What is included in your hosting and support plans?

A complete list of services and features included in each Open Journal Systems (OJS) hosting plan is provided under Journal Hosting. For information about Open Monograph Press (OMP) hosting and our consulting and development services, please see our Other Plans.

You have both a paid service and a free download for your software.  What is the difference? When would the free download be enough?

All of our software is released under the open source GPL v2 license, and you are free to download, use and modify these packages at no charge so long as you obey the rules of the license (more information on the GPL is available at http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.html). You receive all of the features of the software whether you install and host it yourself or use our hosting service.

If you host the software yourself you are responsible for maintaining the server environment, performing updates, applying security patches and bug fixes, and troubleshooting any issues that arise.  We have extensive documentation and a community support forum to help you with this, but some publishers lack the technical infrastructure and expertise to do this themselves.  Therefore, we also offer a fee-based service which provides the installation and hosting of OJS, daily backups of your data, applying security patches and upgrades, and priority answering your support questions. All of our hosting plans include these things, and with the Professional and Enterprise plans you also receive training and some other services.  What is included in each hosting plan and our prices are outlined on our website.

What are the differences between Basic, Professional and Enterprise hosting plans? Which plan is for me?

With all plans you receive access to all features of OJS/OMP, backups, upgrades, bug fixes, unlimited storage, unlimited articles and issues, and technical support.

One difference between the plans is the amount of support and training available. With the Basic plan our team will provide support for your journal or press and will answer questions, but you will largely need to learn how to use the software on your own. In contrast, the Professional and Enterprise plans include 1-2 hours of initial training that is custom tailored for your editorial team and more dedicated ongoing support. The Enterprise plan also includes ongoing training as needed - for example, when you upgrade or change editorial staff. With all plans you receive access to our extensive documentation on how to use our software.

Journals that are hosted via our Basic plan share a single OJS install with a fixed set of plugins and themes that can be enabled to extend OJS functionality. If you anticipate needing to install 3rd-party plugins, custom plugins, or custom themes, you will need to host your journal via the Professional or Enterprise plan, which includes a dedicated OJS install for your journal.

Similarly, if you anticipate needing support for single-sign-on integration (SSO), source code customizations, or custom development (e.g. for theme or feature development), then your journal will need to be hosted via our Enterprise plan. The Enterprise plan also covers the cost of Crossref membership and DOI deposits, hands-on DOI configuration and management, and other additional services.

What are the storage and bandwidth limits for each hosting plan?

We have no disk storage or bandwidth limits with our plans.

What is the limit on number of articles, issues, or books that can be published with each hosting plan?

We have no publishing limits with our plans.

Can we start with one hosting plan and change to another later?

Yes, you can change to another hosting plan at any time. However, please note that there will be an administration fee and loss of submission history data if you move from a Professional or Enterprise plan to a Basic plan.  OJS sites on a Basic plan are hosted on a shared OJS installation, so if you move from an Enterprise or Professional plan to a Basic plan we will need to migrate your data. We will be able to migrate your articles, issues, and users, but you will lose the submission history for archived submissions. 

Do you offer discounts to publishers with low financial resources?

PKP is a non-profit organization that provides free and open source software to publishers and promotes open access. All income generated through PKP Publishing Services is invested back into open source software development. We provide discounts to publishers that host 5+, 10+, and 20+ journals. We also offer Crossref membership sponsorship to journals in eligible low income countries. However, we are not able to offer discounts on our hosting services for low income publishers. 

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept most forms of payment, including Paypal, bank transfer, credit card, and cheque.  If you have special payment needs or requests, please let us know and we will try to accommodate them.

Do you provide typesetting, graphic design, and/or editorial services?

While PKP Publishing Services does not provide production or editorial services, our affiliate partner, Open Academia, provides complete production and publication services for OJS journals that includes processing manuscripts through copyediting, typesetting, proofreading, online publication, indexing, and archiving. Please feel free to contact them directly if you are interested in any of the above services. More information is available at https://openacademia.net/

Do you provide indexing services?

OJS is optimized to allow your journal content to be indexed by open indexes such as Google Scholar. This is accomplished by providing structured metadata in the backend of every page on your site that can be read by web crawlers and by allowing you to add metatags to your site when you set it up to help your journal be discovered by search engines. OJS provides an OAI-PMH interface for your content, which is used by many indexes to harvest metadata. PKP Publishing Services also works directly with Google Scholar to ensure that the journals we host are indexed. 

In terms of indexes that require an application for inclusion, we do not assist with that process. However, you should find it easy to transfer your content to those indexes if you are accepted. OJS has a variety of different plugins that allow you to export your journal metadata in various formats, including OAI, METS, PubMed, and for indexes such as DOAJ.

PKP has published a guide on indexing and improving discoverability called Getting Found, Staying Found, Increasing Impact.

Can we have a test instance of OJS or OMP to add our data to and evaluate the software over a period of time?

We provide a few options for testing our software:

  • OJS live demo - data is reset on a nightly basis; other testers will have access to it
  • OMP live demo - data is reset on a nightly basis; other testers will have access to it
  • PKP School - while taking the video tutorials on how to use OJS, participants have the opportunity to create their own OJS installation that they can use for as long as they want
  • OJS/OMP hosting - enter into a one-year short-term hosted support agreement with PKP Publishing Services

How long will it take for my new OJS or OMP install to be ready?

Once we have the necessary journal information to begin, it will take approximately 2-3 business days to set up your journal or press.

Are you GDPR compliant?

OJS and OMP can be configured to be GDPR compliant and we produced a guide on GDPR and PKP software. If you host your journal or press with us we can ensure that these recommendations are followed.

What is your privacy policy?

PKP Publishing Services' policy on data and privacy can be found here.

What is your security policy?

In addition to applying security patches to all hosted journals immediately upon their release, PKP Publishing Services works directly with Carbon60, a Vancouver-based hosting provider, to ensure that our server environment is secure. Carbon60 conducts regular SOC 2 Type 2 security audits, maintains on-site 24x7 server monitoring, and restricts access to all servers with biometric validation. These security measures are supplemented by secure workflows employed by both Carbon60 and PKP Publishing Services staff. For example, PKP|PS only transports and stores backups in encrypted form (eg. SSH/SFTP for transfer; disc encryption for local storage, if ever required). Compared to other popular web applications, OJS has a good security track record. The PKP development team conducts regular code reviews for security implications as part of their day-to-day development cycle. If you require it, PKP|PS can provide a completed HECVAT Lite document for your review.

Can I use OJS or OMP for the submission workflow only and publish my content on my current website or a different website?

Yes, you can use all of the backend submission workflow management tools without publishing your content with OJS or OMP.  However, it will mean you miss out on some of the software's key features, such as easy discoverability of your metadata by Google Scholar and other indexing services and integrations with external services such as CrossRef, ORCID, reference management tools, and Paperbuzz. 

Do you provide theme customization?

OJS 3 includes a number of free themes that you can use for your journal. You can review available themes via our OJS 3 demo install. More limited themes are available to OMP.

You can use one of the free themes as a basis for your journal or press and further customize it via a stylesheet that you can upload via your website settings. This will allow you to override theme colours, fonts, etc. with options defined via custom CSS rules.

PKP has a guide for Designing Your Journal, which offers advice on how to customize themes, create CSS files, and select images and fonts to suit your audience and content. 

You can also develop your own theme, either from the ground-up or using one of the existing themes as a starting point. Please see our Theming Guide for additional information.

All of our hosting plans include freely available themes that you can use for your site. If you require assistance with minor customizations to an existing theme, our staff will be able to make the necessary changes for you at no additional cost if you subscribe to our Enterprise plan.

If you require assistance with major theme customizations, our team can either assist you via a custom development contract or recommend a developer that may be able to work with you to develop your custom theme. You may also wish to take advantage of the website design services offered by Open Academia. These additional costs are not included in your annual hosting fee. Specifications, budget, and timeline would need to be determined in advance of undertaking the work.