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Open Journal Systems (OJS)

Onboarding new journals and the memorandum of understanding (MOU)

The OJS MOU is an agreement between OSU and the publication using OSU's OJS services. It protects OSU and outlines the responsibilities of both organizations. While there are several legal matters accounted for in the document, the heart of the service is to allow free publishing for peer-reviewed journals if they will commit to an open-access model. The representative for a publication needs to sign on to the MOU before OSU gives them access to OJS.


This process begins when a new publication signals their intent to use OSU's OJS services.


A new publication with appropriate accounts for editors and a site within OJS.


  • Access to the shared T drive (Digitization2 - \\
  • The OJS MOU. A copy of this file is also stored in the library's shared folder system: T:\Digitization\Open Journal Systems\OSU Library OJS MOU.docx.
  • Access to folder for signed OJS MOU's: T:\Digitization\Open Journal Systems\signed mous
  • Admin access to OJS (passwords are stored in TeamPass - DRDS/OneNet/Onenet/OJS 3.2 Live).


  • DRDS's assigned point person for OJS
  • DRDS department head
  • Dean of libraries


Please note that as of the writing of this documentation, this is a new process. I set up this system and did not have the chance to fully implement it yet. This is important because there is a clause that you, dear reader, need to decide what to do with. Please see condition A.8 of the MOU and decide how you will handle this requirement. In the past, the library provided a high level of service to journals. They sent us PDF's of journal articles and we handled all other elements of journal management for most publications. In an effort to grow the service, we are looking to have journals take a hands-on approach to managing their own journals, but we want to continue providing the support at the same level for those journals that are already in the system. Current journals have not signed onto the MOU and this clause assures them of our continued support at the level they are accustomed to. The MOU is straightforward for new journals: they are responsible for their content. You, dear reader, get to decide how we approach journals already in the system with this new MOU. Please feel free to take it in the direction you like.

  1. Organize a meeting with the journal's representative(s) and the DRDS department head and determine the publication's needs. Explain the service and send them the MOU.
  2. If they sign on, get approval of the MOU from the Dean of Libraries and archive the signed MOU in T:\Digitization\Open Journal Systems\signed mous.
  3. Log into OJS with admin credentials and set up user rolls that match the journal's needs.
    1. In the upper-righthand corner click admin, then click administration.
    2. Select Hosted Journals.
    3. Follow the prompts to create the new journal.
    4. Click Users & Roles on the lefthand side once you create the journal.
    5. Click Users.
    6. You will want to create a separate, non-admin account (if you don't have one already) for yourself and give it editor privileges for the journal. Either search for yourself in the system and give yourself privileges or create a new user for yourself and give it privileges.
    7. Search for your user and log in as that user.
    8. Click Settings, then Website.
    9. Click Plugins.
    10. Ensure Bootstrap 3 Base Theme is checked.
    11. Select the Appearance tab.
    12. Ensure Bootstrap 3 Base Theme is selected in the Theme dropdown. We require all journals to use the Bootstrap 3 Base Theme plugin. Once activated, they may pick the particular theme they like.
    13. On the lefthand side click Users & Roles, then Roles.
    14. Adjust the roles to fit the publication's requirements.
    15. Click the Users tab.
    16. Create users for the journal's representative(s) and have the system send them a welcome email.
  4. Guide journal representative(s) through any setup questions and set the journal's site to public once they feel ready to begin publishing.