The Indiana Magazine of History now in Open Journal Systems

Dear Colleagues,

Published continuously since 1905, the Indiana Magazine of History (IMH, is one of the nation’s oldest historical journals. Since 1913, the IMH has been edited and published quarterly at Indiana University, Bloomington. The IMH online provides free online access to all but the most recent two years of the journals with release of new content scheduled annually in March. For access to the journal’s most recent issues, you may subscribe directly to the IMH through the journal’s website:

With funding provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) administered by the Indiana State Library, the Indiana University Libraries, in partnership with the editorial staff of the Indiana Magazine of History (IMH), launched an online version of the Indiana Magazine of History in 2008.

At that time, the IU Libraries treated the conversion and ongoing, online publication of the IMH along the lines of a classic electronic text project, following the TEI Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange (TEI), version P4, for the text encoding, and using a customized version of the open source eXtensible Text Framework (XTF) developed by the California Digital Library.  In evaluating the long-term sustainability of the IMH Online, and trends in scholarly journal publishing today, members from the IU Libraries and the IMH editorial staff decided to migrate the journal to Open Journal Systems (OJS,, an open-source journal management and publication system developed by the Public Knowledge Project.  OJS is widely used by libraries, scholarly and professional societies, and other cultural heritage organizations as a vehicle for open-access journal publishing, and it is a core publishing platform of the IU Libraries’ IUScholarWorks Journals service (

Despite the change in publishing platform, we will continue to encode to IMH Online according to the TEI Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange (TEI), version 4, with possible plans to migrate to the latest version of the TEI in a year or two. In the previous workflow, the IMH was encoded at the issue-level though discovery was at the article-level.  Moving forward the journal will be encoded at the article-level, and we will continue to pursue semantic encoding focused on article types (scholarly, book reviews, and editorial materials), and article features (diaries, letters, and bibliographies). Structural encoding is focused on basic print conventions for serials such as page breaks, bylines, etc. as well as lists, tables, blockquotes and footnotes.

OJS takes in the TEI/XML files through the XML Galley plugin, which triggers a stylesheet transformation to render the XML in HTML for the Web.  The IU Libraries is keen an exploring XML publishing workflows in OJS, and the IMH Online is leading the way.  We continue to provide access to the TEI/XML files which can be leveraged for further research and analysis while also benefiting from the discovery and access in a journal-native, open access publishing platform.

The migration of the online version of the Indiana Magazine of History to Open Journal Systems was conducted in partnership with Indiana University Department of History, Indiana University’s Office of Scholarly Publishing, and the Indiana University Libraries.

Have a look – there’s no shortage of great reads— and do not hesitate to tell us what you think:

Best wishes,

Michelle Dalmau on Behalf of the IMH Online Project Team

Michelle Dalmau, Interim Head
Digital Collections Services
Indiana University
Herman B Wells Library
1320 East 10th Street, Rm W501
Bloomington, Indiana 47405
Twitter:        @mdalmau