This guide will help journal editors and repository administrators plan and execute a journal migration to Digital Commons from Open Journal Systems (OJS), Sciendo, or another platform. We recommend you read this document completely before starting your migration, as it will be helpful to know the full process before you begin. This guide is not meant to replace conversations with your Digital Commons Consultant. Your Consultant will work with your team throughout the process to ensure a smooth migration.
Click the image to view or download an overview of the steps in this guide.
In some cases, we can offer migration support for a fee if you do not wish to perform the migration yourself. Please contact your Consultant for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 510-665-1200 option 2.
Below are questions to help you assess your overall goals, labor division, and source material to properly plan the migration. Please discuss these questions and your answers with your Consultant, so they know how to best assist your team and set you up for success.
Below are a few questions to help you assess your overall goals for the migration, along with notes and recommendations for best practices.
Below are questions to help you assess who will be responsible for various tasks.
The below questions are meant to provide a starting point for assessing your journal’s metadata and full-text files for export.
The setup form and design preferences you provide to your Consultant will help our team create a professional journal design. Once the design of your new Digital Commons journal is finalized and your demonstration site is ready, your DC Consultant will provide a training on how to batch upload content and a separate training on how to manage in-progress submissions. See our guides on Managing and Publishing Journals or Journal Video Tutorials for additional guidance on these processes.
During the training, your DC Consultant will ask if you have a list of reviewers. If so, they will send you a special spreadsheet to complete to jumpstart your Master List of Reviewers.
Please share if the journal will be open access, subscription controlled, or a combination with your Consultant so this information can be included in the training as well.
The demonstration site is a good place to adjust the sidebar links and information pages. We recommend utilizing the standard pages (About This Journal, Aims and Scope, Editorial Board, Policies, Formatting Guidelines, and Publication Ethics), as you can edit them at any time. If you need more than the standard sidebar links and pages, please inform your Consultant.
The demonstration site is a good place to finalize what metadata you will be migrating over from your previous journal platform. Expect some clean-up of metadata, as there may be metadata formatting and internal fields that differ between the platforms. Many fields may migrate directly to our default metadata fields, which you can find on our website at DC Journal Default Metadata. We can add custom fields to accommodate any additional metadata not covered by our default fields. Please provide your DC Consultant with a list of metadata fields you intend to import. If you are migrating multiple journals, it is best to standardize the metadata across journals to ensure a smoother and easier upload process.
If you are preparing an XML export, now is a good time to provide your DC Consultant with a sample record from your XML Export. We can provide a sample XML file demonstrating one of your records following our Digital Commons schema.
Once you have your metadata ready for import to Digital Commons, your Consultant will want to perform a small-scale test using one of our demonstration sites to catch potential syntax issues. We strongly recommend that someone who is familiar with the collection also perform spot-checks of the metadata itself to ensure its integrity.
We do not recommend that you upload all the journal content to the demo site, as it will not transfer when the site is live.
Do you need to map to OAI for harvesting? Please share whether any metadata fields in your new journal should be mapped to the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) Dublin Core elements for third parties, such as abstracting and indexing services that need to harvest content from the journal. See more on metadata in Digital Commons in our guide, Metadata Options in Digital Commons.
Once training, practice, and adjustments on the demo site are complete, please contact your Consultant to approve launching your journal. Launching the journal involves creating a “live” site which will be visible to others, and it can take 3-5 business days to complete. If you have any additional adjustments to the site text and sidebar links, these may be implemented on the live site at any time.
Changes to the journal level configurations, site text, sidebar links, and design will transfer to the live site on launch. No volumes, issues, articles (metadata or full-text) will transfer to the live site. Journals can launch without any custom text, and if you are on a tight deadline, it may be more practical to launch before these elements are in place.
Discuss with your Consultant the best workflow for uploading previously published issues. If you will be accepting and reviewing new submissions immediately after launch, work out a schedule for uploading back issues, so the settings needed for batch upload do not interfere with your peer review workflow.
If batch uploading articles, you will upload articles using one Excel spreadsheet or one XML file per issue of the journal.
Below are some additional tips on uploading previously published issues to your journal:
If you have any submissions in your previous journal that are not yet published, you can upload them to your Digital Commons journal in order to work with them there instead. Before doing this, please share with your DC Consultant how many articles are in progress.
Watch our tutorial video on Manually Uploading Back Content in a Digital Commons Journal.
Having thoroughly prepared for the project, you and your Consultant have successfully seen your migration project to completion, and the data is now part of your Digital Commons site.
Your journal can accept new submissions and you can manage everything from your new journal home. Remember to shut down your old journal instance and announce the new site to readers, editorial board, reviewers, other stakeholders, and third parties. It is best that the site is now only on Digital Commons for clarity, as well as search engine optimization.
The Consulting Services team will remain available to assist you with advice, training, and support. Congratulations on your journal launch and migration completion!
If you have any questions about your migration, please contact your Consultant at email@example.com or by phone at 510-665-1200 option 2.