Jump to table of contents

Differences between OJS 2 and 3

Although the fundamental features of OJS are consistent between versions, there are some significant changes and improvements in OJS 3. New features in OJS 3 include the following, some of which are explained in more detail below:

  • Responsive, mobile-friendly design
  • New themes
  • Flexible editorial workflow
  • Plugin integration with with ORCID, iThenticate, Publons, and other external services
  • Simplified user registration
  • Customizable roles and permissions
  • Expanded internal and usage statistics reports
  • Multilingual author name support
  • Support for thematic collections or categories of articles

For an overview of features you can look forward to seeing in OJS 3, see our OJS 3 Features Overview video below.

OJS 3 Features Overview

OJS 3 interface #

There is a new interface for readers and editors, including a separate editorial interface that is visually distinct from the journal. Users with multiple roles are no longer required to select a role from their user homepage in order to access certain settings or administrative features; all the available options can be located in the new dashboard. This also allows for seamless switching between tasks associated with different roles. The new interface is illustrated below and explained in What’s New in OJS 3.

Dashboard menu in OJS 2. Dashboard menu in OJS 3.
OJS 2 settings menu after selecting the Site Administrator Role OJS 3 Dashboard with settings menus on the left panel

OJS 3 workflow #

The editorial workflow in OJS 3 has been significantly revamped to be more flexible, which can be a large adjustment for your editors. OJS 3 consists of 4 editorial stages, any of which can be easily skipped:

  1. Submission, where new submissions are dealt with (rejected, assigned to section editors, etc.)
  2. Review, where peer review and author revisions take place
  3. Copyediting, where the reviewed and revised files are sent for copyediting
  4. Production, where the final, copyedited version is converted into publishable formats (PDF, HTML, etc.), proofread, and scheduled for publication.

Another new editorial feature is the introduction of an internal discussion feature for each editorial stage (Submission, Review, Copyediting, Production). These discussions work much like an online forum — a user creates a discussion topic, invites others to participate, and sends a message with any relevant attachments.

Copyediting discussion menu with one copyediting request.

Statistics #

The type of statistics reports available and the way they are generated is another key change between versions. If your journal makes use of statistics reports, read the Statistics guide, which explains the various types of reports available in each version and provides information on upgrading journals with legacy View Report data.

OJS 3 has new statistics features such as a visual dashboard of usage statistics for editors and journal managers and the ability to display an article’s usage statistics on the reader front end.

Missing features #

There are also some features from OJS 2 that are missing or still in development for OJS 3, including the following:

  • Some plugins have not been ported to OJS 3, including Books for Review and Dataverse
  • Email template management and user notification management is still being refined

It is important to take an inventory of your useful and frequently used plugins and features and their availability for the newer version of OJS before deciding to upgrade.

Lastly, updates and developments to OJS 3 are ongoing. If you are unsure about the status of a feature or plugin in OJS 3, search on the PKP Community Forum and PKP’s GitHub repository to see if it is actively being worked on. You can also request new features or tweaks to features that will improve OJS.

For additional resources on the differences between OJS 2 and 3 see the Additional Resources section at the end of this guide.