Workflow Enhancements in 3.3
Earlier this week we announced the release of OJS/OMP/OPS 3.3. To kickoff “Feature Fridays” in February, here are some of the most significant changes to the editorial workflow that managers, editors, authors, and reviewers can look forward to.
The first thing you’ll notice in OJS/OMP/OPS 3.3 are changes to the user dashboard/editorial backend. These updates simplify and streamline the user experience. We’ll talk more about why we refactored the user interface later this month, but for now, a note that users who only have access to submissions (subeditors, assistants, authors and reviewers) will no longer have a left-hand navigation menu.
Beyond the dashboard, we are thrilled to share the following new features related to (1) submissions and (2) communication. Many of these additions were recommended by you – our community of users – as important enhancements to OJS. For those interested in learning more about the development of these features, a link has been provided to the corresponding PKP GitHub repository issue.
Submission File Upload (6057)
During submission, authors can now upload multiple files at once, as well as drag-and-drop files. They are also no longer asked to enter metadata such as a description, license, etc. This information can be entered during the workflow instead.
Why the change? Uploading files during submission involves lots of steps. It can be cumbersome and confusing, and authors are often asked to provide metadata that is not clear to them. The ability to upload multiple files at once, by drag-and-drop or file selection, emerged as a major request from our usability tests.
Two new submission filters have been added thanks to suggestions made on the PKP Community Forum and by PKP Publishing Services clients. All Active and Archived submissions can now be filtered by assigned editor and assigned issue.
The first filter enables journal managers to see how many submissions are assigned to an editor and track what they are working on. The second allows editors to filter their submission lists by the issue a submission is assigned to. This can help editors identify submissions that are urgent (i.e., for the upcoming issue), identify submissions planned for a special issue, or locate submissions from published issues (in the Archived submissions list).
Disable Submissions (5702)
Journal Managers and Editors can now configure the Workflow Settings to disable all submissions for a journal. This can be used by journals that are no longer publishing new content.
Our thanks to Ubiquity Press for contributing this work.
Reverse a Declined Decision (5819)
A new editorial action, funded by SciELO, allows editors to reverse a declined decision in the submission and review stages.
After a declined decision is reverted, the submission is restored to its previous stage and review round if active.
Export Users to CSV (5642)
This feature got a “Hallelujah!” from one community member and staffer. In OJS/OMP/OPS 3.3 you can now export users to CSV files for easier import into third-party mailing services (e.g., Mailchimp).
Notify All Users (4017)
Another community priority, this enhancement makes it possible to send an email to multiple users in a particular role. This feature is disabled by default and administrators will need to enable it for each journal/press/server.
Filter Email Templates by Workflow Stage (4017)
Another common request and community priority added in 3.3 was to add filters to the email templates list. Users can now filter email templates by the workflow stage.
Features and enhancements apply across OJS, OMP, and OPS. Some features, however, are software specific. In Open Preprint Systems, the following also applies:
- Inappropriate editorial statistics (such as peer review information) were removed. (6171)
- An approval email is now sent when a moderator approves a preprint. (5727)
Software enhancements, such as those listed above and shared on the PKP Community Forum, are made possible because of our amazing community. From sprints and interest groups to sustainer contributions and development partners, every dollar and hour of time contributed makes the world of difference. Our thanks to everyone who made this release possible. We appreciate your support for open infrastructure.