This guide is for OJS 2, which is an older version of OJS. For information about importing and exporting data in OJS 3, see the Import/Export section of Learning OJS or the Data Import and Export chapter of the Administrator’s Guide.
Open Journal Systems 2 offers a variety of tools and Import/Export plugins which allow the Journal Manager to inject data into and extract data from OJS. More information can be found for each plugin’s documentation within OJS’ plugin directory (
Import/export functionality is also available as a command-line tool; see
tools/importExport.php and the command line section for more information.
The easiest way to import existing data into OJS is by using the Quick Submit plugin. This is used by journals that have a set of “ready-to-publish” files (usually PDFs), which need to be uploaded for immediate reader access.
Use cases include:
To use this plugin, you will need:
First, log in as an Editor and create the issues (or issue) that will contain the new files.
Next, log in as a Journal Manager and go to the Management Pages, choose Import/Export Data, and then choose Quick Submit plugin.
In the resulting form, you can select the issue you created in the step above, and then add the appropriate publication date for the content (a past date if it was previously published, or today’s date if you are publishing it for the first time).
Moving down the form, you must now choose the appropriate section for the journal, and then upload the “ready-to-publish” file.
Next, enter all of the required fields:
You may need to copy this data directly out of the “ready-to-publish” file and paste into the form. You can also fill in any of the non-required fields as necessary for your journal.
Finally, hit the Save and Continue button (if you are just doing one file) or the Save and Create Another button if you have more to do.
The file will now be immediately placed in the assigned issue. If the issue is already published, the files will be visible to your readers now. If the issue is not yet published, the files will not be visible.
In addition to the Quick Submit plugin, there is another way to expedite the submissions, available to Journal Managers from the 5-step Author Submission process.
First, make sure you are logged in as a user who is enrolled as both an Editor and an Author. From your User Home, choose the Author Role, and start a submission. Fill out the first two steps of the Author Submission Process as you normally would, keeping in mind that you may need to modify the author metadata information if you are not the original author.
When you reach Step 3 of the submission Process (“Uploading the Submission”), you should upload a galley file, as the file you upload here will appear in the final copyediting queue as both an Initial Copyedit file, and as a Galley file. You will still be able to edit, add and remove any galley files at a later step, however. Please note, if you do not upload a file at this point, you will not have the option of expediting the submission process once you are done.
Finish the rest of the submission process as normal. If you have uploaded a file, upon completion of Step 5 you will be presented with the option to move the submission directly to the last step of the Editing Queue. Clicking that link will take you from the submission process to the Editing queue.
You will note that the file you uploaded appears both under Copyediting as an Initial Copyedit file, and under Layout, as a Galley file. For publishing’s sake it is the galley file you are interested in. Double-check that the file format has been correctly identified (normally either PDF or HTML), view the proof, and upload any other galley files at this time as well.
You can then schedule the submission under Scheduling, as you would for any other reviewed, copyedited file, and it will appear as soon as the issue it has been assigned to is published. In the case of it being assigned to an already-published issue, it will appear immediately in that issue’s Table of Contents.
OJS features the ability to directly import metadata describing articles and issues for your journal. This can be extremely useful when you are adding back issues to your journal, and do not want to go through the standard OJS editorial process. To do this, you will have to have a basic understanding of XML.
Please note that there is another way to expedite the submission process and publish material quickly which does not depend on making XML files, and may be of use if you only have a handful of items to import. You can view complete instructions in the Expedited Submissions section on this page.
The Articles and Issues XML Plugin is the primary method for batch importing and exporting article-level content. It can be used to import and export single or multiple issues and/or articles, including comprehensive metadata. You can view the complete DTD here:
plugins/importexport/native/native.dtd. The DTD supports the following as root elements:
You can view a sample XML article import file in your OJS installation:
There are a handful of things you should be mindful of when importing data.
<embed>to place a file directly within your XML document, or use
<href>to link to one.
If you use the
<embed> tag you will have to base64-encode your files. Using
<embed> with a base64-encoded file would look something like this:
<galley> <label>`PDF`</label> <file> <embed encoding="base64" filename="my_file.pdf" mime_type="application/pdf"> PGxpPjxCPlc8Zm9ukjfdaSD...(and so on) </embed> </file> </galley>
You can link to full URLs as well as local files using
<href>. A full URL link would look like the following:
<galley> <label>`PDF`</label> <file> <href src="http://www.example.com/import_files/my_file.pdf" mime_type="application/pdf"/> </file> </galley>
You can use local linking if your galleys are already stored on the destination machine, but in this case you need to launch the import from the command line. Importing a local file would look like the following:
<galley> <label>`PDF`</label> <file> <href src="/home/johndoe/import/my_file.pdf"/> </file> </galley>
<htmlgalley>element. Otherwise, use the
<galley>element (ie., for PDF/Postscript, audio, video and other files).
<author primary_contact="true"> <firstname>`Jane`</firstname> <lastname>`Doe`</lastname> <email>` `</email> <biography locale="en_US">`Jane Doe's Bio statement...`</biography> </author>
<indexing> <subject locale="en_US">`Term 1; Term 2; Term 3`</subject> </indexing>
<indexing> <subject locale="en_US">`Term 1; Term 2; Term 3`</subject> <subject locale="fr_CA">`Translated Term 1; Translated Term 2; Translated Term 3`</subject> </indexing>
<abbrev locale="en_US">`AR`</abbrev>instead of
<abbrev locale="en_US">`ART`</abbrev>, a new journal section with the initials AR will be created, and that one article will be added to it. This can be easily fixed pre-import, but difficult to clean up after.
The Articles and Issues XML Plugin can be used from the web, from the Journal Manager’s User Home:
You will be notified of any errors, or if the import was successful.
You can export either single or multiple articles and/or issues from the Journal Manager’s User Home:
Note: Please note that using this plugin to export articles and issues will not only export all relevant metadata, but will include all article files (HTML, PDF, etc.) embedded within the XML document in Base64 encoding. This can result in large, cumbersome XML files, especially when multiple issues are exported at once. Opening them in an editor to view or change any XML data or metadata may be taxing for your computer, and it may take some time to download and/or upload said files, depending on your connection and the resources of the source server.
The Users XML Plugin can be used to import and export users and their roles. See the XML DTD in
plugins/importexport/users/users.dtd for more information, as well as the sample file in
plugins/importexport/users/sample.xml and in Appendix B.
You can import single or multiple users from the Journal Manager’s User Home:
The Users XML Plugin can be used to import and export single or multiple users. You can view the complete DTD here:
plugins/importexport/users/users.dtd. The root element is
You can view a sample XML user import file in Appendix B, and also in your OJS installation at
There are a handful of things you should be mindful of when importing user data.
You can export users by one or more roles, or export all users at once. To export one or more roles, simply choose the roles you want exported by clicking (or Ctrl-clicking, if more than one role) the role in the role list and then clicking Export Users. To export all users, click the Export All link.
Please note that passwords will be encrypted using MD5 or SHA-1 encryption, depending on what system the journal is using.
Please see the PKP Crossref Manual.
The Erudit Article Export Plugin implements single-article export for full-text indexing using Erudit’s XML DTD. See https://www.erudit.org for more information.
The Erudit XML Plugin can be used from the web, from the Journal Manager’s User Home:
The PubMed XML Export Plugin provides an import/export plugin to generate bibliographic information for articles in PubMed standard
publisher data format XML for indexing in NLM PubMed/MEDLINE. Details on the XML format and data requirements is available at:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK3828/. More information on this plugin can be found in
The Pubmed XML Plugin can be used from the web, from the Journal Manager’s User Home:
Import/export plugins can normally also be run from the command line. You can view the applicable plugin names by running the following command:
php tools/importExport.php list
You can see usage parameters by running the following command:
php tools/importExport.php [PluginName] usage
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