Page break issues in OJS 3 (Online Journal System v3) – Submissions Page

Page break issues in OJS 3 (Online Journal System v3) – Submissions Page

For some weird reason, the closing tags on the /about/submissions page of OJS3 add a line break (br /) after them.

According to iclaudius (GitHub), “certain fields go through the Smarty nl2br filter, which converts newlines into br / elements. It makes sense to remove these, since that content is entered through the TinyMCE editor…”.

To fix this issue, here’s what to do:

  1. Open the file submissions.tpl located in lib/pkp/templates/fronteend/pages.
  2. Search for  |nl2br. You’ll find it is used in 3 instances.
  3. Keep the first instance and remove the 2nd and 3rd instances.

Credit for the solution posted here is attributed to iclaudius and asmecher (GitHub) at

Issue importing references from WordPress to Endnote using Academic Blogger’s Toolkit.

Issue importing references from WordPress to Endnote using Academic Blogger’s Toolkit.

I love Academic Blogger’s Toolkit (ABT). It allows me to add references to my WordPress research and reflection blog (which isn’t this one and I don’t have a link to it as it’s for my eyes only—sorry). One particular feature I quite like is the ability to export references I’ve created in Endnote and have them imported into ABT.

That is, until recently. For some reason, the last update to Endnote has caused it to stop working. To resolve the situation, I sent a Twitter message to the creator of the plug-in, Derek Sifford, via Twitter (@flightmed1). Within a day—a day!—the issue had been reviewed and solved. Now that, ladies and gentleman, is what I call impressive.

So, if anyone else has the same issue, here’s what to do.

  1. Export as RefMan (RIS) file. Text only.
  2. Rename the file extension from .txt to .bib. On a Mac, you MUST …
    1. Select the file and choosing File -> Get Info
    2. Click the arrow to the left of “Name and Extension”
    3. Click return key
  3. Import using ABT

* Annoyingly, you can’t merely rename the extension on a Mac by clicking it. All that does it add .ris to the end of the file (so you end up with FILENAME.txt.ris). Go figure.

And, again, a huge thanks to Derek. You’ve got a fan for life now, sir. 🙂

WordPress asking for FTP Credentials? Here’s how to fix it

WordPress asking for FTP Credentials? Here’s how to fix it

Credit for this post goes entirely to Bhagwad Park. What you read below is his solution; I’ve only re-written it slightly. His post can be read here.

I like WordPress. Well, okay, I love it. But sometimes it does weird things—like asking to connect via FTP if I want to install a new theme. WordPress doesn’t normally need to do this. The problem is that the PHP process in the background runs as Apache instead of the owner of the WordPress files. Here’s how to get it to work.

Open Terminal on your Mac (or use whatever SSH software you like) and type the following:

sudo chown -R www:www /Library/WebServer/Documents/Moodle

The first part of the path I’ve written here (/Library/WebServer/Documents) is the default folder and I’ve added the /Moodle because that’s what my folder is called which has all the files for Moodle. Yeah, original, isn’t it? If you’ve named your folder something else (or if you’ve changed the default location) you will need to type in the proper path.

‘chown’ allows you to change the owner of files or folders; -R means recursive (meaning that it is to be repeated for every sub directory and their files; www:www means we are changing the permission to www user and the www group (it’s a special system used for executing PHP processes).

Again, thanks to Bhagwad Park without whom I would have been pulling my hair out.

New Year—New Aims

New Year—New Aims

They say that a rolling stone gathers no moss. They also say that a moving target is harder to hit! So, taking these two pearls of wisdom, I’m looking forward to giving myself new challenges for 2016, not stagnating or resting on my laurels.

This academic term, I will be finishing  the flip teaching Child Development course, with all of the materials online. It’s been a 3-year challenge and I’m pleased to see it all coming together now.

The next challenge is to build on the interesting ideas which came out of the trip to Malaysia. There are some exciting opportunities to share teaching pedagogies and research and I am keen to see what impact my workshop in Penang will have.

Our new teaching room has now been completed and I’m looking forward to trying to innovative pedagogies in this large lab, identifying new and effective methods to engage my students (and me!) in learning and teaching. There are new apps coming out all the time and it’s exciting to try some of the out and see which stick and which fall by the wayside. My poor students are always being inundated with something new but that, really, is what teaching should be all about—not resting on laurels and not falling into a rut.

One particular goal this year is to be much better at keeping my blogs up-to-date. It’s easy to become so busy with other things that you forget to keep a record of what you are doing, not only for you, my dear reader, but also for myself!

So, 2016 should be an exciting year! I hope you’ll join me on my journey.

A Celebration

On the 20th of March, I was invited to the main campus of the University for an awards ceremony as I had been nominated and shortlisted by the students for a teaching award in the category of Most Innovative Teacher. It was certainly a surprise to have been nominated and more of a surprise to be shortlisted!

It was a good celebration of all the hard work many people do at the university, even more so as the nominations came from the students.

For once, I was speechless as my name was read out as the winner for my category.

Thank you to those who nominated me. It is much appreciated.

List of winners, photos and video of the event

iCloud Drive: Are my files synced?

I am a Dropbox user. I like Dropbox. It’s useful, handy, reliable and efficient. However, I’m also intrigued by iCloud which will allow my files to sync to my numerous Apple devices easier … and it’s cheaper. So I’m currently working with both, giving iCloud a fair crack of the whip, as it were.

One thing that iCloud Drive doesn’t do, however, is provide some visual information about what has (or has not) been synced. Dropbox has little blue circles/green ticks; iCloud has nothing.

However, having done a quick search online, there is a partial solution to this. Using Terminal I can type the following command and get a basic list. It’s not pretty but it does the job.

brctl log --wait --shorten

Online Legacies

I just finished reading a very interesting article on the BBC Website in which a mother bequeathed her iPad to her family but, due to Apple’s security rules, they are unable to unlock it. This got me thinking about what would happen to my devices if I were to die suddenly. Same thing as the Grant family in the news article, I would suspect. My iPad and iPhone would basically be an expensive placemat. But then I thought about the larger issue.

What would happen to all of my information online if I were to die? Pretty much everything I do is backed up in 3 different places (some on cloud services, some on hard drives). It’s all password protected—even my hard drives—so no one would really be able to get access to this blog, my Twitter accounts, Dropbox, Google and so on. I rotate between 8 different passwords, all of which have 29 characters. Unless one of my colleagues successfully completes a post-graduate degree in computer password hacking, it’s highly unlikely anyone is going to crack them. (And yes, I do use a combination of capital and lowercase letters, numbers and characters.)

So what would happen to this blog? My accounts? My websites? Presumably some of them would wither and die once I stopped paying for them (such as my personal website). But what about this blog? Would WordPress keep it going indefinitely? Is there a cut-off point where after, say, 5 years of no activity, it is automatically deleted?

So is my legacy to have password protected hard drives and increasingly out-of-date (and non-updated) blogs and websites scattered around the globe forever?

Should I keep a note of my passwords so that, in the event of my death, others can access my materials and delete things? Perhaps I should but then, of course, the problem becomes this – where do I keep a note of my passwords? Because wherever I keep it, it needs to be ultra-secure (it does contain all my passwords, after all). I can’t store it online (because I would need to secure it with a password which, considering the scenario, would be really stupid). I can’t leave a note under my bed (not secure).

So perhaps the best option is to write out the passwords and keep them in a secure vault somewhere in a bank.

Or better yet, not die.