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

Frequently Asked Questions

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 the scholarly communications librarian to discuss this further. (Sandy De Groote,

I manage a journal and already have agreements with a publisher for the print version, but I would like to use the Journals@UIC platform to make my journal available online to readers and to manage the peer review process. Is it possible to continue to use our publisher to create the print version but use Journals@UIC to manage the journal and make it available in an online format?

Yes, it is possible to continue to use a publisher to complete the copyediting and layout editing of the journal and publish the final product created by the publisher on the Journals@UIC platform for those wishing to move their journal to an online environment.

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 OJS UofI server. 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 UIC's Scholarly Communications Librarian for hands on training and demonstrations.  Depending on your location, training may be virtual.

Sandy De Groote
Journals@UIC Administrator
UIC's Scholarly Communication Librarian

What should I include in my Instructions to Authors?

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, than 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. You may want to suggest only JPEGs and GIFs
  • Do you want graphic/s images uploaded separately or embedded in the paper.
  • Limit the over-all size a file can be (OJS can’t upload a file larger that 1.5 MB)
  • We are happy to help you make this decision. 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 may also want to include policy information related to the peer review process, open access and author ownership of articles published, archiving, request for declaration of competing interests, and publication frequency. For more assistance with developing your policies and starting a journal, consult:

How do I configure a unique look for my journal?

OJS has several options in the journal setup that you can select to change the colors and general outline of your journal. Information is available on how to customize your journal look using the Journal Manager without using additional coding. If you have a more specific look in mind that would require the development of CSS code, please contact the Scholarly Communications Librarian 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 their own indexing requirements – see how can I get my journal indexed below for more information.)
International Website
United States Website (what you will most likely use)

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 the journals and 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 do I register with Ulrich's Periodical Directory.

Ulrich's is the most authoritative and comprehensive online database of journals, magazines, newspapers, and full-text electronic resources. Registering your journal in Ulrich’s should also help to increase the exposure of your journal. Ulrichs may also help you to determine which databases to pursue for indexing your journal. See this link for details:

How can I get my journal indexed in commercial vendor journal databases?

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?

OJS provides incredible flexibility with respect to subscribers. The full text of articles for selected issues can be made visible to only subscribers, and hidden from the general public. In addition to allowing users to log in with a username and password, the subscription module can manage institutional subscriptions by domain or IP range without requiring a login and password. 
OJS can be configured by the Journal Manager to charge subscription fees via a PayPal account. You are responsible for managing your funds appropriately.  (See SPARC's Organization and Governance Structure for more information.)

A journal can choose to have a rolling embargo period where issues will become visible to the public after a certain number of months or years. For journals choosing to utilize the subscription feature, Journals@UIC requires journal articles be embargoed for no longer than 18 months. Please contact the scholarly communications librarian if you feel a longer embargo period is required for your journal.  The library requests 5% of all revenue from subscription fees in order to support and maintain the OJS server.

What formats can I publish my articles in OJS?

OJS can publish in a variety of formats, the most common being HTML, PDF, GIF and JPEG. Streaming of audio and video is also possible.

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, there are no costs involved in using Journals@UIC hosting services. It is intended that those publishing through this service will develop a model to become self supporting. This may change in the future depending on available resources, ongoing support costs and demand for expanded services. 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?

In the future, the software supporting Journals@UIC is also supposed to format manuscripts into XML and PDFs.   Until that technology is available, you can use desktop publishing software or Word Porcessing Software to create final manuscripts. We also have some templates you can use to format your manuscripts into journal articles.