Assessing Open Source Journal Management Software

Author : Stewart Baker

The long-term sustainability of Open Source (OS) software depends on its community of developers and core users, as well as that community’s stability. Assessing OS software and the community which creates it is, therefore, an essential step in using OS software for a project.

In this study, surveys of OS journal management systems were reviewed to determine which were still actively maintained. Actively maintained systems were rated using QualiPSo’s Open Maturity Model (OMM), an assessment tool for determining the maturity and robustness of OS software. Of the OS journal management systems mentioned in existing surveys, only Ambra, Lodel, and Open Journal Systems (OJS) are still actively maintained.

Of these, OJS scored the highest OMM rating, followed by Ambra and Lodel. A new system, Janeway, was also assessed. Although OS software can carry risks, it also brings benefits to librarians, readers, and publishers of scholarly journals.

Assessing OS software and getting involved in OS software communities both help ensure the long-term survival of these communities and their work.