Resources for Editors of Scholarly Journals: OJS 3.3 Pro Tip: Statistics

Digital Publishing Services at the University of Kansas Libraries have created this guide to assist those thinking of starting a new journal or working with an existing journal. Contact Marianne Reed ( if you have any questions.

Examples of Statistics in OJS 3.3

To learn more about how statistics work in OJS, please see the Public Knowledge Project's Learning Open Journal Systems: Statistics.

Here are examples of some of the statistical dashboards and reports available to journal editors in OJS:

COUNTER Report (Shows total downloads of journal articles over time)
COUNTER is an international standard for measuring journal activity, specifically downloads.  Statistics for journals that follow the COUNTER standards are compiled in exactly the same way, which allows those journals to be directly compared to each other.

  1. Log in to OJS.  In the right sidebar of the Dashboard, go to Statistics > Reports.  The following screen will appear.
  2. Click COUNTER Reports.  It will take several minutes before the next screen appears.  If it helps, envision an invisible person counting thousands of downloads using an abacus.
  3. Select Journal Report 1 > <year for which you want download statistics>.  Save the resulting XML file to your computer.  Note where it’s saved, because you’ll have to find it later.
  4. Open Excel
  5. Open the file in Excel using one of two methods: 
    From the menus in Excel, choose File > Open and navigate to the XML file you just saved.  Click OK to open the file.

    OR an alternate way to open the xml file is to find the file on your computer, right-click on the file and choose Open With > Excel
  6. When you’re asked how you want to open the XML file, select As an XML table and click OK.
  7. A message about a “problem with the XML or schema source” will appear.  Click OK to have Excel create a schema for the information in the file. 
  8. Another window will appear, letting you know that some data was not imported.  Click OK to ignore the error and proceed.
  9. The XML file will open in Excel as a table.
  10. To see the downloads for your journal, scroll right all the way to the last column in the spreadsheet.  That column contains the downloads for the journal, by month.  If you want the total, you can add them by clicking in the cell below the downloads and using Excel’s Autosum feature. 

Articles dashboard (Shows downloads/views for each article over time)

The Articles dashboard shows editors a graph of overall downloads over time for the journal, as well as downloads individually by article.  Abstract Views are recorded when someone looks at the article page, while File Views indicate that someone downloaded the article file.

  1. Log in to OJS.  In the right sidebar of the Dashboard, go to Statistics > Articles.  The graph of journal activity for the past month will appear, followed by a list of activity for individual articles.
  2. You can customize the graph to show different time periods, downloads over time or views of the article pages over time.
  3. Below the graph is a list of articles and the activity for each.  You can search this list by title, author, or submission number, and you can sort all of the articles by the total number of downloads and views to determine which were the most popular articles in your journal. 

PRO TIP:  If you want to save the article information in a spreadsheet, drag over it with your mouse from the bottom right hand corner until the column headings are highlighted, then copy and paste into a spreadsheet.  

PKP Usage Statistics Report (Shows total downloads of all journal issues since May, 2019)

The PKP Usage Statistics report contains all of the issue download statistics for the journal since May, 2019, as well as some other data that is best viewed in other reports. 

  1. Log in to OJS.  In the right sidebar of the Dashboard, go to Statistics > Reports
  2. Click PKP Usage Statistics Report.  You will be asked to save the file in comma separated values (CSV) format.  NOTE:   the download of the information continues long after the file is saved.  It will take several minutes before the download is really done.  If it helps, envision an invisible person counting hundreds of thousands of downloads using an abacus.  Watch your browser's download progress bar to see when it is done. 
  3. Open the file in Excel. 
  4. Sort the information in the report by Type.  Delete all the rows that are not of type Issue or Issue Galley.  Sort the remaining information in the report by Month
  5. If you want the total issue downloads, you can add them by adding the numbers in the Count column by clicking in the cell below the downloads and using Excel’s Autosum feature.  You can also separate the statistics for each year and calculate the downloads for each. 
  6. Save the file after you have captured the statistics. 

Editorial Activity dashboard  (Summarizes editorial activity for journals using the full editorial workflow in OJS)

The Editorial Activity dashboard shows the overall activity in the workflow of your journal, including the number of submissions submitted, accepted and declined.  This dashboard is most helpful if your journal uses the full editorial workflow (Submission/Review/Copyediting/Production), If parts of the workflow take place outside of OJS, these statistics may be skewed.

  1. To see the Editorial Activity dashboard, log in to OJS.  In the right sidebar of the Dashboard, go to Statistics > Editorial Activity.  A summary of editorial activity for the timeframe shown will appear.  
  2. You can customize the scale of the graph to show editorial activity over various timeframes.  You can also filter the results by the section of the journal, so you can see activity by a section editor. 

Users dashboard (Shows the total number of users in your journal by role, and exports user lists to a spreadsheet)

The Users dashboard shows you the total number of readers registered with your journal, as well as the number of people in each of several roles (journal manager, journal editor, reviewer, author, etc.).  This is different from the Users & Roles dashboard, because it doesn't list the individual users. 

  1. To open the Users dashboard, log in to OJS and go to Statistics > Users. 
  2. To export a list of your journal's users, click Export.   OJS gives you the option to export a list of users only in certain categories, then will generate a spreadsheet with the desired information. 

Paperbuzz  (Shows article downloads on the article page)

The Paperbuzz plugin displays download statistics for each published article and displays them on the article page.

  1. To turn this on, log in to OJS and go to Settings > Website > Plugins tab. 
  2. Scroll through the list of plugins to find the Paperbuzz plugin.
    1. Click the checkbox to turn on the plugin. 
    2. To configure the way the plugin looks on the article page, click the triangle next to the plugin name and choose Settings.  After you supply an email address, you can choose whether the plugin shows download counts only, or if it shows a graph of activity over time. 

Statistics > Reports (Contains links to several reporting tools, including COUNTER)

The Statistics > Reports menu contains several options for statistics, including custom reports.  The data from several of these is shown in the Articles, Editorial Activity, and Users dashboards described above, so see if those meet your needs first, then experiment with others if you need raw data or custom reporting. If you create a Custom Report that you really like, you can save the URL in the body of the report to run any time that you want to see updated statistics. 



Digital Initiatives Manager

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Marianne Reed
Watson Library, Room 470

University of Kansas Libraries

Subjects: Copyright