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REST API Usage Guide

This document describes how to interact with the REST API provided by PKP applications. It is a technical document intended for software developers who wish to build applications to interact with OJS or OMP.

Skip to the technical references.

About the API #

The REST API will respond to HTTP requests with the requested data in JSON format. When receiving POST or PUT requests, it expects to receive a payload formatted in JSON.

The REST API is in early stages of development. The Compatibility and Maintenance section provides some guidance for long-term maintenance of third-party applications built using the API.

Access the API #

Use the following to access the /submissions endpoint when an application is hosted at https://example.com/.


A multi-journal OJS installation must access endpoints from each journal’s URL.


Installations that do not use mod_rewrite must include index.php.


Installations which have set disable_path_info to On in the configuration file must use query parameters. Use of this method is discouraged.


Administrators can access some endpoints, such as /contexts, at a site-wide endpoint that spans all journals.


Authentication #

Only authenticated users can access the REST API endpoints. Authentication can be done with cookies or an API token.

Cookies #

Cookie-based authentication can be used when you are making a request from the same domain name as the application. No special authentication is required. When a request is made from the user’s browser, the browser will send the cookies to the server.

API Token #

Your API token can be found by going to User Profile > API Key in the application. Add a query parameter, apiToken, to any request to the API.


Query Parameters #

The base endpoint for an entity will return a list of those entities. Typically, you can use query parameters in the request to filter, sort and paginate the requests.

Filtering #

The following will return only submissions that have been submitted to sections with an ID of 1 or 2.


Sorting #

The following will return submissions in alphabetical order.


Pagination #

The following will return the second “page” of results, if each page contained 30 results.


Consult the API Reference for full specifiation of supported query parameters.

Multiple Languages #

All PKP applications are multilingual. Multilingual fields will be provided as a JSON object with keys specifying the locale codes. The following response shows the title property of a submission in English and Canadian French.

	"title": {
		"en_US": "Young people from an immigrant background and their choice of post-secondary orientation in Montreal",
		"fr_CA": "Jeunes issus de l’immigration et choix d’orientation au postsecondaire à Montréal"

This is the same even when an installation only uses a single language:

	"title": {
		"fr_CA": "Jeunes issus de l’immigration et choix d’orientation au postsecondaire à Montréal"

When sending POST or PUT requests, the REST API will expect the data it receives to be broken down by locale.

Some responses will include a _href property. The value of this property will be a URL to the full version of this object in the REST API.

	"_href": "http://example.com/api/v1/submissions/219"

Compatibility and Maintenance #

The REST API is still under active development. The development path will follow our own needs as we refactor our UI to work with the API. Our goal is to eventually run the entire application through the API, so that all functionality is exposed to third-party applications.

To make it easier to maintain third-party plugins and applications, we will maintain a changelog in the reference for each version of the API.

However, changes to the endpoints under the Backend category in the reference may not be documented. Use them at your own peril.

We plan to add endpoints as quickly as possible. If you need an endpoint that is not available, and are willing to contribute code to put it into place, please open an issue on the pkp-lib GitHub repository. We welcome community contributions and will work with you to ensure the specification is one that we can stand by over time with minimal disruption.

References #

The following technical references are available for different versions of the API.

We use Postman to test our APIs. You can import our OJS collection (last updated 2019-04-11).

Sorry, OMP’s API documentation is not yet available. Many of the OJS endpoints are available but we haven’t yet documented this.