Title-level metadata is information about the journal itself and includes journal title and abbreviation, ISSN, journal sections, and copyright. It will be attached to all metadata outgoing from a publication. This is true for citations as much as it is true for how your journal title appears in ORCID records, Crossref, Google Scholar, and any other number of downstream services that index or harvest your publication. It is essential to check and then double-check your title-level metadata. Furthermore, since this metadata will be so broadly used, changes to it require careful consideration.
Fortunately, it is something you only really need to worry about setting up once. But mistakes in title-level metadata must be rectified because they are attached to everything a journal publishes. This section addresses the most critical areas to ensure the best possible metadata quality throughout the publication.
These settings can be configured in the dashboard by a Journal Manager or Journal Editor.
Why begin with languages? Because language settings in OJS impact all other settings, so you should set your languages first before inputting or reviewing your other settings.
For bilingual or multilingual journals, language settings are, probably, the single most significant cause for problematic metadata. All too often, users enter multiple languages in single fields or put metadata in incorrect language fields. If you publish multilingually it is important to enable and properly configure language options in OJS for your journal.
You can find your site-wide language settings when logged in as the administrator for your OJS installation. From the administration menu, you can:
These languages will be available site-wide. If you are hosting multiple journals in your OJS install, you’ll only need to set this up once to have these languages available to all journals for that installation. If each of your hosted journals is on its own install or virtual machine, you’ll need to enable the required languages for each of them.
To find your journal’s language settings:
Primary locale represents the default language of your journal. It’s the language the site will load in for external viewers and also the language in which metadata will, without any user intervention, be recorded.
UI represents the languages available to users to swap between on your journal webpage for both the front-end and the back-end. OJS locales are designed to translate all of the stock copy and navigation for any available language. If you want your site to be available in English and French, for example, you’ll want to click the box for “UI” for each language.
Forms will allow any forms in the system (user registration, for example) to be available in the selected languages.
Similarly, Submissions represents the languages in which you intend to receive content. A journal may, for example, have bilingual navigation but only accept submissions in French. Checking the submissions box will enable users to submit materials in that language.
A fully bilingual journal that provides bilingual site navigation and accepts content in more than one language should enable UI, Forms, and Submissions. A journal that provides bilingual site navigation but only accepts submissions in one language would only check the UI box.
Please note that at this time OJS does not support the display of multilingual metadata in a unilingual UI. For instance, if you are an English-language journal that provides French translations of article abstracts, these will only display on the article’s landing page if both the English and French UI are enabled.
OJS will handily inform you if your multilingual metadata has been filled out. If you have only entered the metadata for one of the supported languages, you’ll see a reddish-pink globe icon next to the field. It looks like this:
If the field has multilingual counterparts that have been filled out, you’ll see a green globe like this:
Please note: Not all metadata will require a translation, for example proper names of organizations or individuals. In this case, only put your metadata in the required fields of the primary language. OJS will automatically default to the language available in the metadata for any metadata that’s missing.
OJS has fields for journal title, initials (acronym), and abbreviation (shortened title). Once you have begun publishing, it is strongly recommended to not modify these fields, except in the case of a title change. (See the following section for more information about title changes.)
None of these fields should contain more than one language. (See the previous section about Languages if your journal is bilingual or multilingual.)
There is also a Path field that serves to establish the journal’s URL. It’s best to avoid any characters in this field that might mess up a URL. UTF-8 encoding is supported in OJS, but it will cause many headaches to put, for example, an “@” symbol here. Also, it is recommended to not change this field once it is set, even in the case of a name change.
Publishing details include:
These details are likely to be pushed out whenever your journal is indexed, archived, or harvested. ISSN, in particular, is essential, especially in the tracking and discoverability of serials. Important details about ISSNs include:
For more information on journal standards and identifiers, please see PKP’s guide Getting Found, Staying Found.
These fields are an excellent opportunity to include information you want to convey to your readers and potential authors. The About the Journal section is important because it includes all of the information authors will employ to evaluate whether or not they want to publish with you. Some indexers also use this publicly available information to evaluate your journal against their selection criteria.
The About the Journal section should be used to communicate the following:
Journal sections in OJS are intended to delineate between things like Articles, Book Reviews, Interviews, etc. They allow journals to configure specific policies for submissions to those sections and also provide workflow parameters for editors assigned to those sections.
Try to keep your sections limited as this will help authors submit to the correct place. Only create sections that will be part of your published issues. You should not use sections to convey a stage of the publishing process, such as “In Press,” as your articles will be indexed with this section metadata attached. Also make sure to provide translations for each section if your journal is multilingual.
Additionally, it’s surprisingly common for journals to ignore the section settings. For example, abstracts are required by default. This usually results in a lot of authors plopping “NA” into the abstract field when it shouldn’t exist for them at all. Check “Do not require abstracts” for any journal section you know won’t have them, or have them regularly. Make sure to review regularly all your section settings for every available section.
You might be surprised to learn that licenses and copyright count as metadata and that this metadata is affiliated with the articles in your journal. It is hugely important for everyone who might consult or make use of the journal’s content to have intellectual property/license information accurately represented via metadata. That metadata can determine how the work may be used in other locations via harvesting or indexing.
Please make sure that you’ve correctly configured your license information in OJS. You can find it by going to Settings > Distribution > License.
Too often the copyright settings contradict the licence. For example, an open access journal uses a CC-BY license and that’s what’s indicated in their author agreement and published PDFs, but its licence settings have a CC-BY-ND license. In addition, license information may be included in the About the Journal page, author submission guidelines, and journal front matter.