Skip to Main Content
Chat With Us

Publishing with Open Journal Systems (OJS)


OJS at Boston College

Information to assist potential and current ejournal editors

OJS Journal BannersBoston College Libraries provides services and software that enable Boston College faculty, staff, and students to publish online open access journals. Journals publish using Open Journal Systems (OJS), an open source management and publishing system. OJS provides a professional online presence and can be used to manage some or all of the stages of the journal publishing process: submissions, peer review, the editorial process, online publishing, and indexing. Articles are licensed for reuse using a Creative Commons license.

Library staff are available to consult during the planning process, to provide some customization of the journal's appearance, to provide initial training to editorial staff, and to provide ongoing technical support. This guide provides information and resources for both potential and current journal managers and editors through all stages--from planning to publishing.

See our OJS one-pager (PDF) for more information about the benefits of publishing using OJS at Boston College and/or contact us at

Check out the full list of Open Access journals at Boston College!

About OJS

Open Journal Systems (OJS) was developed by the Public Knowledge Project (PKP) and first released in 2001. PKP stats show 34.072 journals using the OJS platform during 2021.

OJS is a roles-based system. Editorial staff are assigned roles and perform specific tasks within those roles. The same person can have multiple roles and switch from one to another to accomplish workflow tasks.

Editorial roles used in our open access model include Journal Manager, Editor, Section Editor, Author, Reviewer, Copyeditor, Layout Editor, and Proofreader.

Workflows in OJS

Workflows within OJS can be simple or complex. A few examples:

  • The simplest way to use OJS is as a publishing platform only. This workflow requires only the Journal Manager and Editor roles (i.e., to create an issue, upload PDFs, and publish). All other tasks are performed outside OJS.
  • A more complex workflow might also include Author submissions through OJS and perhaps also tracking the Review process through OJS.
  • Many journals treat the Editor position as a kind of managing editor or editor-in-chief and assign Section Editors to perform the day-to-day management of an article's progress through the editorial process.
  • Especially for smaller journals, the Copyeditor/Layout Editor/Proofreader roles are often handled by the same person, either outside OJS or tracked within the system.
  • Student journals often use a rolling system of editors, i.e., staff from all class years. This ensures that there are always experienced students ready to take over journal management as seniors graduate.

We will work with you to make sure your journal is set up properly in OJS for the workflow you choose.

See information on the Planning page, including a worksheet with decisions to be made, to help you determine the workflow for your journal.

Scholarly Communication Librarian

Profile Photo
Elliott Hibbler
he / him / his
O'Neill Library
Subjects: Copyright, Law