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Adding photo essays to OJS journal

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Adding photo essays to OJS journal

Postby dwyant » Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:53 pm

We want to add photo essays to our journal. The only OJS journal I can find that includes a slide show is the demo journal, which uses the free slideshare.net software. We're reluctant to use slideshare because it makes the photos easily downloaded/uploaded to other sites, such as Youtube. What are the options for other photo/slide platforms on OJS? I've had a couple of people recommend Soundslides (soundslides.com) software --would this be compatible with OJS? What are the parameters of how much "stuff" we can hang on the journal's site for each issue?
Any help or guidance will be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Adding photo essays to OJS journal

Postby jmacgreg » Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:53 am

Hi Diane,

As long as you can embed that multimedia in an HTML page, OJS can support it (well, you can also upload stuff like .ppt slides and images as well, as galleys). You can find more information on handling multimedia here, although it's a little out-of-date and only references a small number of use cases. If you have any specific questions, just let us know!

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Re: Adding photo essays to OJS journal

Postby newone » Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:17 am

I don't think that embedding would work well for a photo essay. I believe this is a limitation of OJS and perhaps that is not what OJS is intended for, although it does makes OJS use limited.

Please, don't get me wrong, but OJS is not practical for visual journals or art journals without serious modification. If you have a journal that publishes several photo essays, creating an html page just to embed a couple of images for one article is not very practical. Imagine if you have 10 essays. Also, it does not give much room for viewing as images are stacked on top of each other, and not very good for management.

I am actually facing the same dilemma and looking for an alternative product or workflow that would enable editors to publish peer review art journals that includes curated exhibition, photo essay and video. Not all articles are textual and for art journals, some of the articles are visual...that is, the visuals are their written word. Depending on the use of the OJS, I find it is better to have all the media centrally located because one will limit the bottleneck and unintentional side effects of third party hosting.

It might be worth looking into ways to expand OJS for non-traditional journals, art journals and exhibition. Is there a way to hook an image program to OJS? For example, OJS handles the administrative part of journal management as well as institutional access, and the image program can be used for uploading and viewing images. Creating a way for editors to use an external image program might be an option. Editors can upload images into their respective album and be able to add texts or statements to art exhibition. The final issue with the image program is to determine how to do grant institutional access.

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Re: Adding photo essays to OJS journal

Postby jmacgreg » Tue Nov 24, 2009 5:49 pm

Hi newone,

You raise some very good points, some of which we hope to tackle in the future. The biggest problem with respect to this issue, in my opinion, is that OJS isn't as flexible as it should be template- or theme-wise. You can modify the templates and css to make the article view more viewable or image-friendly, but whenit comes time to upgrade you have a pretty major re-do on your hands. In the medium-term, we'll be working on a way to handle theming similarly to how we currently handle plugins soon -- that is, journals will be able to have their own custom templates to override eg. the article view templates, which will allow them to coexist with other journals that don't need said modification, and also avoid upgrade conflicts.

You can always use embedded flash or javascript image viewers in conjunction with OJS HTML galleys to display images; I'm not sure what value you would gain by using a full-fledged image management program inside OJS, and as you point out, access to images (if subscription-protected) would be an issue, but I'm happy to hear further thoughts on this. Could you give me an example of an image program you are thinking of, and maybe also an example or two of some sites that do the kind of thing you're looking for? I'll be able to give a better answer with those, but in the meantime, thanks for the thoughts!

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Re: Adding photo essays to OJS journal

Postby jamief » Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:47 am

I agree that an alternative CMS is required. One work around would be Drupal or Joomla as the wrapper for OJS. On the editions that have photo shows, you would create a direct link from a issue introduction page, bypassing all the article submission process of OCS in favour of any number of media driven photo or video image gallery software available under GNU. This only makes sense, as mentioned earlier, if you are going to have regular issues involving multi-media materials. If its a matter of one or two, probably you need to link it outside the OJS installation completely, using a php driven opensource multimedia gallery (there a lots out there) and creating a single sign-on session bridge between applications.
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Re: Adding photo essays to OJS journal

Postby newone » Sat Nov 28, 2009 3:23 am

I am working on a peer review art journal. The journal publishes articles, curated exhibitions, and sometimes image gallery. Each issue has about 5 exhibitions with lots of images (sometimes 80 for each). I do not want to use embed method.

Before I go on, I will define art exhibition so that we will all be on the same wavelength.

Exhibition is a show composed of artworks. The term is predominantly used in the art world, and it refers to a collective body of art that has been methodically assembled for new interpretations. In an art exhibition, you can focus on more than one artist. Art exhibitions offers you insight and knowledge. In a journal environment, a curated art exhibition includes a curatorial statement from the curator (can be 1 pages or more), exhibition images, and description and commentary of images (can be several paragraphs or more). You can think of an art exhibition as a visual narrative with complex layers.


I want to use Gallery (Menalto) to build the exhibitions for the journal since it would allow greater flexibility. To me, an art exhibition in Gallery means a category with images and description of the images. Because I will be using OJS to publish the textual aspect of the gallery (articles and commentary), I need an external program for handling the images and video. The journal is interested in video.

In Gallery Menalto, categories can be created for editors to upload images, and the description boxes can be used to write brief commentary about each image. While Gallery is great for displaying images, it is not so great for displaying images with lots of text (one page or more) even though it can handle it. So, after the images are uploaded in Gallery with descriptions, it needs to be linked to an issue in OJS. This can be done by creating an HTML page and submitting it. Right?

I also need a way to handle user submission for the journal in the Gallery Menalto. The Gallery will not be open to public submission. Only approved individuals can upload their images. Accounts may have to be created for those uploading to the Gallery, or it can be upgraded once the register. Some of the users of the Gallery are subscribers who will need a basic way of managing the account and renewing subscription.

The gallery will serve two function. It will provide a space for journal editors to create their online exhibitions, and second, it will allow approved individuals to upload images to non-journal exhibition categories.

The only thing remaining is providing access to paid institutional subscribers, both from the art journal AND from institutions that subscribe to the Gallery. Individual users and institution will pay to access the gallery. Individual subscribers may not be a problem for Gallery, but it might be difficult offering access to institutions with IP authentication with Gallery. Is there a way to do this?

Essentially, subscribers from the art journal will only have access to journal exhibition categories and nothing else when linked in OJS. Only subscribers of the art journal should be able to access the journal exhibitions.

Subscribers from Gallery will only see non-journal exhibition categories. The subscribers will see everything else that the art journal subscribers cannot see. Institutional subscribers who subscribe to the Gallery should not be able to view the art journal exhibitions.

I have looked at Joomla but it does not offer such feature, and none of their native image galleries will work for this. I believe that htaccess can be used to restrict access to Gallery, but was hoping for an OJS institutional access ability in Gallery.

Any suggestions?
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