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Dozens of scientific journals have vanished from the Internet, study found

September 15, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

As the internet evolves, web pages that were live years ago are frequently no longer available today. In some cases, that's for the best (so long, embarrassing MySpace profiles), but it is a concern when it comes to scientific research.

A new study found that 176 open access journals from 47 countries have vanished from the Internet between 2000 and 2019, and nearly 900 "inactive" journals may be at risk of vanishing in the future.

In an email to CNN, the Directory of Open Access Journals said the study "reinforces our view that DOAJ must help those journals, indexed with us, to preserve their content, and we need to find a model where, depending on their economic profile, the cost of doing so is not always passed back to the journal. "

"By our analysis, 18%, or over 3 million, open access articles since 1945 are not independently archived, either by us or by other preservation organizations," Kahle said.

The Internet Archive and the authors of the study on vanishing open access journals have joined forces to address the problem.

According to Ruttenberg, the study on vanished open access journals is "a wake-up call for us to pay more attention. "

Subscription-based digital scholarly content is not exempt from the issue of vanishing from the Web, but content from smaller or more independent open access publishers lacks some of the protections and resources that commercial content is more likely to enjoy.

"The publishing technologies employed to address preservation and archiving are mostly US or European initiatives where the solutions come with a price," the Directory of Open Access Journals told CNN in an email.

Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle cautioned that looking at blind spots in how open access journals from the past were preserved shouldn't suggest that commercial publishers are better equipped to handle preservation than open access publishers.

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