March 2024 Product Update

March 18, 2024

March 18, 2024 | by Heather Wozniak, OpenScholar Product Owner

March 2024 Product Update

March 2024 Product Update

March 18, 2024 | by Heather Wozniak

Check out the highlights from our last few releases.

What’s new or currently rolling out

Search improvements

We’ve streamlined the display of search results so that it is easier to scan the list and decide which results you want to click. We’ve also added widgets to our search index, so that visitors can search for content that lives in Custom Text/HTML or Callout Banner widgets, including instances of those widgets that have been added in Accordions, Columns, or Tabs. This will help surface relevant pages that are built using lots of widgets instead of the regular Body field.

Organization Administrator dashboard

A new Sites List report is available. Users with the Organization Administrator role can view this report to get an overview of all sites hosted on their OpenScholar install. They can see when sites were last updated, who owns them, what themes they are using, and more. They can also download a spreadsheet with the information.

Starter content improvements

The Personal site preset has been updated to include a handful of starter pages and widgets that are easily customizable. Individuals can get a new site up and running in minutes and then expand it later with more content apps and widgets if desired. This simplified template is designed as an alternative to some of the other personal presets that include more robust placeholder content. Read more about the Personal site structure.

The Callout Banner widget has been added to the front page in the Eligendi Lab, Gamma Lab, and Zen Lab presets in place of the Custom Text/HTML widget that was there before. This makes it easier to swap out the placeholder content with your own image and text without breaking the banner layout.

Research dashboard widgets

We released a Most Viewed Content widget for research dashboards and improved theming for the Activity Snapshot widgets. If you are interested in learning what a research dashboard could look like for your organization, please reach out to

Case theme utility classes

All of the standard theming utility classes are now included in the Case theme, making it easier to alter the appearance of links, text, and some widgets. For details see Customizing Theme Elements: Applying Utility Classes.

Maintenance, security, bug fixes and enhancements

We fixed some bugs and optimized some settings to make the platform even more accessible and user-friendly. Our development team updated a few Drupal modules and server packages (Drupal is the content management system underlying OpenScholar). Friendly reminder that we take care of the hosting and software, so you can focus on managing your content.

What’s coming soon

Core Facility preset

This will be a new option for starter content that creates a site structure optimized for core facilities. Eventually we will add specialized content types for describing equipment and services. Read more about the Core Facility site structure.

More reports for Organization Administrators

We plan to keep improving the site list that was released last month and add new sections with other stats, including basic traffic reports from Google Analytics.

Content automation and AI

We are continuing to explore ways to expedite the process of adding content, including incorporating AI to assist with tagging and generating content. We are defining principles to guide how our company will use AI in the OpenScholar platform and developing an AI feature roadmap.

What’s being retired

Nothing specific was deprecated this month. We are in the process of updating the social media services that are supported in the Follow Me widget, so soon you won’t be able to add new links to MySpace, Delicious, or other sites that are past their heyday. If you had previously added a link to one of those services, it will continue to appear.

We are continuing to develop a plan to retire legacy themes as described in our January 2024 Product Update and will share details when they are available.

Thanks for reading

Questions or comments? Please reach out to our product team at



See also: Product Update