Thanks for the clarification!!
In my opinion, a very valid use case!!!
Maybe adding a new option to the editor's decision list could be a way to modify OJS easily, requesting the author to resubmit the article, returning it to the "incomplete"/"resubmit submission list.
This may be easier to develop than anything more complex, and still does much of what you'd like to see, reusing much of the code.
Hopefully PKP team is reading this, or you can register at Bugzilla and request the feature (or I can do it for you, if you'd like).
Have you tried the "resubmit for review" option? I know it's a step ahead of the process from your point of view, but the flexibility it provides can be used for may purposes. For example, you could use the first round of review for verifying document integrity. Register someone responsible for that process, add a custom form and only move to the next round of review once the article has been approved. You'll have to check if this helps, as it may be inconvenient to see lots of articles "in review". I can't remember how the list is displayed. Nonetheless, it could help you while the feature is not available (if ever). We usually suggest using the review process in creative ways (for translation and copyediting as well). Heck, you could use it as type of collaboration system, where the articles start to be created there, with the form being textarea fields for "reviewers" to write the article's content, edited and new compiled version being uploaded.
PKP has also been keen in working with online submission conversion and control, but some of the editorial processes are still highly manual (mainly review and copyediting, the latter needing/loving to actually print and make handwritten notes on paper). The people in these types of roles are reluctant to work in any other way. Until there is a cultural change, it will be difficult to force people to change their processes. The majority needs to request this, because the article HAS to start intelligent (already marked-up), instead of processing it to become smart. Otherwise, we'll build technology that soon will be outdated, difficult to maintain, and so on.PS:: The following is just a "rant", no real need to read past this...
There are many projects today trying to empower content managers to be able to work and edit content faster and better.
I haven't read through much of this yet, but the Aloha Project
Giving roles the option to work in multiple ways is good, but there will be a time when a decision needs to be made.
How that decision affects online publishing will remain to be seen. I think there is a lot going on, a raging war between Operation Systems and the Web, as almost everything today IS on the Web.
I mean, our electronic devices (laptops, desktops, smartphones, tablets) change and get obsolete very quickly. Maintaining and upgrading technology is an issue and this in turn, impacts any business or working process that requires technology.
For example, Window(s) 8 has changed drastically, pushing way desktop users (or forcing them to keep "obsolete" operating systems and software). How do we cope with that?
Soon, everyone WILL HAVE to start producing (at least saving) their work online, as keeping multiple backups is a hassle - you never really know which one is the latest version, until you loose it and need to restore a REALLY old version.
In my opinion, the advantages of fully working online, even today, without all the possible desktop software features, outweigh the cons. Online asynchronous collaboration, commenting, review and versioning (Google Docs and ZOHO suite, for example) strike out as excellent features. But the current tools are difficult to integrate with all the other software we need to work with (always need to export, download, login, upload - highly bureaucratic processes). AND you depend on infrastructure: a good, reliable Internet connection... not always available.
Also, we build a software dependent of other software, and there is a limit to how much you can depend on others...
Thank you for reading this far...
Ramón Martins Sodoma da Fonseca
Analista em C&T
Coordenação de Tecnologias de Informação
Instituto Brasileiro de Informação em Ciência e Tecnologia - IBICT
Ministério da Ciência e Tecnologia - MCT