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Open Journal Systems (OJS) sets new standards to achieve OpenAIRE compliance with JATS

Guest post by Antti-Jussi Nygård (Federation of Finnish Learned Societies), Dr. Katja Mruck (Center for Digital Systems at Freie Universität Berlin)

Open Journal Systems (OJS, is an open source journal management and publishing system, developed by the Public Knowledge Project (PKP, Around 10,000 journals worldwide and over a thousand journals published in Europe use Open Journal Systems. The latest major version OJS 3 was released in 2016, and since then hundreds of OJS journals have upgraded including large national journal platforms like and, it is important to help the growing number of OJS 3 journals to become compliant with the OpenAIRE infrastructure in terms of comprehensive metadata descriptions of open access articles on research in Europe and beyond.

OpenAIRE support in Open Journal Systems since 2011

The original OpenAIRE plugin for Open Journal Systems 2.3 dates back in 2011 and was later ported to support OJS 3. The old plugin contained two major features. Firstly, it allowed OJS users to distinguish articles funded by the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) by adding project identifiers to article metadata. Secondly, it modified the OAI interface in OJS by adding the required ec_fundedresources set and by expressing OpenAIRE vocabularies on access rights, publication types and funding data in the Dublin Core metadata format. 

The new OpenAIRE plugin for OJS 3.1. 

​In addition to being able to upgrade to the OpenAIRE Guidelines v3 or v4, another alternative was considered - the Journal Article Tagging Suite (JATS). JATS is a NISO standard and widely used by the NLM's PubMed Central and other publishing platforms as an archiving and interchange XML format for scientific articles. It is optimized for works published in journals, and finally we decided in favor of JATS after consultation with OpenAIRE colleagues. The new OpenAIRE plugin is a complete rewrite and is designed to replace the old plugin.
It adds JATS as a new XML metadata format in OAI-PMH and complements the OpenAIRE Guidelines for Literature Repository Managers v4 (

Besides adding a new endpoint to the OAI interface, the plugin has two major features:
It implements controlled vocabularies from COAR, namely access rights ( and resource types ( The journal section settings are extended to let journal managers choose the proper publication type from the COAR resource type vocabulary that best describes the articles published in a specific section of a journal. COAR vocabularies are following the SKOS standard, and therefore a concept is described by a pair of URL and label. Thanks to the flexibility of JATS they can be represented in custom elements in JATS metadata.

​The new OJS-OpenAIRE JATS plugin can also be used to integrate with any source of funding information by creating a simple OJS plugin. One example is the Funding Plugin, (, that adds funding data using the Crossref funders registry in the submission view page and in the metadata. But the new plugin will also support the legacy project identifiers stored in the OJS database using the old OpenAIRE plugin and will display the information in the JATS XML output.

In order to support JATS in OpenAIRE, the OpenAIRE validator service will be updated to support the new JATS format. However, journal managers wishing to be harvested in JATS by OpenAIRE today can do this on request.

The new plugin has been developed in cooperation with OpenAIRE, the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies and the Center for Digital Systems at Freie Universität Berlin within the project ( is a Germany-based project, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and organized by Freie Universität Berlin, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and Universität Konstanz. The project provides support and networking to secure and expand the long-term and sustainable use of OJS for German universities and research institutions.

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