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Early views, or changing final published version?

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This forum is meant for general questions about the usability of OJS from an everyday user's perspective: journal managers, authors, and editors are welcome to post questions here, as are librarians and other support staff. We welcome general questions about the role of OJS and how the workflow works, as well as specific function- or user-related questions.

What to do if you have general, workflow or usability questions about OJS:

1. Read the documentation. We've written documentation to cover from OJS basics to system administration and code development, and we encourage you to read it.

2. take a look at the tutorials. We will continue to add tutorials covering OJS basics as time goes on.

3. Post a question. Questions are always welcome here, but if it's a technical question you should probably post to the OJS Technical Support subforum; if you have a development question, try the OJS Development subforum.

Early views, or changing final published version?

Postby daviding » Thu Jan 12, 2006 5:57 pm

I've been working with a professional society (as a volunteer), and we've been piloting We're impressed (if not overwhelmed) by the functionality of OJS.

The reviewing / publishing process is a lot more formal that we're accustomed to. In the past, we've published the proceedings of our annual meeting as Acrobat files on a CD-ROM. Last year we tried phpWebSite to manage the abstract submissions, but then ran into some problems with their security routines (i.e. I couldn't provide access without password registration, even though we didn't have much behind the password!)

Our paper submission process is not a rigourous series of formal peer reviews, but instead light reviews, usually by knowledgeable section chairs. We would generally be more comfortable with adding papers as they flow in, around (and maybe even after) the deadline, rather than declaring an issue as completely done, and launching like an ocean liner!

On the whole, we've been changing our business processes rather than changing software. Are there alternatives ways to:

(a) allow early views of the papers "done" so far, without finalizing a complete issue (which seems to lock up the results as a permanent thing)? and/or

(b) change the "final" published versions of the documents, after an issue has been declared as "current"?

The workflow of OJS seems to be a one-way arrow, and we're looking for a little more flexibility so that the community can shared knowledge early. In the end (i.e. after our annual meeting), the web site should be as permanent as the traditional CD-ROM that we burn, but is there some way to get flexibility in viewing content or allowing incremental updates after formal publication?

Thanks for any suggestions.
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Location: Toronto

Postby asmecher » Thu Jan 12, 2006 8:35 pm

Hi daviding,

You should be able to publish an issue and add articles to it as they become available without any trouble; you're also free to step back into the editing process at any point to update files or comments, particularly when logged in as an Editor.

If you're looking for a less formal process (i.e. you don't have use for rigorously defined roles), look at Journal Setup page 4 as a Journal Manager. There you can configure OJS not to use separate copyediting, layout editing, and proofreading roles -- the Editor can perform them directly.

The one part of the equation OJS won't easily address is distributing the finished product on a CD-ROM; you'll have to put that together manually using the finalized HTML or PDF galleys.

Alec Smecher
Open Journal Systems Team
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:56 pm

Editing back issues; XHTML as a format for author submission

Postby daviding » Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:09 am

Alec, thanks for your suggestions.

I had pointed my teammates to your message, and got the following response:
Yes, he’s right. I just hadn’t worked through enough of the site to get this. As editor I can pull up a Back Issue and then add or delete articles (and for us, abstracts)

One of the innovations that we're attempting -- it will be an interesting learning experience to find out how people respond -- is to request paper submissions in XHTML. We've created a shell as a sample, and tested it on NVu and Microsoft Word. The motivation for doing this is that we hope to reduce the effort on layout editing, under the premise that it may be easier for us to clean up bad XHTML (e.g. using Tidy) rather than going the extra step of converting from Microsoft .doc to XHTML.

We'll get some early feedback on this, because our conference submission process is two step: first a preliminary abstract, and then a final paper. If authors choke on XHTML for an abstract, we may have to consider alternate paths for 20-page papers!

One encouraging article XHTML and CSS appears at http://www.alistapart.com/articles/boom . I started with the CSS provided there, and have made some adjustments. So far, the biggest issues are footnotes (as they always are, on web pages!), and blockquotes (which are officially deprecated, but represent semantics, as discussed in http://tantek.com/presentations/2005/09 ... -of-xhtml/ ).

And of course, although Microsoft Word has become a de facto standard in business, there's some philosophical issues with the opacity of the .doc standard since Word '97. (Commentary at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Word and at http://www.goldmark.org/netrants/no-word/attach.html ).

We're just about to launch the XHTML format submission requirement, so I'll keep this forum posted on our progress. (Our society has members worldwide, and doesn't typically have computer geeks, so we're facing a more standard academic audience).
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