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Libraries and Cultural Resources (LCR) at the University of Calgary recognizes the continually evolving need for alternative publishing options through our scholarly publishing services. We are a strong advocate for open access publishing options and offer hosting benefits for open access publishers.

LCR is proud to be a gold sponsor of the Public Knowledge Project (PKP), a multi-university initiative developing (free) open source software and conducting research to improve the quality and reach of scholarly publishing. We use Open Journal Systems, a PKP software, for our Journal Hosting Program.

Journal Hosting Program  

Open Journals System (OJS) was the first software developed by PKP and is used by thousands of journals around the world. We have been hosting journals using OJS since 2007. OJS supports every stage of the refereed publishing process from submissions and peer review through to online publication. Our hosting service includes:

  • initial setup of an OJS installation
  • server space, maintenance and preservation
  • upgrading to new OJS versions as necessary    
  • basic training 
  • occasional consultations

The hosting service provided by Libraries and Cultural Resources (LCR) at the University of Calgary grew out of a CFI-funded project called Synergies. Synergies was a 5-year project that created a country-wide network to support the digital publication and dissemination of Canadian scholarly journals. When the project ended in 2013, LCR committed to continuing that support with its hosting services.

LCR is an active proponent of open access publishing for scholarly works in order to widen dissemination by increasing access to publicly-funded research. However, the LCR hosting service is also open to subscription-based journals and those with an embargo period. In addition, the service welcomes non-commercial, peer-reviewed journals, whose editors-in-chief are affiliated with any Canadian post-secondary institution.

Please see the tabs under Journal Resources below for more information.

Contact Us

Hosting Services information and technical assistance: 
We are also interested in hearing from you if you have other publishing needs as we continue to explore the library's role in scholarly communication.

Journal Resources

After you have an OJS installment you will need to complete the 5-step journal setup. You will find it easier to do that if you have already considered and developed policies and other content around the following questions:

  • What is the journal about? What do you wish the journal to achieve?
  • Into which discipline does your journal fall? Who is your target audience?
  • What will the title be? It is best not to request an OJS installation until you are sure of the title. The title or acronym of the title often ends up as part of your url and it is not good practice to be changing urls. Also your ISSN will have to change if you change the title.
  • Will your journal be open access, have an embargo period, or be totally subscription-based?
  • If needed, how will your journal be funded? How will you ensure sustainability?
  • Is your journal sponsored by or associated with an existing organization? Who owns copyright of the journal? Will authors retain copyright of their articles?
  • How will you solicit content?
  • How will the journal be structured? Will there be an annual volume made up of a certain number of issues or an annual volume made strictly of articles published as they are ready? How many articles will make up an issue or volume? What other content will there be? Book reviews? Case studies? Interviews?
  • What will be your citation style and format?
  • What will be the structure of your editorial board? What will be the term and process for regular replacement/ongoing reappointment of members?
  • What is your peer review process? Will all content be peer reviewed?
  • What criteria will be used to evaluate submissions?
  • Who reviews each paper first and considers it germane enough to send on? How many readers will provide a review? Will reviews be blind in all cases? Will readers' comments be passed on to contributors? What is the process if two readers disagree sharply?

We will provide an OJS installation for existing journals to migrate to, or to be a home for newly created journals. We provide the secure hosting site so you can concentrate on the all-important content. We are best able to guide those creating a new journal if they have consulted our Getting Started section beforehand. We also suggest that journal personnel become somewhat familiar with OJS before requesting an installation. PKP School is one of the best ways to do that. Once you have completed those pre-planning tasks, you may want to take care of these things next:

  1. Read through our forms
    If you are in agreement with our MOU and Fee Schedule, then please sign the MOU, scan and email it to us. We will return a counter signed copy for your records.
  2. Apply for your own domain name if you would like something different in addition to the one we will provide you with.
    Journals may obtain their own domain if they wish. Once the domain name has been obtained, inform us so we can provide instructions on how to associate the domain name with the journal itself. We also assign a local, permanent URL to the journal which can be used by the journal if so desired.

Once we have the signed MOU and your custom domain name (if using) we can prepare your OJS installation, usually within a couple of weeks. Your main contact will be given a Journal Manager role. That person will thereafter be responsible for assigning all other roles. 

Please note: Only the University of Calgary will have the Site Administration role and file level access to the hosting servers.

  1. Once you have your OJS installation, you can go ahead and complete the 5-stage journal setup.
    We are happy to assist you with that, although OJS is very helpful in directing you to necessary tasks as you go along. Once logged in, choose your Journal Manager role and then Setup and the Five Steps to a Journal Website will guide you through the process. After you have completed the setup, you have a journal that is ready to go - you can inform your intended audience that you are open for submissions! Remember, if you get "stuck" at any point you are welcome to contact us and we will do our best to get you underway again. We can also provide an hour's training session via e-conferencing on a topic of your choosing if you think that would be helpful.
  2. Apply for an electronic ISSN if your journal does not already have one.
    Library and Archives Canada describes the ISSN as "a unique code for identifying serial publications, such as periodicals, newspapers, annuals, journals and monographic series. It provides an efficient and economical method of communication between publishers and suppliers." Find the application form here. Remember - you should be sure of your title before applying for an ISSN.
  3. If your journal is open access, research Copyright Creative Commons Licensing and choose which one is best for you. 
    Creative Commons Licenses "forge a balance inside the traditional “all rights reserved” setting that copyright law creates. 
  4. Develop your copyright and author self-archiving policies and register them with Sherpa/Romeo.

Sherpa/Romeo is a searchable database of publisher's policies regarding copyright and the self- archiving of journal articles on the web and in Open Access repositories. In your journal's OJS setup Step 3.2 you will find a link to several samples for copyright wording but to explore ahead of time, check out these sites:


As stated in our MOU, we expect journals to publish one issue or at least 4 articles within 12 months of receiving their OJS installation. Once you have your journal set up and that first peer-reviewed content published, here are some further things to consider:

  1. Discoverability
    You want as many readers as possible to find your journal and the articles within it. There are many ways to do that. It is particularly important that when you set up your journal these steps were completed:

    -Site discovery: Step 1.8 - Search engine indexing, Description, Keywords, Custom Tags
    -Article discovery: Step 3.4 - ensure authors index their work with good keywords
    -Metadata harvesting: Step 3.5 - the journal may register with Open Archives (OAI) among others with this step.

    Another step you can take yourself outside of OJS is to submit the site to the major search engines for indexing. Register with Google Scholar which has a specially recognized category for OJS journals. You should also be sure you are included in Ulrichsweb, and if open access, with DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals). You may want to contact your home institution's appropriate subject librarian for further abstracting and indexing suggestions. In addition, we recommend this article "Getting Found, Staying Found, Increasing Impact: Enhancing Readership and Preserving Content for OJS Journals" 

    Library and Archives Canada's mandate is "to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations." To that end, publishers are legally required to make one copy of an online journal issue available to LAC within seven days of its release. For information on how to accomplish that please refer to the links below. Complying with these regulations has benefits beyond the legal implications in that doing so increases awareness of your journal and provides yet another layer of preservation.

    Library and Archives Canada legal deposit

    Guidelines for Journal Publishers

  2. Promoting Your Journal
    As well as ensuring your journal is indexed and searched by both major and subject-specific search engines and indexers, you will want to promote it to your target audience. You can do this by announcing new issues on subject-specific and association listservs.

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

    Encourage your readers to register with your journal. As it says in the Information for Readers found on every page of OJS journals,  "This registration will result in the reader receiving the Table of Contents by email for each new issue of the journal. This list also allows the journal to claim a certain level of support or readership."

    Exchange ads and "Calls for Papers" with other journals in your area.

  3. Statistics
    The OJS system provides native usage statistics. Google Analytics can also be added to a journal to enable statistics through Google. We will work with the journal to set Google Analytics up once the journal has obtained an account with Google.

  4. Persistent Identifiers
    By default, we assign persistent identifiers to journal articles using the Handle system. These identifiers (and the associated persistent URLs) can be used by the journal for permanent linking purposes. The OJS system also supports DOI persistent identifiers — Publishing Services is not a DOI assignor organization and cannot provide DOIs. However in some domains, DOIs are the de rigueur identifier for that community. In those cases the journal may wish to consider registering for DOIs on its own. In these cases, CrossRef ( provides DOI assignment services for publishers. Subscription to CrossRef is not covered by our fees and must be paid separately. In the event that the journal wishes to use DOIs, we will work with the journal to setup DOI assignment once the journal has subscribed to CrossRef.

The Public Knowledge Project (PKP) provides a lot of terrific information to help with your use of OJS. You will find links throughout the software itself at every step when setting up your journal. You can also check these sites when needed as well. PKP School is the most recent addition and highly recommended to get you started.


Although Publishing Services focuses mainly on digital publication, we recognize there may be times when a print product is desired. For those times you may want to consider Print on Demand (POD) alternatives. This is the best option if you choose not to print unless you have an actual order for a printed copy. This digital printing method provides one-at-a-time printing in a relatively economical manner compared to offset methods. Short-run printing (less than 50) can also be fairly economically accomplished by digital printing. However, for greater quantities it is wise to request quotes for both methods. Publications containing images may also need to be done offset for best quality. Images that will be printed will also need to be supplied at a higher resolution than is necessary for online publication.

Publishing Services can help coordinate such services for you if you prefer. Contact us for fees and details.

Copyediting and Layout

If you do not have in house expertise for professional copyediting and layout of your publications, you can engage a freelancer to perform those functions for you.  The following websites are helpful in this regard:

Again, we can help coordinate these services for you if you wish. Contact us for fees and details.


We can also provide digitization services for print publications for which you have no digital files. This process involves scanning everything and preparing it for you in text-searchable, optimized pdf format. Please contact us to discuss fees.