Journals FAQ

Planning and costs
Tools and training
Publishing and preservation

Planning and costs

Can you provide examples for each level of journal?
Barebones: Baraza 
Basic: Columbia Journal of Race and Law

Extended: Tremor and Other Hyperkinetic Movements

I’m interested in getting a journal. What is the process?
First, we will assess what your vision for the journal is. Once that is established, we will write a Master Service Agreement (MSA) outlining the level of service that CDRS will provide to you. After we receive a signed copy of this MSA, we will then determine a timeline and schedule for the installation to begin.

What information will CDRS need to know about my existing journal before starting a new project with them?
To provide the service that best meets your needs, CDRS will need to know about all related journal information including:

  • author agreements
  • copyrights used
  • contracts with other vendors (e.g. ProQuest, HeinOnline, etc.)
  • overview of the editorial review process
  • the type of online content (text, images,+/or video)
  • the total size all of the digital files
  • the software currently used
  • hosting and domain details (if already online)

Do I need to have graphic or web design experience in order to manage my journal site?
No. For basic and simple level journals, we can work with whatever color scheme and basic layout you’re able to provide in order to achieve the desired look and feel of your site. For simple+design, extended and premier levels, CDRS will design the layout for you for a cost.

Do I need to have certain web expertise to operate the software?
No. We provide training on both OJS and WordPress. In addition, online training videos and tools are available on websites that we can point you to.

I am an incoming editor and do not like the layout my predecessor chose for my journal. Am I able to change the design?
Yes, this is possible. A new contract establishing the service level and cost would have to be assessed and signed.

My journal is in WordPress, but I think OJS better suits our needs. Can we switch?
Yes. We can create a new site for you under a new contract.

How much would the simple + design, extended, and premier levels of journal cost?
The costs of these levels depends on a range of factors, including the size of the journal and how much design is required. Ultimately, our estimate is based upon the amount of time it will take CDRS to create the journal.

Are there any recurring costs that I need to be aware of?
There will not be costs that are not listed in your MSA. CDRS underwrites the hosting, upgrades, and patches for your site.

Do I have to worry about upgrading my site or downloading security patches for my site?
No, this is part of CDRS’ free ongoing support.

What is a Columbia domain?
A domain that ends with We can request a third-level domain for you. For example,

What if I already have a non-Columbia domain that I’d like to use?
If you have a domain name you would like to use for your journal, we can do one of the following alternatives. If you transfer ownership of your domain to CDRS/CULIS, we can mask the URL for the site. For example, if your domain is, your site’s URL will always be displayed as If you cannot transfer the ownership of your domain to CDRS/CULIS, we can redirect your domain to the site we build. For example, we will assign to the site we build for your journal. If someone types into their browser, they will be taken to the URL

Can I get a Columbia domain set up with a barebones installation?
Yes, but your installation will possibly take longer than 1-2 weeks to set up. Your service level will be considered a Basic installation.

When will my journal site launch?
In order to create a timeline, we will need to understand the requirements for your journal. We will determine the timeline once the MSA is signed.

Tools and training

Where can I learn more about WordPress and OJS?
WordPress and OJS.

What are the differences between OJS and WordPress?
Ultimately, it depends on what your journal’s work style is and how comfortable you are with the software. More soon.

I noticed that blogs are offered in the a la carte menu on your handout. Can my journal get one?
Absolutely. If you elect OJS for your journal, we can add a blog. WordPress journals have a blog option built in.

I noticed that wikis are offered in the a la carte menu on your handout. Can my journal get one?
Yes. A wiki is a tool that allows for creating and editing interlinked web pages about a particular topic (i.e. your journal). We can add a Wikischolars wiki
or MediaWiki to your  page.

How many users are allowed to manage the journal site?
On WordPress, you may have as many users as you wish. Open Journal Systems allows only one site administrator and one journal manager. There is no limit to the number of “editors” who may use the OJS journal.

I’m a new editor to my journal. I’m unfamiliar with the software used. Am I able to obtain training?
Yes. Contact Eva Cunningham, Project Manager, et2231 [at]
to schedule a meeting.

How many members of my editorial team should participate in the software training?
Anyone who will edit the online journal will benefit from the training.

How long are the trainings for WordPress or OJS?
Usually, the trainings will last about an hour to an hour and a half. We can tailor the training to your needs. You can also refer to the video tutorials and other online resources to learn about using your journal’s software.

Publishing and preservation

My journal has traditionally been a print-only publication, but I’d like to use your service. Can I still have it printed?
Absolutely! We offer print-on-demand services at a separate cost. For more information on print-on-demand, please contact Nicole Bufanio at

What is an ISSN?
The International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) is a standardized number attached to your publication which universally identifies it. Your ISSN is unique to your journal and will not be duplicated by any other publication. There’s more information about ISSN here.

Do I need to apply for an ISSN for my journal?
CDRS will submit an application for an ISSN for your journal.

Can I archive my journal?
If your journal is open access, it is very easy to archive your journal in Academic Commons, Columbia’s online repository. In Academic Commons, your journal will be preserved and catalogued so that you and others may access it in the future. If your journal is not open access, CDRS is able to put it in the Long Term Archive, which is restricted.

I want my journal to be open access because I’d like my content to be readily available. How can I protect the content of the journal?
Yes, you may use a Creative Commons license, which is described in the answer to the question below.

What is a Creative Commons license? How can I get one for my journal?
A Creative Commons license is a legal tool that marks open-access work in a way that signals how you would like for it to be shared. Creative Commons offers four different licenses that may be applied to your journal: Attribution, Share Alike, Non-Commercial, and No Derivative Works. Learn more about which Creative Commons license is right for you here.

Will CDRS publicize the launch of my journal?
Yes, we will send out a press release announcing the launch of your journal. In addition, we will publicize it using our various social media tools.

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