Here are a few suggestions, to improve the workflow in the editorial process, mainly the copy editing, layout and proofreading stages.
- Allow in the configuration to "remove" the unnecessary stages. Most journals do not use the copyediting and proofreading stages because they bring the author to the process. Most journals do not "like" this because the author's changes will cause the article to never finish the process, so they prefer having full control over the submission.
Having checkboxes by the stage titles should do the trick.
- Allow the editor to choose if the author will be a part of the process in the editing stage. Radio or checkboxes will define if the author will be added to the list of participants in the process.
- The copy editing stage should be very similar to the review stage, with multiple rounds for each user, instead of the static and limiting 3-step process. In our 4-year experience, no journals have used this step, using the review process instead. The editing becomes useless, and when used it is incomplete, so the process doesn't get registered and controlled.
- Separate the editing stages into 3 distinct pages. The users get very confused with the amount of information and uploading options. They end up not knowing what to do. It is visually cluttered and allows many user mistakes. Adding the pages to links, like summary, review and editing, the menu would be summary (which is not an ideal term either), review, copyediting, layout and proofreading.
If the configuration allows the removal of unwanted options, as well as allowing the editor to choose who will do the copyediting and proofreading like reviewers, then I believe OJS will be even more generic and compatible with multiple editorial processes that do not follow certain rules, and the processes will be recorded and registered in the system, which is what this is all about...