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Journals@UIC (Journals@University of Illinois at Chicago): FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

I would like to create a new journal using Journals@UIC. How do I get started?

Look over this FAQ and Getting Started with Journals@UIC to get an idea of the types of decisions you will need to make about your journal.

I would like to move my journal from an existing publisher or platform to Journals@UIC. Can this be done?

Yes, if you and/or your editorial board own the journal or you have permission from your existing publisher, you can move the journal to Journals@UIC.

I manage a journal but it is published elsewhere. Can I use Journals@UIC to manage the journal peer review process only?

Yes, we have several examples of journals where the journal itself is not being published on the Journal@UIC platform. Please contact for more information.

How do I use Journals@UIC?

As an editor/journal manager of a journal hosted by UIC, you will be primarily responsible for managing your own journal including moving a paper from author submission to reviewer assignment, to copy editing for formatting for publication on the Web. Using OJS is fairly straight forward. Consult/Read OJS User Guides to get you started. Additional OJS and Journal Support assistance is also available.

If you need further assistance with using OJS, please contact for hands-on training and demonstrations.  Depending on your location, training may be virtual.

What should I include in my Author Submission Guidelines?

Instructions to Authors are determined strictly by you. Take a look at the Instructions to Authors of other journals and use them to help you determine your own policies and standards. The detail of instruction that you provide to your authors will help to increase the quality of submission that you get, and reduce the amount of time your editorial team will have to spend copy editing submissions after a submission has been received. How strictly you enforce the Instructions to Authors is up to you. If you don’t insist that your authors comply, then it is up you and your editorial team to reformat/ organize a paper before it is published if there is a specific format you want readers to consistently see.

Some items you may want to include in your instructions to authors are:

  • Journal Style
  • Image file types
  • If you want graphics/images uploaded separately or embedded in the paper
  • Limit the over-all size a file can be (Submission upload limit for OJS is 5MB)

We are happy to help you make this decision and provide examples of author submission guidelines. What you decide will depend on how you plan to format the final published article.

What should I include in my policies?  What are other issues I need to think about?

Here you should include the focus and scope of your journal. You should also create policies concerning peer review process, open access and copyright, archiving, competing interests, retractions, and publication frequency. For more assistance with developing your policies and starting a journal, consult:

We're happy to provide you examples and discuss options for journal policies. Please contact for assistance.

How do I configure a unique look for my journal?

OJS has several options in Website Settings to allow you to change the overall look of the journal, including a number of templates to choose from. Information is available on how to customize your journal look without using additional coding. If you have a more specific design in mind that would require the development of CSS code, please contact to discuss your options.

How do I obtain an ISSN for my journal?

Below are links to information on how to apply for ISSN. Generally, you need to have an ISSN as one of the requirements for indexing in a database and for many other archiving resources so it is a good idea to apply for one. (Each database has its own indexing requirements – see how can I get my journal indexed below for more information.)

How do I assign a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) for my journal?  How do I assign DOIs to the articles?

The UIC library has contracted with CrossRef so that DOIs can be assigned to published journal articles.  The OJS software takes care of the actual creation and assignment of the DOIs.  You will need to work with the library to get the DOIs registered once the article is published.  The library is offering this service on a cost-recovery basis. See Support Services for more information.

How can I get my journal indexed in journal databases and directories?

The procedures for getting a journal indexed in various databases vary from vendor to vendor. A limited list on applying for indexing of your journal in various databases has been created.

How is it possible to get the journal archived/ backed-up in LOCKSS?

The library will do this for you on your behalf. LOCKSS archiving must be turned on in your journal.

Our journal will charge author fees as a way to create revenue to support our open access journal. Can Journals@UIC support an author-pay model?

OJS can be configured by the Journal Manager to charge author fees for submissions via a PayPal account. You are responsible for managing your funds appropriately.  (See SPARC's Organization and Governance Structure for more information.)

Our journal requires subscription revenue to survive. Can Journals@UIC limit access to subscribers?

Journals@UIC currently only supports journals that make their content open access.

What formats can I publish my articles in OJS?

OJS can publish in a variety of formats, the most common being PDF, HTML, XML, GIF, and JPEG. Streaming audio and video is also possible. OJS also supports articles hosted on external websites.

Are statistics captured by Journals@UIC?

Yes, the number of times an articles is access is recorded. Tracking of additional statistics will be added soon.

What are the costs involved?

Currently, the base cost for hosting a journal is $500/year. There is a select list of fee-based services we will provide to support your journal publishing using a cost-recovery model that you may consider utilizing.

I would like my journal indexed in PubMed. Is there a way to obtain the XML Export for Indexing in PubMed from Journals@UIC?

If a journal is indexed in PubMed it is possible to export the citations in xml format to send to PubMed. For information on how to be indexed in PubMed and setting up initial export to test your journals files see: XML for PubMed Data Providers.  We have experience with this process from one of our current Journals@UIC journals. Please contact the scholarly communication librarian for assistance. If you are already indexing your journal in PubMed, it should not be a problem to continue doing this as long as the name and ISSN of your journal has not changed.  The name of the publisher will change.

Is it possible to setup the Publisher Linkout in PubMed?

Yes this is possible and we are currently doing this for one of Journals@UIC journals. Please contact the scholarly communication librarian for more information and assistance.

I would like my journal indexed in PubMed Central. How do I do get my journal included in PMC and what support is provided by the library?

If you would like your journal indexed in PubMed Central, see How to Join PubMed Central. If you are already indexing your journal in PubMed Central, it should not be a problem to continue doing this as long as the name and ISSN of your journal has not changed.

The library offers a fee-based service where we will convert your docs into the NLM approved XML. See Support Services for Journals@UIC.

What software is available to create the final manuscripts of our journal articles?

You can use desktop publishing software or word processing software to create final manuscripts. We can help you develop a template for your journal articles.