NOTE: the below report concerns OJS (as I don't use OCS), but the problem seems related.
I generally don't have problem with e-mail from within OJS (using a working SMTP server/configuration), but a recent inspection of the log-file revealed exactly the same messages:
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OJS SMTPMailer: Did not receive expected 250 (3)
Strangely enough, these messages corresponded with apparently missing (i.e. never delivered) e-mail messages. Therefore I started an "investigation" to check if these messages could indicate any e-mail delivery problems.
All the tests were performed inder OJS 188.8.131.52 (running PHP 5.2.5 / MySQL 5.0.51a-community / Apache 1.3.39) while I was logged-in as "Editor" and tried to contact the author of a submission through all the possible feed-back links (i.e. envelope icons). The e-mailing system was set-up to use an external SMTP server tested to being functional by sending an message to the "Editor" from the "Journal manager".
1) Submission > #NN > SUMMARY / Submission / Authors $NAME [icon]: e-mail was never delivered
+ accompanied message in the error-log (see above).
2) Submission > #NN > SUMMARY / Submission / Submitter $NAME [icon]: e-mail delivered OK.
3) Submission > #NN > SUMMARY / Submission / Submission Metadata / Authors / Name $NAME [icon]: e-mail delivered OK.
4) Submission > #NN > REVIEW / Submission / Authors $NAME [icon]: e-mail delivered OK.
5) Submission > #NN > REVIEW / Editor Decision / Notify Author [icon]: e-mail was never delivered
+ corresponding message in the error-log.
6) Submission > #NN > EDITING / Submission / Authors $NAME [icon]: e-mail was never delivered
+ corresponding message in the error-log (see below).
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OJS SMTPMailer: Did not receive expected 250 or 251
Summing up, the test e-mails were not delivered
in three cases.
Getting more curious, I decided to disable the use of external SMTP server
, replacing its functionality by the internal mailing function. As a result, all the above messaging possibilities delivered the test message successfully...
I understand that the described test wasn't as exhaustive as it could be, but I suggest the results indicate a bug in the OJS SMTPMailer function, most probably related to Bug 2628.