We’re here to support Student Journals

You’ve likely come across student journals within your field or institution. If not, you might in the near future as the number of student journals across academic institutions is rising steadily albeit slowly.

There are many reasons why students at all academic levels choose to take part in existing student journals or start their own. Many student editors look to contribute to their field of study and gain transferable skills. Others have started their own journal to respond to a community need and address the underrepresentation of marginalized communities within academia. 

The Public Knowledge Project (PKP) sponsored the 7th annual Student Journal Forum (SJF) in February 2022. This online event showcased many impressive and dedicated student journals across Canada. The presentations were centered on the following themes: Journal Growth, Equity in Publishing, Journal Management, Decolonizing academic journals and their processes. 

Some of the presentations focused on how student journals facilitate learning about the publishing process and the various roles involved. This opportunity is beneficial not only for students but also for the publishing ecosystem. Student journals can help students gain experience as authors, reviewers, and editors for the future.  

Editors from the SFU ED Review shared some great tips for students interested in getting started with student journals. They suggested talking to the existing student editorial team and staying up to date on your field. Students looking to start their own journals can also contact their Digital Initiatives Librarian or Scholarly Communications Librarian. Their library may offer technical support, such as hosting, software support, or digital preservation services.

Many student journals presented in this event use OJS provided by their institutions. While many institutions across North America offer OJS hosting for faculty and student journals, some may lack the technical or staff capacity to offer this service and may benefit from PKP Publishing Services fee-based service, which provides the installation and hosting of OJS. Libraries or Institutions interested in offering journal hosting are welcome to contact us for more information on our Institutional hosting plan and free student journal hosting included with this plan.

Additional Resources:

PKP Publishing Services Welcomes OPS Hosted Client: Engineering Archive

PKP Publishing Services  is happy to welcome our first Open Preprint Systems (OPS) hosted client, Engineering Archive (engrXiv).

Open Engineering Inc launched engrXiv in 2016 with the mission of openly disseminating engineering knowledge and is now migrating from OSF Preprints, the Centre for Open Science’s preprint service, to OPS, an open-source system developed by PKP in partnership with SciELO, for managing and posting preprints online. The move will provide engrXiv with greater operational control and the support of the open-source community. 

OPS provides an accessible alternative for preprint management and online public access to preprint collections. OPS is highly customizable, provides a rapid workflow,  integrates with publishing services like Crossref and ORCID, and is available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, with more languages to come. 

You can learn more about its features in PKP’s Learning OPS user guide and hosting requirements on PKP’s website. The PKP Forum also includes a section dedicated to OPS  for free additional support. 

PKP Publishing Services offers installation, hosting, ongoing support, for OPS servers included in plans ranging from $2,500 to $3,900 per year. With options to add training, CrossRef membership, DOI management, and custom development. All revenue is used to fund the development of PKP’s free and open-source software and services, which benefit the entire global scholarly community. Contact us for more information.

Overview of Persistent Identifiers and the Benefits of using ORCID

We’ve all come across broken hyperlinks online which cause content to be renamed, moved, or deleted from a website. These broken links can range from inconvenient to problematic, especially when it impacts the discoverability of important research and other documents.

Unlike traditional hyperlinks, persistent identifiers (PIDs) are less likely to result in broken links as they offer a guarantee that content is managed and kept definitively, which is why they have become an important part of research infrastructures. PIDs can be assigned to people, places, funders, researchers, and more.  These IDentifiers are typically a string of unique characters that identify an object (digital or otherwise). Examples include the following:

  1. DOIs – https://doi.org/10.2519/jospt.1986.7.5.273
  2. ORCID ID- https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8339-2959

What sets PIDs apart from hyperlinks is that they are backed by reliable organizations that provide support for them. ORCID (Open Research and Contributor Identifier) for example, is one of the organizations that provide this type of support for the scholarly community. Like OJS, it is an open-source, community-driven platform. ORCID provides a free and unique persistent digital identifier known as an ORCID ID that distinguishes individual researchers and supports automated links between researchers and their professional activities.

The ORCID ID offers a number of benefits for the publisher (i.e., journal), researcher, and reader. A few benefits for Publishers and Reseachers are highlighted below.

Benefits for Publisher

  • Minimizes confusion and improve reporting by ensuring that the work is credited to the right authors even if there are similarly named authors within your journal
  • Establishes higher levels of trust by enabling readers to discover more about the authors of the papers they’re reading.

Benefits for Authors/Researchers

  • Increases discoverability and presents profile-building opportunities.
  • Helps ensure that research outputs and activities are correctly attributed to you, especially if other authors and researchers share the same name.

Journals and preprint servers using PKP software and looking to utilize these benefits can use the ORCID Plugin available inthe Plugin Gallery.  This plugin allows journals and preprint archives to do the following:

  • Invite authors to connect their ORCID record to their OJS account or their work published in an OJS journal
  • Collect and authenticate an author’s ORCID ID
  • Display author’s ORCID IDon the article landing page and link their contribution to their ORCID record

To learn more about how to set up and use the ORCID Profile Plugin, see the recently updated ORCID Plugin Guide and watch our upcoming video on Setting up the ORCID Plugin in OJS that will be available on PKP’s YouTube Channel.

Further Reading

2020 at-a-glance at PKP|PS

With the pandemic, 2020 presented challenges to everyone, including scholars, publishers, and educational institutions. Despite these challenges, the scholarly community continued to publish important research and broaden the impact of their work. In fact, shrinking institutional budgets inspired renewed interest in open access publishing and supporting open scholarly infrastructure. In the past year, PKP Publishing Services (PKP|PS) saw significant growth in the number of journals using our hosting services and investing in open infrastructure by working with us.

In 2020, we welcomed 62 new clients and 156 new journals from around the world, with the most significant growth in North America. This includes 58 journals of the University of British Columbia Library (Canada), a long term partner and the original host institution of PKP; the growing journal program of Hong Kong Baptist University (Hong Kong); the historic GEUS Bulletin (Denmark); and the eye-catching Lucerne Open Serials journal cognitio (Switzerland). The interactive map below shows where our new clients in 2020 are geographically located.


The addition of these journals brings the total number of journals and presses we host to 719 and the total active clients to 392.

We also introduced more support and resources for our clients, including launching our Publishing Services quarterly client newsletter, making videos that demonstrate new features of our software, and beginning a project to upgrade all hosted OJS 2 installations to OJS 3. Contact PKP|PS to subscribe to the newsletter. In addition to this, PKP developed and improved several guides for all OJS users, including our hosted clients, on scholarly publishing best practices and how to get the most out of OJS and other PKP software and services.

New Guides

Significant revisions to existing guides:

In 2021-2022 we look forward to expanding our sales and marketing efforts to further grow PKP|PS, offering multilingual support and training to our clients, implementing more features requested by our clients in OJS/OMP/OPS 3.4, and continuing the OJS 2 to OJS 3 upgrades project.

For more PKP updates from the past year, please see the PKP: 2020 Annual Report and watch the AGM Recording.

Publishing in HTML and XML

OJS supports various galley formats; these are the final publication-ready files that journals prepare for readers and publish on the article page. These formats include PDF, HTML, XML and ePub. OJS also supports multimedia formats like MP3 and videos.

PDF is the most common galley format that journals publish. It is the easiest to convert and is preferred as it closely resembles a printed page. For journals considering offering more galley formats, this blog highlights some of the benefits and considerations for publishing HTML and XML.


HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language and is the standard markup language for web pages. HTML primarily contains text; however, it is possible to embed images and multimedia links. With Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) journals can modify how their HTML files look.

HTML code sample
Example of HTML code

Benefits of publishing full-text HTML

Flexibility. As mentioned, HTML allows you to embed images, tables, figures, and multimedia files. Embed links on an HTML file when needed by editing the file.

Reader-friendly. Like OJS, it is also responsive, meaning text will resize to fit various screen sizes. It is both human and machine-friendly, which allows for text to be easily searchable. Machine-friendly formats allow for better accessibility, ensuring your content reaches the broadest audience possible.

Discoverability. As the standard web language, a clean HTML makes content easily detectable by bots that index and rank the content in Google and Google Scholar. The Google Scholar Inclusion Guidelines list HTML as an acceptable file format for inclusion.


Time and Resources. HTML requires additional tools and/or software to create and it takes more effort than creating a PDF. It also requires some understanding of HTML to review and update links if necessary.

For an example of an HTML Galley, see International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork


XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language, a markup language like HTML. JATS stands for Journal Article Tag Suite, an XML format used to describe scientific literature published online. The XML viewer on OJS supports JATS XML galley files.

Example of XML Code

Benefits of publishing JATS XML

Reader-friendly. Provides a clean and straightforward way to view an article. XML viewers separate the article into sections that allow users to easily navigate around the article.

Extensible metadata. Unlike HTML, XML tagging is semantic. It contains more metadata about the article, including funders, submission, and acceptance dates.

Discoverability. It is also human and machine-readable. More metadata allows content to be discoverable for a quicker more accurate search.


For journals looking to be indexed in PMC, XML is one of the data files required in the sample package as part of the technical evaluation phase. Similar to HTML, it requires some knowledge of XML along with resources to create these files.

For an example of an XML Galley, see Polar Research

To learn more about how to create XML and HTML files, see PKP’s Learning OJS guide. For journals looking for additional assistance with Typesetting and preparing these galley formats, please contact our affiliated partners, Open Academia.