Advanced workflow

The "rse_workflow" plugin enables complex bespoke workflows to be configured. Enable this via Admin -> System -> Plugins -> Workflow And Access -> Activate.

In the base ResourceSpace installation archive states are fixed. There is a basic workflow process in place involving user submission, approval, through to active then archived. This cannot be altered.

There are two core elements to workflow - states and actions.

Workflow states

A workflow state is the status of a given resource at a particular time, for example 'active' or 'archived', however it is possible to create as many additional workflow states as required. The workflow state typically determines who can see and edit a resource and will determine the available workflow actions to be performed (below).

States can be created and edited via the 'Workflow States' function available under the 'Workflow' section of the Admin menu. The existing basic workflow states will appear in that area - these cannot be edited.

From version 9.1 + workflow states can be included when performing standard searches. This must be set by administrators by ticking the option 'Include workflow state in default searches' on the 'Edit workflow state' page. Please note that certain special searches will not honour this setting and that this setting may be unavailable if some or all of the following configuration options are enabled:

  • $search_all_workflow_states
  • $pending_review_visible_to_all
  • $pending_submission_searchable_to_all

Workflow actions

Actions are the links between the workflow states. They appear as buttons on the resource view page for the users which have permission to access them. Each action has a 'from state' and a 'to state'. All actions for which the 'from state' matches the current resource state will appear on the resource view page, subject to user permissions. Performing an action (clicking the button) will cause the resource to move into the 'to' state.

Actions can be created, edited, and deleted via the "Workflow Actions" function within the "Workflow" section of Admin. A few standard actions are provided with the default installation of the plugin.

From version 9.3+ workflow actions will also be available in the unified dropdown actions (both for searches and collections) under the "Edit" category. In order for a user to get these actions shown, ResourceSpace will use only the "wf" permissions.


Because only wf permissions are used to show the options the users will get to a confirmation page where they will see exactly how many resources will be affected by the action they just selected.

For example, if my collection has 3 resources out of which 1 is Archived and 2 are still Active, selecting the option to Archive them will show only 2 resources being affected (since one of them was already Archived).



By default, all actions will appear on the resource edit page, as long as the user has write access to the 'from state' of the resource. It is possible to override this by allowing access to additional actions using the existing Permissions Manager function. This will allow users who don't have access to the 'to' state to move resources into it.

For example, a user who can only edit resources in Pending submission and Pending review could be pushing the resource into the Active state, even if the user doesn't have edit access to the Active state.

New workflow action management tools are available near the bottom of the permissions list. Ticking an action will allow the user to access this action, even when they do not have access to the 'to state' of the action.

Note that it is not necessary to tick all actions - only those where you specifically need to allow additional access in the event that the user does not have edit access to the 'to state' of the resource. In most cases using these permissions will not be necessary.

My Contributions

Users who can upload resources via My contributions can also view their contributions for any of the workflow states to which the user has access to. If the user group the user belongs to has blocked access to a particular workflow state (z permission) then the user will not be able to view his/ her contributions for that workflow state.