In spring 2018, the University Libraries began offering Open Journal Systems (OJS) as a journal management and publishing solution for Ball State faculty. OJS enables faculty to create a wide range of scholarly communications, and present them in a professional manner online.

An open-source software developed by the Public Knowledge Project (PKP), OJS was designed to aid researchers in every stage of creating a peer-reviewed open-access journal. OJS provides journal management during different stages of the publishing process: submissions, peer review, editorial process, publishing, and indexing. All content is submitted and managed online, and journals can use OJS for all or some of the publishing stages.

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The cover for the Summer 2021 (Vol 13. No. 1) issue of the Journal for Social Action in Counseling and Psychology

OJS offers a highly configurable editorial process, allowing for a wide range of user roles. Each user role comes with a different set of permissions and abilities, which can be tailored for each stage of the production workflow. For example, a user might have a proofreader role during the Copyediting stage, but not during Submission, Review, or Production stages. Currently, OJS offers 17 possible roles, which journals can assign as needed. Journals can use as many or as few roles as needed, and users can have multiple roles in the same journal.

Additionally, OJS allows for integration with other important scholarly publishing services. The University Libraries has started registering OJS content with Crossref, assigning Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) to journals, issues, and articles. DOIs permanently identify content and allow readers to easily find documents in citations.  The Libraries plans on adding an ORCID integration, allowing authors to link their work to their personal ORCID profile.

OJS uses the COUNTER metric, which allows publishers and vendors to report usage in a consistent way. OJS collects statistics on journals, issues, and articles, allowing the Libraries to generate usage reports. The Libraries also enroll journals in Google Analytics and manages that aspect for journals.


A journal article from the Spring 2020 (Vol. 6 No. 1) issue of Fine Focus

A journal article from the Spring 2020 (Vol. 6 No. 1) issue of Fine Focus

The Libraries provide administrative, planning, and technical services for journals using OJS. Libraries personnel aid and consult in the editorial and publishing workflow, copyright and metadata management, getting ISSNs and DOIs, and a wide range of technical and general support questions. Currently, Micah Gjeltema, Open Content and Digital Publishing Librarian, Donald Williams, Copyright and Scholarly Communications Manager, and Katie Bohnert, Library Scholarly Publishing and User Interface Analyst, work to support journals through the journal production process. For a list of current journals published through OJS, please see