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Aperta is a platform for managing the submission and review of research outputs.

Initial Setup


Aperta is supported on Linux and Mac. Our bin/setup script should work on Macs, Debian and Ubuntu.

  1. Ensure you have Ruby 2.3.6 installed. We recommend using rbenv or rvm to manage your ruby versions. Aperta will probably work on other Ruby versions, but we only provide support for 2.3.6.
  2. Have a keypair for AWS account with permissions to create new IAM users and S3 buckets available.
  3. Run the setup script (bin/setup)
  4. Run foreman start
  5. Visit http://localhost:5000/ in your browser and login using the username author or editor and the password password.

Detailed steps

Install ruby

We recommend using a ruby version manager, e.g. rvm or rbenv. Either one should meet your needs. Installing them is outside the scope of this README. Please refer to the installation instructions in those project.

Set up AWS

The bin/setup script will prompt you for an AWS key/secret key pair. This should be a key pair attached to a user that can create a new S3 bucket and IAM user and set up access. The simplest thing would be to attach it to a root user. The steps are beyond this README, but you can get started here

Automated Setup

  • Run:

Running this script will:

  • Install dependencies
  • Create the following config files:
    • .env.development
    • .foreman
    • Procfile.local
    • config/database.yml
  • Create a new database
  • Create a new AWS IAM user and S3 bucket and configure them.

Run the server

Run foreman start to start the web server, worker, and slanger.


Aperta should be listening on http://localhost:5000 You can login using the password password as a number of pre-configured users with the following user names:

  • academic_editor
  • admin
  • author
  • billing
  • collaborator
  • cover_editor
  • discussion_participant
  • editor
  • freelancer
  • handling_editor
  • journal_setup_admin
  • participant
  • production_staff
  • publishing_services
  • reviewer
  • site_admin
  • staff_admin

More information

For more information for developers, please visit the wiki


  1. Make sure the following servers are already running and listening on the correct ports:
    • PostgreSQL (5432)
    • Redis (6379)
  2. Make sure the following ports are open:
    • 4567 (Slanger API)
    • 40604 (Slanger websocket)
    • 5000 (Rails server)

Note that the bin/setup can be run as many times as you like as you correct issues that it runs into.

Running the test suite

Aperta uses rspec for ruby testing and qunit for javascript testing. To run the rspec tests, use bundle exec rspec. To run the qunit test, use bundle exec rake ember:test.

To run the capybara feature specs, you will need to have a recent version of firefox and geckodriver in your $PATH.