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York Digital Journals  

This guide describes the York Digital Journals initiative, and provides links to related resources.
Last Updated: Jul 17, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

YDJ Help and Documentation Print Page

Learning to Use Open Journal Systems

The following documentation is linked here from the Open Journal Systems site. Please visit the site for additional documentation.

PKP School
This site, created by Open Journal Systems staff, explains site functionality for all user types, including editor, reviewer, author and journal manager. Helpful videos guide the viewer to understand how to accomplish particular tasks in the system.

OJS User Guide
This is the definitive guide for using OJS. It outlines the functions of the different types of users with step by step illustrations.

OJS Documentation Wiki
These pages are partly developer created, and partly user contributed. Detailed instructions can be found here.


Creative Commons and Copyright

Creative Commons

Creative Commons helps you publish your work online while letting others know exactly what they can and can’t do with your work. When you choose a license, Creative Commons provides you with tools and tutorials that let you add license information to your own site, or to one of several free hosting services that have incorporated Creative Commons. The assignment of a Creative Commons license to a work or a journal is NON-EXCLUSIVE. It does not prevent the copyright-holder to license their work to others for different uses.

Fact Sheet on Creative Commons

Here is a list of Open Access Journals that make use of Creative Commons licensing. Note that you can expand this search by Journal License type and facet by specific CC license.


Compiling Statistics for Your Journal

Gathering Statistics

Gathering of statistics is a challenge. The Public Knowledge Project – the entity that created the Open Journal Systems platform – is working on making more statistics available in one aggregated format. For the foreseeable future, however, we have to make due by collecting statistics from multiple locations.


Access to Counter statistics is available to registered Journal Managers.

Counter lists total number of galley downloads per month (in other words, it tells you how many times an article has actually been downloaded). The galley refers to either full text PDF downloads, or full text HTML downloads. (The HTML downloads are rarely offered by journals, as the standard is PDF.) For subscription-based journals, note that these download numbers are generally much lower.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics has been made available for each York Digital Journal, and can be accessed via special email and password through:

Contact for your username and password.

This service provides detailed information about visitors and site access. It is most useful for tracking unique site visitors on a monthly basis, as well as geographic sources of traffic. The statistics it provides are filtered for web crawlers, which essentially means that your stats will not be inflated.

When clicking on Content > Content by Title on the left sidebar of the Google Analytics interface, one can obtain a crude breakdown of how many times a particular page has been accessed, but Counter provides a better breakdown by month for full-text article access.

When viewing statistics in the Google Analytics dashboard, be sure to edit the date range in the top right hand corner to limit or expand your view.

Analytics image


AWStats is an open source server log anaylsis tool. We have enabled AWStats tracking for York Digital Journals. Please contact YDJ for your special AWStats URL.

The strength of AWStats is its ability to filter out false hits from web crawlers, and providing detailed daily usage information in an easy to read format. The statistics it provides are very similar to those made available through Google Analytics. These include number of unique visitors, number of visits, number of pages accessed and number of hits.

An added bonus of AWStats, however, is that it captures keywords and keyphrases entered by users in various search engines that have lead them to the site.


Abstracting, Indexing, and Citation Tracking

A note on remote access

Please note, some of the resources listed below are available only through our York University institutional subscription. If you are having difficulty accessing these resources, use an on-campus computer, or log in through York’s proxy service.

Abstracting and Indexing Services

The place to check for this is Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory, I have included a link to the Advanced Search page below. Simply type in the name of your journal under “title” and search.

Click on the journal of interest in the search results list and click on the red tab titled “Abstracting, Indexing and Article Access.”

Do not trust this to be a complete list, consult an administrative person who works for the journal and cross reference the Ulrich’s list with their administrative record of abstracting and indexing services.


For an excellent introduction to the use of citation data by academics, administrators, historians and others, see the presentation slides below. The slides provide an overview of key sources of citation data including free web tools (e.g. Google Scholar, Harzing’s Publish or Perish) and library subscription databases (e.g. Scopus, Web of Science). The limitations of using citation data and the scope for abuse are also discussed.
Presentation slides compiled by Sophie Bury and Ilo-Katryn Maimets

The link below leads to a chart that compares citation tracking services provided by Scopus, ISI Web of Science and Google Scholar (Publish or Perish).
Chart compiled by Sophie Bury and Ilo-Katryn Maimets

Citation Tracking – Scopus

Go to, type “scopus” into the search box, ensuring that the radio button for eresources is enabled. Enter the Scopus portal.

It is important to note that this resource may not have collected statistics for the journal that you are looking for. Click the “sources” button first and do a journal title search to see if your journal is included in these analytics. If so, then proceed to click the analytics button and search to view statistics for your journal.

Citation Tracking – ISI Web of Knowledge (Web of Science)

Go to, type “web of science” into the search box, ensuring that the radio button for eresources is enabled. Enter the Web of Science portal.

Click on the “cited reference search” link under the “Web of Science” tab. Consult the “journal abbreviation list” to see if statistics are collected for your journal by this platform. If so, type your journal abbreviation into the “cited work” search box to view statistics.

Here are some helpful notes on using Web of Science for citation tracking:

Citation Tracking – Harzing Publish or Perish

Social Science and Humanities journals are often not adequately represented in citation tracking databases. The Publish or Perish program is often the best source for statistics for these journals.

Publish or Perish is a software program that retrieves and analyzes academic citations. It uses Google Scholar to obtain the raw citations, then analyzes these and presents the following statistics:

• Total number of papers
• Total number of citations
• Average number of citations per paper
• Average number of citations per author
• Average number of papers per author
• Average number of citations per year
• Hirsch’s h-index and related parameters
• Egghe’s g-index
• The contemporary h-index
• The age-weighted citation rate
• Two variations of individual h-indices
• An analysis of the number of authors per paper.

You will need to go to the following URL and download the program to your local computer:

Further Reading

Hirsch’s h-index


Maximizing Journal Exposure

Maximizing Exposure of Your Scholarly Journal

This is a list of suggestions for maximizing the online exposure of your journal. Please note that some of these options are limited to journals that meet specified criteria. These criteria will be noted in this list where possible.

Register your journal with Google Scholar

Google Scholar has a specially recognized category for OJS journals. Search Google Scholar to see if your journal appears. If it is not visible, register your journal here:

Include your journal in the York University Library catalogue

Upon publication of your first issue, York University Libraries will catalouge your journal. This catalogue record will be harvested by WorldCat, giving your journal exposure in the world’s largest library catalogue. Other libraries around the world are able to download this record and add it to their own catalogues.

Register with the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

“The aim of the Directory of Open Access Journals is to increase the visibility and ease of use of open access scientific and scholarly journals thereby promoting their increased usage and impact. The Directory aims to be comprehensive and cover all open access scientific and scholarly journals that use a quality control system to guarantee the content. In short a one stop shop for users to Open Access Journals.”

An added benefit is that the DOAJ makes it possible for libraries to easily add updates of DOAJ content to their respective catalogues.

Criteria listed here:

Register your journal with Ulrich’s is the authoritative source of bibliographic and publisher information on more than 300,000 periodicals of all types — academic and scholarly journals, Open Access publications, peer-reviewed titles, popular magazines, newspapers, newsletters, and more from around the world. It is the most comprehensive source of print and electronic serials data available.

Titles in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) are automatically included.

To include your Journal, go to:

Submit your journal to relevant abstracting and indexing services

Look up other related journals in your field to see where they are abstracted/indexed. Ulrich’s Web collects this information. Make sure you authenticate through the Libraries, as access to this resource is subscription based.

You may also want to contact your liaison librarian at York University Libraries for abstract and index suggestions.

Abstracts and indexes tend to look for a minimum number of published issues with a demonstrated quality of scholarship and established frequency of publication. Fit with respect to the subject area of the content and how well it meshes with the subject area of the abstracting/indexing service may also be examined.

Check to see if JURN has indexed your journal

JURN is a search-engine dedicated to indexing free ‘open access’ ejournals in the arts and humanities, along with other arts and scholarly publications offering free content. York Digital Journals are automatically harvested by this site.

Announce new issues and calls for papers on subject-specific and association listservs

Your colleagues and liaison librarian may be able to help you identify subject-specific listservs.

Enable the RSS feature for the table of contents of your journal

Enabling RSS allows users to subscribe to your RSS feed which automatically sends out announcements of newly published content to subscribers.

To enable RSS in OJS:
1. Login as Journal Manager
2. Under Management Pages, click on System Plugins
3. Under Generic Plugins, click on the “Enable” link under Web Feed Plugin.
4. Your screen will refresh.
5. Scroll down the screen to the SECOND mention of Web Feed Plugin.
6. Click on “Settings”, select desired options and save changes.
7. As Journal Manager, under Management Pages, click on Setup, then click on The Look.
8. Scroll down to Section 5.6, and move the “Web Feed Plugin” from the “Unselected” column to the “Right Sidebar” column.
9. Scroll to the bottom of the page and save.
Your RSS feed buttons should now be visible in your right sidebar.

Synergies Canada Portal

Synergies Canada is a portal for Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) scholarship.

Criteria: Must be a Canadian SSH journal. The collection policy uses the same eligibility criteria as the SSHRC Aid to Scholarly Journals program.

Consider joining CrossRef

“CrossRef is the official Digital Object Identifier (DOI) registration agency for scholarly publications. The DOI system is designed to uniquely identify and facilitate location of digital material. CrossRef supplies a number of other useful cross referencing services that will help integrate your journals material into the literature. Joining costs $275 USD for a small OA journal plus an insignificant fee for each article you register.”

For more information about CrossRef:

Note: If you are applying for the SSHRC Aid to Scholarly Journals program, see a Research Officer about including a CrossRef membership into your grant application under the category of “distribution costs”.

Register with Open J-gate

Open J-Gate currently aggregates metadata from 4000+ OA journals published in English and provides seamless access to the full-text on publisher websites. It covers both peer-reviewed as well as professional journals including trade and Industry journals.


For contact, see

Local Loading and Indexing by Scholars Portal

Scholars Portal currently houses 8,400 journals totaling over 17 million articles; 800,000 articles are added annually. In 2009, Ontario faculty and students downloaded 4.9 million articles and conducted approximately 2.5 million searches.

Scholars Portal is nearing the completion of a pilot to include Synergies-eligable journals in its delivery platform and index. Scholars Portal is now accepting Synergies journals.

Encourage your readers to “register with your journal as readers”

If your readers register with your journal, they will automatically be able to receive emails that notify them about new content and announcements such as calls for papers.

This also forms the basis of an informal mailing list, as OJS allows you to easily select groups of users and send them emails.

Granting agencies may find the number of registered readers a figure of interest, as this statistic may help to show demonstrated interest in your journal.

ticTocs Journal Table of Contents service

“The ticTOCs Journal Tables of Contents service makes it easy for academics, researchers, students and anyone else to keep up-to-date with newly published scholarly material by enabling them to find, display, store, combine and reuse thousands of journal tables of contents from multiple publishers. With ticTOCs, it only takes a tick or two to keep up to date. ”

Criteria: Your journal must be RSS enabled and special instructions must be followed for submission of RSS feed.


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