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usability issues for authors revising manuscripts

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usability issues for authors revising manuscripts

Postby jmir » Sat Apr 07, 2007 5:48 am

Am I the only one who needs to constantly fix usability errors authors make when revising the manuscripts? I keep getting emails from authors along the lines of "Attached you will find the revised manuscript, a letter explaining the responses to the reviewers' comments, and a multimedia appendix" and then they upload all three documents as manuscript revision / as attachments rather than uploading them in the right places. This is fatal as these additional files disappear once one of these files is selected by the editor for re-review.

I keep having to explain to authors that they are NOT supposed to upload all three files (responses to reviewers, manuscript revision, supplementary file) using the manuscript revision upload or the file attachment.
- Responses to reviewers must be pasted into the email, so that they will become part of the author/editor email log
- Supplementary files must be uploaded under " Add a Supplementary File" in the summary tab

I don't blame authors to not find the right spots.

What's needed is a structured process for authors uploading a revised manuscript and the accompanying material.
Resubmitting a revised manuscript must follow the following steps (these steps must be enforced so that authors can’t do anything wrong)
Step 1: Enter responses to reviewer comments (will become part of the editor/author email log).
Step 2: Upload exactly ONE manuscript file (point out that supplementary files can be uploaded separately)
Step 3: Upload 1-n supplementary files (stress that these should NOT be responses to reviewer comments etc.
Step 4: Notify editor (do automatically if author skips sending an email) – responses to reviewer comments should automatically show up in author/editor email log.
jmir
 
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Postby asmecher » Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:56 pm

Hi Gunther,

Clarifying/streamlining the appropriate steps for authors to follow when uploading revised or supplementary files is on our wish list; the reviewer process, for example, has served us better, although 1) there's always things to be improved and 2) there are always users who will not read/follow instructions.

In the meantime, no files are getting lost -- at the worst, you'll need to retrieve them by looking at the submission's event log and using the Journal Manager's file browser. No files are deleted by OJS except in very specific circumstances, such as author submissions that have not yet been through the 5-step submission process.

Regards,
Alec Smecher
Open Journal Systems Team
---
Don't miss the First International PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference
July 11 - 13, 2007, Vancouver, BC, Canada
http://ocs.sfu.ca/pkp2007/
asmecher
 
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Postby jmir » Tue Apr 10, 2007 12:37 pm

Yes, there are always users who do not read the instructions. Hence, the number one usability rule is to design a system intuitive enough so that no or very few instructions are needed. This isn't the case in OJS2.

And it is little consolation to say that the files are not deleted - if reviewers just send attachments or upload supplementary files and responses to reviewers as manuscript files, then these files are virtually inaccessible by the editor once a manuscript is accepted or goes to the next peer-review round, as they appear from the editors' view. In the event log there are no direct links to the files. So the editor has to piece this together using the filebrowser.


asmecher wrote:Hi Gunther,

Clarifying/streamlining the appropriate steps for authors to follow when uploading revised or supplementary files is on our wish list; the reviewer process, for example, has served us better, although 1) there's always things to be improved and 2) there are always users who will not read/follow instructions.

In the meantime, no files are getting lost -- at the worst, you'll need to retrieve them by looking at the submission's event log and using the Journal Manager's file browser. No files are deleted by OJS except in very specific circumstances, such as author submissions that have not yet been through the 5-step submission process.

Regards,
Alec Smecher
Open Journal Systems Team
---
Don't miss the First International PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference
July 11 - 13, 2007, Vancouver, BC, Canada
http://ocs.sfu.ca/pkp2007/
jmir
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:16 am

Postby soj » Thu May 03, 2007 9:45 am

Just for the record, I have to agree usability for authors leaves much to be desired, esp. beyond the first round of reviews. Several of our authors are also left unsure and confused. OJS would make a great project for someone focusing on information architecture and usability design as a career path.

Elke Edwards
http://www.ejssm.org
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Location: Norman OK USA

Postby asmecher » Thu May 03, 2007 12:16 pm

Hi all,

I'll flag this for discussion when it comes time to talk about the release following OJS 2.2.

Regards,
Alec Smecher
Open Journal Systems Team
---
Don't miss the First International PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference
July 11 - 13, 2007, Vancouver, BC, Canada
http://ocs.sfu.ca/pkp2007/
asmecher
 
Posts: 8329
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:56 pm


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