The Open Journal System and theme customization

As for a brief introduction to OJS stands for Open Journal Systems, open-source software with GPL v2 license. The software is mainly used to manage and publish scholarly journals. The software was developed by PKP (Public Knowledge Project) in 2001 to facilitate research and education. Now, with more than 25,000 journal users, OJS makes the most popular journal publishing software all around the world so far. The software manages the entire workflow, including submission and editorial workflow for article publishing and the online issues for free. More will be discussed about the Open Journal system and theme customization below.

Hence, the software makes the best suitable option for open access journals. With the extensive training videos and user guides by PKP, you can easily install OJS locally and control it yourself. On the other hand, you may try to get an agency on board for your OJS development for a custom open journal system. Open access journals do a greater good to the students and research scholar communities and add to the readership of the journals. Following are some other features of OJS**.**

Google scholar recommends the software as it provides the ultimate ease in terms of indexing and visibility. The software manages the online submission, content and offers a configurable & flexible editorial workflow. As for subscription plans, it offers modules with dawdled open access recourses. Furthermore, OJS is a software lead and supported by the community. The OJS is well-complied to integrate with the other scholarly publishing services, including ORCiD, DOAJ, Crossref, etc. Last but not least, it is available in multiple languages and translates into 30 languages. Complying with the expectations of today’s users, it offers a responsive front-end and free of costs OJS theme customization options**.**

Journal Themes

Open journal systems and themes selection go hand in hand. Just like any business product, the researchers also identify a journal with its branding. Branding is important for journals as it triggers the related features in the reader’s minds, such as its indexing, publishing history, and most importantly, its impact factor. To facilitate branding and credibility, you must be looking for a unique OJS theme and user-friendly interface for your scholars. The choice of theme is important because it’s all about the entire outlook of the journal, including the typography, colors, and layout. You can either choose the themes offered by PKP itself or opt for OJS theme customization.

For your ease and comfort, PKP offers a variety of theme options along with their respective demonstration and style guides. Following are the themes available at PKP Docs.

Default theme

The default theme integrates with the OJS 3.0+ as well as OMP 1.2+ very well. The layout implies a neutral color palette, and it is straightforward and very simple. It makes the content easy to access. Typography belongs to Google’s Noto family that keeps integrity for various languages. The default theme complies with the keyboard navigation, form or link focus, and color contrasts. Attributing to the simplicity of the theme, it is easy to override.

Hence, when you go for OJS development, you can easily get theme customization as well. Various web hosting & domain agencies offer free OJS theme customization along with their domain and hosting package.

Bootstrap3 theme

This theme is an HTML, Javascript, and CSS framework used to develop mobile-first and responsive website applications. Bootstrap3 works as a base rather than the final product as it provides only markup via core components of the bootstrap3 framework. It offers various third-party styles as well. Hence, Bootstrap3 implements the theme on the OJS journal. Furthermore, it ensures its compatibility with the resources of Bootstrap 3. Hence, it makes it much easier to work with the Bootstrap 3 expert developers.

Classic theme

The classic theme is an inspiration of the works of Renaissance printer Aldus Manutius. Therefore, it suits the best for biblical scholars, linguists, medievalists, and classicists, etc. The theme implies a serif typeface right according to your open journal system and theme core idea. The theme layout is block-based which is the best suitable for larger screens. However, it may also collapse into a smaller and clean view for smaller gadgets. By default, the theme comes with yellow color as the primary. However, you can choose the color of your own choice.

Health sciences

The theme is specially designed for the health science journals along with cleanliness, accessibility, and simplicity. Therefore, the theme stands out as an official theme for the OJS 3.1.1+ specific for the health science journals.

Immersion theme

After health sciences, immersion theme suits the best for arts and culture journal with its generally ambitious visual profile. When used appropriately, the Open Journal system and theme cast the perfect aesthetic effect and give off a unique look to your journal.

The immersion theme revolves around the reading experience. Hence, it offers a bold design such as a full-width image header and color choices for every section. Moreover, the typeface is serif which is paired with the Roboto functionality.


The option to discuss under the open journal system and themes is the manuscript theme. If you wish to keep your reader focused on the actual content, you must benefit from the spaces. This is the main basis of this theme. If you ask for a theme from your OJS development agency, the manuscript theme is what you are looking for. The layout seems the best when there is no sidebar. However, it does just fine, even with the sidebar. Furthermore, you can easily choose the journal’s colors of your own choice and keep your journal’s branding intact.

Professional assistance for Open Journal System

Undoubtedly, PKP has made it so simple and easy that anyone who has the basic knowledge can get to a basic functional journal website. However, it is not enough for the best user experience, especially for readers. Theme customization is important for Journal websites because readers infer one sort of layout better than the other. Therefore, acquiring the services of a top-notch agency for the services is the best option to set up an open journal system and theme. After all, theme customization is much more than attractive graphics. It is more about accessibility, user experience, and the website’s general layout that keeps the reader on the website. Moreover, choosing the right theme framework for a journal type, the right suitable theme plugins, customization, and workflow optimization requires a great deal of experience and expertise.

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