Multilingual fields for author names

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Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:21 am

Multilingual fields for author names

Postby solovianenko » Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:19 pm

Dear colleagues,

V. I. Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine is trying to build nationwide publishing platform using OJS software. Working under this project, we've recognized some problems with further application of OJS in Cyrillic-language publishing community.

In this post I would like to highlight the issue with metadata fields for author names.

It is known that world academic databases index titles with English-language metadata. And so if a Cyrillic-language journal wishes to be indexed in such database it must has all articles metadata in Roman alphabet (transliterated or translated into English). But in OJS some of important fields (first of all fields for author names) are not multilingual ones. Thus our publishers must choose either they hold names of authors in Cyrillic or in Roman alphabet. Moreover publishers can't force users of their multilingual sites to register accounts with "correct" names (Cyrillic or Roman).

If someone have a solution of this problem, please let me know.

Thank you in advance for your replies,
Denys Solovianenko

Posts: 4191
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 10:50 am

Re: Multilingual fields for author names

Postby jmacgreg » Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:16 pm

Dear Denys,

Good to hear from you and your efforts at building a national publication platform for the Ukraine! That is a very encouraging development, and we are happy to help you where we can.

Regarding your specific issue regarding localization of author names: this has already been filed as a feature request (see, and I will reassign the bug to our next OJS release and see if we can prioritize it.

If there are any other issues that you would like to bring up, please let us know. And out of curiosity, do you have any software developers on staff that might be able to put some time towards language-specific issues, like the one above, that might come up? We would welcome an opportunity to work with you as development partners if you have this ability.


Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:21 am

Re: Multilingual fields for author names

Postby solovianenko » Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:49 am

Dear James,

Thank you for your reply. Good to hear that you've already recognized the issue with localization of author names and now work on this problem.

And as for your question. Yes, we have some php programmers and other software developers in our staff and we are interested in becoming a development partner of PKP team. But I've consulted with our developers and we decided that it will be very hard for us to work on the problem with multilingual author names on our own.

There is a complex problem with multilingual author names. Especially in our specific case. We need the solution with several levels of localization, i.e. whole OJS platform localized into 3 languages (Ukrainian, Russian and English) and within it the hundreds of journal sites localized into these and other languages.
Today's language policy of Ukrainian journals covers 30 languages. Almost all journals (95%) publishes articles in Ukrainian. Majority of journals (50-60%) has (also) Russian and/or English publishing language. Some titles publish articles in German, Polish and/or French. And several journals work with Arabic, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Crimean Tatar, Croatian, Czech, Farsi, Finnish, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Macedonian, Portuguese, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish. As a result of such language diversity, it is expected that we'll face with many ambiguous situations, which won't be resolved in OJS without bugs. For example, it will be possible that an author publishes all his articles in one of Russian-language journals and holds all of account information only in Russian. But one day he'll try to submit an article in the other journal, which has no Russian localization and doesn't publish articles in Russian. How OJS could resolve this issue? Probably, this will cause a bug. This is a simple example, but there are many such examples. And so, one should have the good understanding of OJS code to make such serious changes as provision of multilingual author names.
But anyway our developers will work with OJS code. As far as I understand, our application of OJS is rather specific one. Majority of OJS publishers don't have our specific problems (for example, necessity of such number of localizations). And so many issues we have to resolve on our own.
We have developed the plan for adoption of OJS to needs of our project. Now our areas of work are following:
1. Slavic localizations of OJS. Especially Ukrainian and Russian ones, but also other languages (Polish, Belarusian etc.) I'm not sure that we'll have full-time staff with awareness both in professional publishing terminology and in appropriate Slavic language. Now we ask our colleagues from libraries of neighboring Slavic countries for kindly help in this matter.
2. Support of reference standard GOST 7.1 (the state bibliographical standard of Soviet Union and Post-Soviet countries). Now we have written OJS citation plugin for GOST. I plan to revise and, maybe, improve this plugin and then I'll publish it on this forum. Further works for support of GOST in OJS are now being complicated by the lack of citation parser for GOST (like FreeCite for other citation formats). Fortunately the FreeCite is a open-source product, now our staff explores code of FreeCite to apply GOST support in this software. But it is a long-term work.
3. Localization of Reading Tools. There is a problem with Cyrillic in existing OJS sets of reading tools. Google works perfect with cyrillic, but many other data providers don't understand cyrillic at all. We plan to create some sets of Reading Tools with Cyrillic-language academic databases.
4. Import/Export of articles and issues. Now we explore existing import/export plugins and assess our facilities to create such plugins for databases which are important for our publishers, for example, RINC (Russian Index of Scientific Citations), "Ukrainica Scientific" (our national academic reference database), etc.
5. Tools for journals analytics and for control of publishers. Our application is in need of special role of OJS users to make possible for our own staff and for governmental bodies to collect and analyse sets of publishing statistics and scientometrics. In addition we must guarantee integrity and authenticity of published issues of journals. Now Journal Managers and Editors are free to change any content in published issues in OJS. We should not allow this. Now we have no applicable idea on how to balance the interests of publishers and guarantee long-term integrity and authenticity of all published information. We're working on it.
6. Consulting and help for Ukrainian publishers. In addition to direct contacts with publishers we plan to create the set of online tutorials in Ukrainian and Russian, such as that published in English on PKP site.

With best regards,
Denys Solovianenko

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