).
  • Tools: tools for importing and exporting article information.
  • Statistics: a variety of statistics about the journal.

This video series will walk you through each part of the Dashboard of an OJS journal. This tutorial was made for OJS 3.0, and the current version is OJS 3.3, so some aspects may look slightly different until the new video tutorial series is uploaded. If you have additional questions after watching the video that corresponds to your question, please contact scholarly communications librarian Erin May.

Submission Workflow: From Abstract to Issue

This video series very clearly walks through the entire editorial workflow: