FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Choose a Hosting Plan: The first step is to choose your OJS hosting plan. In order to choose the right OJS hosting plan, you will want to consider the goals of your online publishing. The biggest differences between various OJS hosting plans are the size of disk space, the monthly data transfer, and the initial training involved.
  2. New Domain Name Registration or Changing Your Current Domain DNS Records: To enable us to setup your account we need your domain name. If you don’t already have a domain name registered, for additional $10/year, we can register a new one for you when we set up your OJS hosting account. Please send your request for domain registration to info@openjournalsystems.com. If you already have a domain name you need to login to your domain registrar account and change your domain DNS records to the following:
    NS1.openjournalsystems.com
    NS2.openjournalsystems.com
    If you are using a subdomain (e.g., journal.abc.edu), you may want to create “A-record,” using our Internet Protocol(IP): 143.95.253.101
  3. Help With Migrating Your OJS to OpenJournalSystems.com: To migrate your OJS to OpenJournalSystems.com server, we’d need a full system backup (OJS system files; MySQL database(SQL dump); and submission files directory). You can compress (tar gzip) all the files and them uploaded to DropBox or Google Drive and provide us with a link for download.
  4. You will receive your account information email within 24 hours following your sign-up.
  1. Proven Track Record: OpenJournalSystems.com currently hosts more than 150 open access journals using Open Journal Systems, and have served over 700 OJS clients worldwide. We have the proven track record of providing comprehensive solutions for Open Journal Systems and helping scholarly publishers make the most of their online publishing projects. We invite you to visit our Testimonials Page to find out what our current clients have to say about us and our Projects Page to find out more about our portfolio and clients.
  2. Awesome Customer Service: What sets our product, service and company apart from our competitor is the quality of our service. We take great pride in offering the best customer service available. Whether it’s walking you through the account setup, or troubleshooting your OJS, we’ll do what it takes to keep you happy. We invite you to visit our Testimonials Page to find out what our current clients have to say about us and our Projects Page to find out more about our portfolio and clients.
  3. The Best Value: We provide our journal-hosting support at the lowest cost possible to help academic professionals, research institutions, and universities around the world to create and share global knowledge.
  4. Professional Support: We provide professional OJS support and maintenance services, including regular OJS upgrades, backups, security monitoring, and a dedicated OJS support desk to ensure that OJS run smoothly, effectively, and securely.
  5. Best Server and OJS Security Practices: We have implemented cutting-edge security policies and protocols that includes OJS as well as server security hardening. With sharp increase in OJS hacking incidents (see Open Journal Systems (OJS): Hacking Epidemic and Solutions), OpenJournalSystems.com has taken a progressive approach by creating security plugins for OJS to make cyber-attacks and OJS hacking impossible.
  6. Regular Upgrades: We deliver what we advertise – We provide regular OJS software upgrades to keep Open Journal Systems secure, functioning, and up-to-date with the latest developments and new plug-ins.
  7. Reliability and Uptime: We use cutting-edge servers for increased up-time and to promote sustainability. We realize that server up-time is a priority in scholarly publishing and we monitor our servers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  8. Innovative Solutions: We’re constantly thinking of ways to improve our service in every possible way and work collaboratively with our clients each step of the way to create innovative customization solutions.
  • You will find many advantages to using managed OJS hosting by OpenJournalSystems.com. Managed OJS hosting ensures a high level of customized support and management. This also entitles you to specialized services for OJS such as a designed server setup and support structure around the app. Additionally, you will be given active support for your installed OJS, top of the line security monitoring, automated backups, regular software upgrades, and important server configuration tweaks.
  • Service CriteriaManaged OJS Hosting Regular Hosting Service
    Troubleshoot and fixing OJS bugs or malfunctionsYesNo
    Professionally run dedicated server environment optimized specifically for OJS hostingYesNo
    High level of customized support and managementYesNo
    Active support for your installed OJSYesNo
    Top of the line security monitoringYesNo
    Regular OJS upgradesYesNo
    OJS ThemesYesNo
    OJS TrainingYesNo
  • OpenJournalSystems.com was founded in 2013. Since that time, our company has provided world-class hosting platforms and journal hosting services to academic professionals, research institutions, universities, and independent publishers. We host over 100 high-impact scholarly publications, and assist them in the dissemination of their open access, peer reviewed journals.
  • In order to choose an OJS hosting plan that will best fit your needs, you need to begin by thinking about the goals of your online publishing. The biggest differences between OJS hosting plans are the size of disk space, the monthly data transfer, and the initial training. After you determine how you plan to use your OJS journal publishing site and the amount of traffic you expect to generate, you’ll be able to easily identify which of the following packages is best for your business.
    • Basic Plan: The Basic Plan is our entry-level journal hosting plan and is geared towards providing you with the quickest and most affordable way to help you start online publishing using Open Journal Systems. See Basic Plan Pricing
    • Professional Plan: The Professional Plan includes all of the features in the basic plan, plus more storage capacity and bandwidth. It will give you the technology to host a medium-to-large sized publishing enterprise. See Professional Plan Pricing
    • Institutional Plan: The Institutional Plan is designed to give you an enterprise-class hosting platform to suitable for a university press, a research institution, or a larger publisher using Open Journal Systems. See Institutional Plan Pricing

Have Questions?
Send us an email info@OpenJournalSystems.com
or call us at +1-(602)-527-7080

  • Your account will be setup immediately after sign-up and you will receive an account information email within 24 hours.

Yes, we can assist or move the site for you under the following conditions:

  1. Your previous host uses CPanel and has the CPanel backup option enabled.
  2. Your previous host allows FTP access to your website and you know the ftp username and password.
  3. Your previous host must provide a way to dump the OJS SQL database. This can be done using ssh access, a CPanel backup, or if the database is not very large we may be able to export it using PhpMyAdmin.
  4. Alternatively you can provide us with the OJS files and db dump and we will take care of the rest.
  • You don’t have to. If you don’t already have a domain registered, we can register a new one when we set up your OJS hosting account for additional $10/year. Please send your request for domain registration to info@openjournalsystems.com. We can host any domain, with any registrar. We encourage you to register your domain with whomever you choose.
  • If you already have a domain name, you can just send us an email with the your domain name and change your domain’s ‘nameservers’ details with your current registrar to:
    • NS1.openjournalsystems.com
    • NS2.openjournalsystems.com
    • If you are using a subdomain (e.g., journal.abc.edu), you may want to create “A-record”, using our IP: 143.95.253.101
  • Yes. Backup is a crucial part of any hosting solution. We offer you R1Soft Backup Manager, with multiple restore points, bi-weekly automated CPanel backup, as well as on-demand CPanel backup for continuous data protection. This includes all of your files, email accounts, and databases. In the rare event of a hard drive failure, we can restore your entire account. While hard drives rarely fail, we prepare for the worst, which fully assures your hard work is never lost.
    • Location:

-Tempe, Arizona
-68,000 square feet of raised floor
-SSAE 16 SOC 1 audited facility
-300lbs/square foot leads
-Single tenant, single-story building
-Redundant HVAC with Liebert air handlers
-Each CRAC unit supported by independent roof mounted condenser

  • Power:

-11.1 MW power capacity
-Onsite fuel with over 50,000 gallons capacity
-Power-to-space ratio of 250 watts/square foot
-2n power through four (4) autonomous power plants
-Six (6) backup diesel generators on standby
-Generators tested weekly and routinely run at full load

  • Security:

-24x7x365 on-site support technicians
-Biometric access
-Physical ID check
-Full CCTV surveillance backed by digital recording on file for 90 days
-Multiple layers of security and authentication; including card key, PIN, and biometrics required for facility entrance

  • Network:
  • -High performance IP Managed premium network
    -Arbor Networks PeakFlow DDOS Detection
    -Multi-homed, carrier neutral
    -Two distinct BGP network meshes for diverse peering:
    -Level3, Abovenet, TimeWarner, Suddenlink
    -Level3, Cogent, Global Crossing, IP Transit

  • OpenJournalSystems.com place the utmost emphasis on security and we’re always looking for ways to improve. We use many different layers of security to help protect your OJS site from being hacked. Each layer by itself is capable of stopping an attack. When all of the layers are combined, the overall security level goes up geometrically, creating a stronger OJS security system. We have implemented cutting-edge security policies and protocols that includes OJS as well as server security hardening.
  • OJS Security Hardening:
    1. OJS File Upload Validation Plugin: File Upload Validation Plugin enables the Admin/JM to choose the approved file types, which can be uploaded by an author during the submission process. This plugin will prevent the upload of OJS malware, such as PHTML files, which are used by hackers to gain entry into an OJS web server and upload malicious files.
    2. OJS Registration Notification Plugin: Registration Notification Plugin sends an email notification to a predetermined email address whenever a user has been registered for a journal. This email contains the user name, email, affiliation, journal and role(s) registered for, and the option to delete them form OJS. This plugin enables the Admin/JM to verify or block the registration of any new user.
    3. OJS Files Directory Protection: OJS file directory placed in a non-web-accessible location and cannot be accessed directly via the web server.
    4. Restrict File Permissions: Getting OJS file permissions right is one of the most important factors in maintaining the security of OJS installation. We use restrict file permissions for better security while maintaining OJS functionality.
    5. OJS Encryption: Changing OJS configuration to use SHA1 hashing rather than MD5 for better security.
  • Server Security Hardening:
    1. ConfigServer Firewall: ConfigServer Firewall, known and referred to simply by most cPanel and WHM users as CSF, is one of the best, most effective firewall configuration scripts in the market today. Designed to considerably increase server security, having this in place will allow you to use a robust interface to manage firewall features and settings.
    2. CPHulk Brute-Force Protection: CPHulk prevent a server falling victim to brute force login attempts. A brute force is a password guessing technique that consists of trying to login with a user name and password over and over, changing either the username and/or the password if not successful. Given enough time even a moderately secure, random character password can fall victim to this as some attackers will try every combination they can if given the chance. CPHulk will detect and block these attacks by checking for failed login attempts. This can affect you if the failed logins are originating from your internet connection. The steps below will guide you on how to unblock yourself depending on the access you have.
    3. Lynis Security Audit: Lynis is an open source security auditing tool. Used by system administrators, security professionals, and auditors, to evaluate the security defenses of their Linux and UNIX-based systems. It runs on the host itself, so it performs more extensive security scans than vulnerability scanners.
    4. Munin Network Monitoring Tool: Munin is a system, network, and infrastructure monitoring application that provides real time monitoring and alerting services for servers and alerts the system administrator when things go wrong.
    5. Clamav Malware Scanner: Clam AntiVirus (ClamAV) software toolkit able to detect many types of malicious software, including viruses and trojans. One of its main uses is on entire home directory, and mail servers as a server-side email virus scanner.
    6. Server Side Security Scripts: Proprietary Security Scripts to prevent execution of OJS deface malware and closing of any unused ports.
  • We accept PayPal and you can use Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express through PayPal. We also accept direct deposit to our bank account and once the initial payment is made you can contact us if you need to make subsequent payments via check or money order.
  • OpenJournalSystems.com guarantees that your website and the services that directly affect its display to the Internet (such as HTTP or MySQL) will be accessible 99.9% of the time in any given calendar month. If OpenJournalSystems.com fails to meet its uptime guarantee, you will be issued a credit equivalent to 1 day of service per forty five 45 minutes downtime. The first 45 minutes (or 0.1%) of downtime per month are not counted towards any credit and the maximum credit available is one 1 month of service.
  • You are allowed an unrestricted number of email accounts, limited only by the amount of space you have purchased on the server.
  • You can access your e-mail accounts either via the POP3 or IMAP protocol. Typically, most people either use an email client on their computer like Outlook or Mail to access their emails via POP, or they check their email using Webmail.
  • Yes, you will be able to access your email from the web from any remote location that has a connection to the Internet. We offer a pre-installed webmail facility, which can be accessed at https:// yourdomain.com/webmail. Alternatively, your OJS hosting plan will allow you to install a variety of customizable webmail applications.
  • We do not tolerate the sending of unsolicited commercial emails or “SPAM” at all. We reserve the right to immediately terminate any domain, without warning or, refund, that sends out unsolicited commercial email. NOW… if you wish to send email to people in OPT-IN lists, this is allowed as those individuals “ASK” to receive advertisements, newsletters, or posts to services like Free For All Pages.
  1. You start by visiting our OJS Theme page and making your OJS Theme selection.
  2. Choose the License Type from the drop-down menu. Note that a Regular License allows you to use our OJS theme in one journal only. An Extended License allows you to use our OJS theme in multiple journals, within the same installation, and in one server only.
  3. Then just click on the “Buy Now” button and from there you can quickly and easily pay using our secure online system via PayPal or credit card.
  4. Following your purchase, we will contact you within 24 hours to proceed with your chosen theme installation.
  5. If you decided to make the installation yourself, we can quickly provide you with our OJS theme plug-in and the readme.txt file, which contains instructions on theme installation and setup. Please note that as you are purchasing a license, we will need to verify where our theme will be installed before providing you with the plug-in.
  6. Important: When you purchase an OJS theme from us, you’re acquiring a license to use an OpenJournalSystems.com theme. A single purchase of an OpenJournalSystems.com OJS theme allows you to use the theme on one finished site. If you need to use it on a second site, you would be required to purchase a second license. There are two options when licensing a theme from OpenJournalSystems.com: a Regular License and an Extended License. A Regular License allows you to use our OJS theme in one journal only. An Extended License allows you to use our OJS theme in multiple journals, within the same installation, and in one server only. 
  7. Important: OJS themes purchased from openjournalsystems.com are for your use only. You are not permitted to redistribute or resell the OpenJournalSystems.com OJS theme. You may not include the original purchased items (or source files) in any distributed end product. This includes any OJS theme that you have customized yourself.
  1. No. Themes and plugins sold on OpenJournalSystems.com are sold under a default split license.
  2. This Default Split License ensures we can protect our rights and freedoms to respect (and comply with) the General Public License (GPL) but control the use of our own custom created work at the same time.
  3. There are two elements covered by a Default Split License:
    The Non-GPL Portion: This includes all Assets – `, Images, and Custom Templates created by OpenJournalSystems.com.
    The GPL Portion: This includes the OJS core files: PHP, HTML, and standard OJS Templates.
  4. This setup is in compliance with Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) ruling. In 2009, The SFLC opinion states that the PHP and any intermingled HTML needs to be released under the GPL but CSS and images, by contrast, can be but do not need to be. Essentially what this means is two different sets of licensing rights apply. The latter components that are not released under the GPL, the custom content created by OpenJournalSystems.com, is covered by a separate license and NOT the GPL Licensing
  5. For more information about Split License, please visit: https://help.market.envato.com/hc/en-us/articles/202501064-What-is-Split-Licensing-and-the-GPL-
  • No. OJS themes purchased from OpenJournalSystems.com.com are for your use only. You may not include the original purchased items (or source files) in any distributed end product. This includes any OJS theme that you have customized yourself.
  • Currently, we accept payment via PayPal, where you can pay with credit card, debit card, and Paypal balance. Currency: USD.
  • Absolutely. Once you are redirected to Paypal, you will be able to select credit card payment. Just expand the ‘Pay with a debit or credit card’ tab – see image below.pay-without-paypal-account-credit-debit.jpg
  • Yes. All our themes are a one-time fee with unlimited ongoing support and updates.
  • Yes. Before making your selection, please visit our OJS theme home page to see a demo of each theme.
  • Within 24 hours of your purchase, we will contact you with details for your chosen theme installation. If you decided to make the installation yourself, we can provide you with the plug-in and the readme.txt file, which contains instructions on theme setup. You can also view these instructions on the theme instructions page.
  • Because we sell non-tangible digital products which cannot be returned or exchanged, we do not offer refunds. Please take the time to review the theme demos and get in touch with us if you have any questions prior to making your purchase.
  • New products are released monthly. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to receive product updates, exclusive promotions, and more!
  • Yes. All of our OJS themes are mobile friendly and natively responsive. “Responsive” means the website is automatically optimized for different screen sizes and devices including mobile (change the width of the journal browser to experience how this changes the layout). This responsiveness will allow your target visitors to view your website on any device they prefer.
  • “Plug-in-based” indicates that the theme codes are isolated from the core OJS codes. This ensures protection of both the theme and the OJS functionality in case of any future OJS upgrades.
  • The Classic OJS Theme collection is our entry-level theme design. This is a great choice for journal start-ups and small-to-medium-size publishers across a broad range of fields and industries. Our Classic OJS Theme is custom designed to harness the highest functionality and create the best possible user experience. It’s perfect for publishers looking for an affordable, clean, streamlined, and practical OJS theme to present their journal contents in a professional and elegant way.
  • The Modern OJS Theme collection is a high-quality OJS theme custom built for customers who want a polished design to take their publishing to the next level. These themes are expertly crafted on a modular and responsive, developer-friendly Bootstrap foundation and are an ideal choice for publishers who appreciate quality design. Our Modern Themes are esthetically refined, professional, creative, and captivating. Furthermore, Modern Themes are customizable from the theme plug-in setting and capable of empowering journal managers of any skill level to make changes without having to write a single line of code.
  • Our OJS Custom Theme design services will transform Open Journal Systems into almost any layout or creative solution design you require for your publishing enterprise. Using cutting-edge technology for OJS theme development, our expert designers can craft a custom theme for you that is not only stunning and visually appealing, but also provides the look and feel you desire within a well-structured framework. With WordPress-like functionality, Custom OJS Themes are not just a design, but include many added capabilities such as: Menu Customization, Sliders, Headers, Footers, Static Page Design, Sidebar Customization, and much more. This involves creating a framework to implement all the power and flexibility of a Content Management System (CMS) and transforms OJS into an advanced journal management system for enterprise-level publishing. These custom features allow for greater flexibility and better functionality and are designed to elevate your Open Journal Systems to a professional level. We charge $75/hour for OJS customization services.
  • All of our themes have been custom designed to suit any possible requirements you may have for your OJS. Please visit our OJS theme home page to experience our demos and help you select the right OJS theme for you.
  • Yes. We can redesign your OJS site to give it any look or theme you desire. We charge $75/hour for OJS customization services. We would love to hear about your project, just get in touch via our contact page and we can discuss your requirements in more detail.
  • Yes. A color customization option is available in the Modern Themes collection only and is accessible from the plug-in setting. Anything beyond color customization would involve changing the corresponding CSS and template files. Please note that all fonts and colors are controlled with CSS. While you don’t need to be a coding expert, you would be required to have some CSS knowledge to customize your theme.
  • Yes. All our modern themes have color modification options that are accessible from the responsive theme plug-in settings. For the classic themes, however, you need to know a bit of CSS in order to make the changes to the relevant files.
  • Yes. All fonts are controlled with CSS. While you don’t need to be a coding expert, you would be required to have some CSS knowledge to customize the fonts.
  • OJS Plug-In Customization helps streamline the publication process and allow Open Journal Systems to expand its functionality without altering the OJS core program. OJS plug-ins are small snippets of code that can help you easily add new features which will be essential for the success of your OJS publishing website.

    We have many years of experience and expertise in creating custom OJS plug-ins, upgrading existing plug-ins, and supporting all of the plug-ins that you are using. Our company has designed and developed a variety of custom OJS plug-ins including 100s of theme plug-ins such as: an HTML editor plug-in for articles, an Article Graphic Metrics plug-in, a PayPal Pro plug-in, slideshows/slider plug-ins, carousel plug-ins, newsletter subscription plug-ins, and many more!

  • OJS Workflow Customization is intended to tailor and streamline the Manuscript Tracking System within OJS. It redefines how every manuscript submitted to your journal is handled during the peer-review and editing stages. We specialize in analyzing your OJS workflow requirements and translating those processes directly into your OJS platform. This is vital in reducing training time, increasing familiarity with the system, and creating a cost-effective model for your publishing. Our goal is to provide a custom, intuitive platform that works for you. The goal is to provide a custom, intuitive platform that works for you. Our four-step process is simple yet effective:
  1. STRATEGY: We analyze your current workflow requirements and suggest ways to improve your processes.
  2. PLANNING: We create a visual representation of the new workflow by creating a wireframe.
  3. BUILDING: We start with the development of your project and provide continuous updates to ensure that the project is always moving in the right direction.
  4. SUPPORT: We provide comprehensive post-implementation debugging and support to ensure a successful implementation.
  • We provide a variety of option for support. You can contact us:
    • via email: (info@openjournalsystems.com),
    • through our OJS HelpDesk contact form,
    • via Skype (Skype ID: OpenJournalSystems), or
    • by phone: 602-527-7080.
  • Our staff are on call from Monday to Friday (GMT+7 time zone) 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (MST), and during this time we strive to reply to any queries within 8 hours.
  • We provide support for theme installation and setup. This includes all issues arising from any of the packaged theme features and any theme bug fixes. This will give you everything required to ensure that all theme features are working as advertised and as shown on the demo site.

    To find out more about OpenJournalSystems.com Customization Services, have a look at some of our latest OJS Projects. If you have any questions, please contact our team.

  • When you purchase an OJS theme from us, you’re acquiring a license to use an OpenJournalSystems.com theme.
    There are two options when licensing a theme from OpenJournalSystems.com: a Regular License and an Extended License. A Regular License allows you to use our OJS theme in one journal only. An Extended License allows you to use our OJS theme in multiple journals, within the same installation, and in one server only.
  • Yes. A single purchase of an OpenJournalSystems.com OJS theme allows you to use the theme on one finished site. If you need to use it on a second site, you would be required to purchase a second license.
  • Yes. If you have already purchased a Regular License, you can easily upgrade to an Extended License by simply paying the price difference.
  • The Extended License cost depends on each specific theme design. Please see our OJS theme home page for more detailed pricing information.
  • No. In order to receive ongoing updates and support, we require our company credit to remain in the footer.
  • No it doesn’t. Our support does not cover any OJS errors/malfunctions that started before subscribing to our support plan.
  • We aim to solve support tickets or support email requests the same day and in 6 hours or less.
  • Yes we do. You can reach us for OJS support at 602-527-7080.
  • Yes we do. We are able to provide 24/7 support as our support staff are located in different time zones.
  • In order of preference:
  1. Live Support via Skype (our Skype id: OpenJournalSystems)
  2. Through our ticket-based support Help Desk. To submit a support request, click here.
  3. Using our support email at info@openjournalsystems.com
  4. By calling us directly at 602-527-7080
  • We know Open Journal Systems! We are the best in the business! Our knowledgeable OJS support team has provided technical solutions to over 500 clients since 2013. As well, members of our OJS support team are very active in the Open Journal Systems community and have developed multiple plugins for OJS. This responsive support is one of the key differentiators that set us apart. Feel free to read our client testimonials and see for yourself.
  • Each support plan is for one OJS installation with as many journals in one installation as you like.
  • With our Premium and Enterprise Plan, we include one free OJS site migration to a new host of your choice. With our Basic support plan, OJS site migrations are charged at $99 for up to 100 articles and users.
  • We place the utmost emphasis on security and we’re always looking for ways to improve. We have implemented cutting-edge security policies and protocols that includes OJS as well as server security hardening.
  • OJS Security Hardening:
    1. OJS File Upload Validation Plugin: File Upload Validation Plugin enables the Admin/JM to choose the approved file types, which can be uploaded by an author during the submission process. This plugin will prevent the upload of OJS malware, such as PHTML files, which are used by hackers to gain entry into an OJS web server and upload malicious files.
    2. OJS Registration Notification Plugin: Registration Notification Plugin sends an email notification to a predetermined email address whenever a user has been registered for a journal. This email contains the user name, email, affiliation, journal and role(s) registered for, and the option to delete them form OJS. This plugin enables the Admin/JM to verify or block the registration of any new user.
    3. OJS Files Directory Protection: OJS file directory placed in a non-web-accessible location and cannot be accessed directly via the web server.
    4. Restrict File Permissions: Getting OJS file permissions right is one of the most important factors in maintaining the security of OJS installation. We use restrict file permissions for better security while maintaining OJS functionality.
    5. OJS Encryption: Changing OJS configuration to use SHA1 hashing rather than MD5 for better security.
  • Server Security Hardening:
    1. ConfigServer Firewall: ConfigServer Firewall, known and referred to simply by most cPanel and WHM users as CSF, is one of the best, most effective firewall configuration scripts in the market today. Designed to considerably increase server security, having this in place will allow you to use a robust interface to manage firewall features and settings.
    2. CPHulk Brute-Force Protection: CPHulk prevent a server falling victim to brute force login attempts. A brute force is a password guessing technique that consists of trying to login with a user name and password over and over, changing either the username and/or the password if not successful. Given enough time even a moderately secure, random character password can fall victim to this as some attackers will try every combination they can if given the chance. CPHulk will detect and block these attacks by checking for failed login attempts. This can affect you if the failed logins are originating from your internet connection. The steps below will guide you on how to unblock yourself depending on the access you have.
    3. Lynis Security Audit: Lynis is an open source security auditing tool. Used by system administrators, security professionals, and auditors, to evaluate the security defenses of their Linux and UNIX-based systems. It runs on the host itself, so it performs more extensive security scans than vulnerability scanners.
    4. Munin Network Monitoring Tool: Munin is a system, network, and infrastructure monitoring application that provides real time monitoring and alerting services for servers and alerts the system administrator when things go wrong.
    5. Clamav Malware Scanner: Clam AntiVirus (ClamAV) software toolkit able to detect many types of malicious software, including viruses and trojans. One of its main uses is on entire home directory, and mail servers as a server-side email virus scanner.
    6. Server Side Security Scripts: Proprietary Security Scripts to prevent execution of OJS deface malware and closing of any unused ports.
  • Company-wide, security concerns are always the highest priority. We continuously monitor your OJS site for malware and any other irregularities. In the unlikely event a security issue does occur, we will respond immediately.
  • For our hosting clients, we offer R1Soft Backup Manager, with multiple restore points, as well as on-demand CPanel backup for continuous data protection. For non-hosting clients, we offer off-site backup, which includes backup of all of your files, email accounts, and databases. In the rare event of a hard drive failure, we can instantly restore your entire account. While hard drives rarely fail, we prepare for the worst, which fully assures your hard work will never be lost.
  • Upgrading is easy. All you need to do is visit our OJS upgrade pricing page and choose the OJS upgrade plan that best fits your needs. The biggest differences between OJS plans are the whether you are upgrading a single journal or looking at a multi-journal installation as well as is the age of your current version. OpenJournalSystems.com offers 3 different upgrade plans:
    • The Basic Upgrade PlanThe Basic Upgrade Plan is designed for a single journal and its update range is from 2.4.3 to current. Please click here to see The Basic Upgrade Plan Pricing.
    • The Professional Upgrade PlanThe Professional Upgrade Plan is designed for a single journal and its update range is from 2.0 to current. Please click here to see The Professional Upgrade Plan Pricing.
    • The Advanced Upgrade PlanThe Advanced Upgrade Plan is designed for multiple journals and its update range is from 2.0 to current. Please click here to see The Advanced Upgrade Plan Pricing.
  • Updates are vital for the proper functioning of your OJS site. Every OJS upgrade includes file changes and/or removal to fix vulnerabilities and bugs to help protect your OJS site. An outdated version of OJS leaves your Journal Management System at risk of malicious hacker attacks. Outdated, obsolete, abandoned, and inactive OJS plug-ins can also be a security risk. Additionally, these updates also contain the latest improvements and newest features to ensure you get the most out of your OJS. Furthermore, in order to be able to upgrade your current OJS to OJS 3.0, you will need to upgrade your OJS 2.3.x or older to an intermediate version of OJS 2.4.x. before being able to upgrade to OJS 3.0.
  • Upgrading OJS is not an easy task and requires extensive technical expertise in order to make sure it’s done correctly. As well, a botched or incomplete OJS upgrade procedure can result in OJS malfunction and loss of your data.
  • If you are already hosting your OJS with us, or have purchased our OJS service plan, we will automatically upgrade your OJS with every new release.

    First we will take a working backup of your database and all website files and save them to our external hard drive. This ensures that if anything goes wrong during the upgrade process, we can roll back the upgrade to your current OJS installation. We will then proceed with updating your OJS core files and database to the latest stable OJS version. Once the upgrade process is completed, we will proceed with extensive conflict and compatibility checks of your OJS plug-ins. The final step is to test your updated OJS site, plug-ins, and themes to ensure everything is functioning properly.

  • Your OJS will be updated once or twice per year.
  • The time to perform an upgrade can vary. The upgrade process takes approximately 1 hour for The Basic Upgrade Plan and anywhere from 2 to 3 hours to 24 hours for The Professional or Advanced Upgrade Plans.
  • Yes. With over 500 upgrades under our belt, we have the knowledge, expertise, and experience to upgrade your OJS from any previous version of Open Journal Systems software.
  • In addition to the enhanced user interface, navigation systems, and theme experience, the workflow in OJS 3 is highly dynamic and much more customizable than OJS 2.x. OJS 3 also has much more flexible user roles and task management systems. It also includes an improved feedback system for each editorial stage to help you track the communications that are a critical to any submission’s workflow.

Editorial Discussions (OJS)


To help track the communications that are a critical part of a submission’s workflow, OJS 3 has a new internal discussion feature for each editorial stage (Submission, Review, Copyediting, Production). Discussions work much like an online forum — a user creates a discussion topic, invites others to participate, and sends a message (including with attachments):

ojs3-copyediting-info

Anyone involved with the submission can be included in a discussion (the editor, section editors, authors, copyeditors, etc.). Recipients receive an email notification to inform them of the new message. Replies happen just like in a blog comment or forum post:

ojs3-copyeditor-add-discussion

And the entire discussion thread becomes a part of the permanent editorial history.

Flexible Workflow


OJS 3 consists of 4 editorial stages: Submission, where new submissions are dealt with (rejected, assigned to section editors, etc.); Review, where peer review and author revisions take place; Copyediting, where the reviewed and revised files are sent for copyediting; and Production, where the final, copyedited version is converted into publishable formats (PDF, HTML, etc.), proofread, and scheduled for publication. To increase editorial flexibility, you can easily move a submission from one stage to another without completing any of the possible tasks on that stage. You don’t do copyediting? No problem, just skip it with the Send to Production button.

ojs3-copyeditor-author-copyedits

You can also involve any users you wish within each stage. If your journal doesn’t involve the authors in proofreading, you can simply exclude them in the discussion.

Flexible Roles


In addition to making the workflow more flexible, you can now easily change the names of existing roles. If you’d rather have Production Managers rather than Journal Managers, you can simply rename that role. As well, if you want to create a new role, you can do that to. OJS 3 let’s you make up any role you wish, and associate with any (or all) stages of the workflow.

ojs3-roles

You can also configure custom roles to have similar permissions to existing roles, such as authors, reviewers, section editors, etc. For example, if you create a new Editor-in-Chief role, you could give that role access to all 4 editorial stages, and the same permissions as editors and journal managers (the ability to do anything with the journal settings and anything with submissions).

ojs3-create-new-role

Flexible Task Access


A common annoyance with OJS 2 was the need to switch roles to do different tasks. For example, if you were a user enrolled as both a Journal Manager and an Editor, you had access to both the submissions as well as the journal settings. However, if you were in the middle of editing a submission, but realized you needed to tweak a setting on the web site, you needed to go to your user home page, select your role as Journal Manager, go to the Journal Manager home page, and then select the appropriate setting. In OJS 3, if you are logged in as a user with permission to access both the submissions and the journal settings, you no longer need to make that complicated switch. The settings are simply available in the left sidebar.

ojs3-task-access

Submission Files


In OJS 2, authors can submit a single “main” file (typically the article manuscript) and then other “supplementary” files that are handled differently. In OJS 3, the author can now upload an unlimited number of main files (article manuscript, images, tables, data sets, etc.), using the Add Another File option.

ojs3-file-upload

These can all be made available as part of the peer review process, as well as in the Copyediting and Production stages. The aim here is to reduce the artificially imposed distinction between the article manuscript and any other files. For example, images of figures are central to the manuscript and should have the option of being treated as part of the main submission.

Customizable Interface


In addition to making the workflow more customizable, we have also made the user interface more flexible. In OJS 2, creating a new theme was often a challenge due to the extensive number of style sheets that needed to be modified. To reduce this burden, the style sheets and underlying templates for the administrative interface and the reader interface have been separated.

This brings two benefits: first, users who work with multiple OJS 3 journals (e.g., as an editor for one, an author for another, and reviewer for a third) will always have the same user experience in the administrative interface — it will always look the same on the inside; second, separating out the reader interface templates and style sheets means that they will be significantly smaller and easier to modify.

Bootstrap Theming and Responsive Design


OJS 3 allows you to upload bootstrap themes, making it easier for your journal to have a unique look.

ojs3-bootstrap-theme

Lack of responsiveness (the ability of the journal’s web page to adjust to the reader’s screen size — from a phone, to tablet, to desktop computer) was a major issue for OJS 2. The OJS 3 reader interface is fully responsive.

Simpler Registration


To ease registration for new users, we’ve prioritized a small set of required fields on a single screen (e.g., name, affiliation, email, etc.), and allow the registration to proceed once those few are completed.

ojs3-registrationThe new user can then proceed directly to make a submission or accept a review request. She has the option to fill in a more complete profile if she wishes, or can be asked by the editor to fill in details at a later point (such as upon acceptance of her submission).

  • No. Some plug-ins and functions such as Subscriptions Plugin, Books for Review Plugin, or simultaneous, real-time editing of submission documents by multiple reviewers are not yet available in OJS 3.
  • OpenJournalSystems.com has the extensive technical expertise you need to make sure your upgrade is done quickly and correctly. Upgrading OJS is not a simple task and a botched or incomplete upgrade procedure can result in a malfunction and the loss of your data. If you are running OJS version 2.3.x or older, you will first need to upgrade to OJS version 2.4 or later. Please see our OJS 3.0 Upgrade Plans for more information.
  • Any custom setting which you may have enabled for your journal in OJS 2x will not be ported across to version OJS 3x. Customization made to your OJS 2.x installation will not apply to OJS 3x as many underlying concepts have changed considerably.
  • Yes. All users login credentials, along with site permissions, and existing roles in OJS 2x series are ported to OJS 3.
  • All usage statistics in OJS 2x series, including Article-level usage and monthly COUNTER usage reports, are ported to OJS 3.
  • OJS is an excellent e-publishing platform, but it has many security loopholes that hackers can exploit to get into your site to either cripple or destroy it. Open Journal Systems security should therefore be one of your primary concerns. See Open Journal Systems (OJS): Hacking Epidemic and Solutions for more information.
  • The end result of any OJS security breach is significant as publishing sites using OJS have databases containing detailed information about the researchers, which attackers can use for identity theft and fraud. Furthermore, attackers could access and steal unpublished manuscripts or even utilize the OJS to publish bogus research. This is on top of compromising the entire server security and causing a total site malfunction. Open Journal Systems security should therefore be one of your primary concerns. See Open Journal Systems (OJS): Hacking Epidemic and Solutions for more information.
  • Unfortunately you won’t know you’ve been hacked until it’s too late! Here are some tell-tale signs: you may notice that OJS landing page has been changed, or you may see links or funny characters in your content, blank pages, or PHP errors – chances are your site has been hacked. See Open Journal Systems (OJS): Hacking Epidemic and Solutions for more information.
  • Yes; however, there are many steps to properly secure an OJS site, some of which are very technical. If you aren’t well-versed in the workings of OJS, PHP coding and databases, you’re better off leaving it to a professional. Almost all the hacked sites we’ve fixed had some type of do-it-yourself security. See Open Journal Systems (OJS): Hacking Epidemic and Solutions for more information.
  • Yes. We will perform a security audit of your site from many different angles and then, present our findings and recommendations to you in a document with a clear road map for taking the next steps.

OpenJournalSystems.com place the utmost emphasis on security and we’re always looking for ways to improve. We use many different layers of security to help protect your OJS site from being hacked. Each layer by itself is capable of stopping an attack. When all of the layers are combined, the overall security level goes up geometrically, creating a stronger OJS security system. We have implemented cutting-edge security policies and protocols that includes OJS as well as server security hardening.

  • OJS Security Hardening:
    1. OJS File Upload Validation Plugin: File Upload Validation Plugin enables the Admin/JM to choose the approved file types, which can be uploaded by an author during the submission process. This plugin will prevent the upload of OJS malware, such as PHTML files, which are used by hackers to gain entry into an OJS web server and upload malicious files.
    2. OJS Registration Notification Plugin: Registration Notification Plugin sends an email notification to a predetermined email address whenever a user has been registered for a journal. This email contains the user name, email, affiliation, journal and role(s) registered for, and the option to delete them form OJS. This plugin enables the Admin/JM to verify or block the registration of any new user.
    3. OJS Files Directory Protection: OJS file directory placed in a non-web-accessible location and cannot be accessed directly via the web server.
    4. Restrict File Permissions: Getting OJS file permissions right is one of the most important factors in maintaining the security of OJS installation. We use restrict file permissions for better security while maintaining OJS functionality.
    5. OJS Encryption: Changing OJS configuration to use SHA1 hashing rather than MD5 for better security.
  • Server Security Hardening:
    1. ConfigServer Firewall: ConfigServer Firewall, known and referred to simply by most cPanel and WHM users as CSF, is one of the best, most effective firewall configuration scripts in the market today. Designed to considerably increase server security, having this in place will allow you to use a robust interface to manage firewall features and settings.
    2. CPHulk Brute-Force Protection: CPHulk prevent a server falling victim to brute force login attempts. A brute force is a password guessing technique that consists of trying to login with a user name and password over and over, changing either the username and/or the password if not successful. Given enough time even a moderately secure, random character password can fall victim to this as some attackers will try every combination they can if given the chance. CPHulk will detect and block these attacks by checking for failed login attempts. This can affect you if the failed logins are originating from your internet connection. The steps below will guide you on how to unblock yourself depending on the access you have.
    3. Lynis Security Audit: Lynis is an open source security auditing tool. Used by system administrators, security professionals, and auditors, to evaluate the security defenses of their Linux and UNIX-based systems. It runs on the host itself, so it performs more extensive security scans than vulnerability scanners.
    4. Munin Network Monitoring Tool: Munin is a system, network, and infrastructure monitoring application that provides real time monitoring and alerting services for servers and alerts the system administrator when things go wrong.
    5. Clamav Malware Scanner: Clam AntiVirus (ClamAV) software toolkit able to detect many types of malicious software, including viruses and trojans. One of its main uses is on entire home directory, and mail servers as a server-side email virus scanner.
    6. Server Side Security Scripts: Proprietary Security Scripts to prevent execution of OJS deface malware and closing of any unused ports.