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Conceptually, what is the difference between signing up as a "reader" for a journal, and checking the "notification" checkbox?
In single-journal installations of OJS, users find in their profile a checkbox for "Reader", and another checkbox for "Notification". I actually commented out the "Reader" checkbox because it is so confusing for users (why is this needed?)
Also, there are two db tables, one for roles, another one for notification_status - which one is used as notification flag?
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You can actually control whether users can register as readers (or authors and/or reviewers) from Journal Setup Step 4.1, without needing to comment anything out.
The difference between users requesting notification of new journal content vs. registering as a reader is a little subtle: the journal's editorial staff can email registered readers as a group at any time from their user home, so they can receive other notices, whereas signing up for new-content notifications only will of course limit any emails to that very specific subset. Basically, signing up for notifications allows the user to dictate control over notifications, whereas as a reader they can receive notifications at the 'whim' of the editorial staff.
In my experience with other editors, they have found it handy to have users enrolled as readers as sort of a 'subscribers' list, even if they are open access. The readers list provides them with a concrete user base that they can communicate with; and it can also provide granting/funding organizations with a handy statistic, if needed. There are many possible reasons for wanting an idea on readership; but this function can be fairly easily ignored as well.
The notification_status table is used to store the Notification checkbox information.
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