User Documentation

Ambra has been under continuous development as the engine behind the PLOS journals since 2009. For its first two major versions, Ambra was a monolithic Struts web application, which has been offered as open source since its beginning.

In 2012, PLOS began a project to re-architect Ambra as a service-oriented, multi-component application. PLOS has actively been using, testing, and improving these new components in its journal platform since 2013. PLOS finally replaced the legacy Ambra webapp in its entirety in early 2016 and republished the code as open source in early 2017.

Because this re-architected version of Ambra has been in use only by PLOS staff for the years prior to its release, you might experience some challenges in setting it up. The documentation on this website is intended to provide everything you need to get started, but you may encounter omissions, bugs, or other obstacles. If you do, we encourage you to contact us. If the project's current state is rough around the edges, it is because it is relatively new to third-party use and needs feedback from prospective users. Your response will drive future improvement of the open-source side of the project.

We hope that what the current Ambra application may lack in user-friendliness and polish, it will make up for in robustness, flexibility, and an unparalleled focus on the needs of Open Access scholarly publishing. Thank you for your interest in this software. We have put a lot into it, and we hope you can get something out of it that will promote the causes of open science and open software.