OJS 2.3: What's New
OJS 2.3 is a substantial upgrade from the 2.2.x line. There have been significant changes to the underlying codebase, including hundreds of bugs and feature requests filed and fixed. Most exciting are some of the new features listed below; indeed, these features wouldn't exist without the substantial feedback previous versions of OJS have received from the community.
- 1 For Users and Authors
- 2 For Editors and Journal Managers
- 3 For Site Administrators
- 4 Download, test run, participate
For Users and Authors
Improved User Home
The User Home page has been retooled to display more user information. Users can quickly see the state of any particular workflow, and can navigate quickly to where they need to go. Links to common tasks are also included. This new User Home page is particularly useful for users with multiple roles.
More, and manageable, notifications
OJS includes improved notification management and support options. Unregistered users can sign up to a journal mailing list for notifications of new email content; users can control what kind of actions they receive notifications for; and users can choose whether they receive notifications via email, rss/atom feed, or both.
Authors can now see at a glance which Web sites link to their article, and can publish those links so that they appear with their article. The Refbacks feature includes the ability for authors to filter and delete unnecessary or unwanted links before they are made public.
Keyword tag cloud
This new plugin displays the most popular article keywords in a tag cloud on the journal's sidebar. Clicking on a keyword will display all articles that match that keyword.
Authors can now add reference metadata to their article, which will in turn be displayed below their abstract or article. All reference information can now be edited and formatted apart from article content.
For Editors and Journal Managers
Sorting lists made easy
You don't need to use the arrow keys to sort long lists of information any more! Thanks to some background magic, items in lists can now be grabbed and moved around with the mouse, saving you from lots of repetitive clicking. Just look for when your mouse pointer turns into a hand.
Some tables can now also be sorted by column: simply click the hyperlinked column title and the table will be sorted according to that column.
Improved subscription support
The subscription interface has been drastically overhauled, both for subscribers and for subscription managers. Users can now purchase and renew individual subscriptions online, and enjoy immediate access without the intervention of the subscription manager; immediate "Purchase Article" access is also available for individuals. Institutions can purchase and renew institutional (IP- or domain-based) subscriptions online, and have their IP ranges or domain names vetted before access is granted.
Subscription Management is also much easier than before. A subscriptions summary page shows at a glance any information the Subscription Manager might need. Institutional and individual subscriptions are sorted into their own pages, and institutional subscriptions can be assigned to different users within the system, allowing for institutional contacts to change while their subscription information remains the same.
New content management tools
Two new content management plugins have been included, both powerful on their own but especially so when used together.
The Static Pages plugin allows you to make as many individual pages as you like, which can then be easily linked to. Pages can include HTML and images, and are displayed just as any other page, with the journal's header, footer and sidebar. This is a great option for journals that need to display information that isn't otherwise captured by OJS.
The Custom Block Manager plugin allows you create new blocks, and control their content. HTML can be included in a custom block, and you can link to external images.
Together, these plugins allow you to create custom content to be displayed almost anywhere in your journal, and in whichever fashion you choose. You can create static pages and add them to your home page; to your navigation bar; or to a custom block (or blocks) of your design.
For Site Administrators
PHP Quick Profiler
There has been one major addition that will be of use for Site Administrators: the PHP Quick Profiler library. The Quick Profiler can be enabled in your config.inc.php file, and show you what's going on behind the scenes: database queries, load time, errors, included files, memory and more can be tracked from the same useful interface.
Download, test run, participate
OJS 2.3.0 can be downloaded here as soon as it is released. Please be aware that this is a '.0' release, and is likely less stable than version 2.2.3. But take a look, and let us know of any questions you might have, bugs you encounter, or features you want.
If you want to try out OJS 2.3.0 without installing it yourself, you can also take OJS out for a test drive on our server to become more familiar with how it operates. The login is "admin" and the password is "testdrive". This installation will be regularly purged of all data, so please do not use it for anything other than making a short-term evaluation of the software.
Development continues: we'll have a .1 release out soon enough, and continue to add more useful new features as they come up. Our thanks, once again, to all testers, developers, editors, managers and other community members who have helped make this release great!