Eighty-four online-only, open-access journals in the sciences, and nearly 100 more in the social sciences and humanities, have disappeared from the Internet over the past two decades as publishers stopped maintaining them, potentially depriving scholars of useful research findings, a study has found.
An additional 900 journals published only online also may be at risk of vanishing because they are inactive, says the report, "Open Is Not Forever: A Study of Vanished Open Access Journals." The number of OA journals tripled from 2009 to 2019, and on average the vanished titles operated for nearly 10 years before going dark, which "might imply that a large number . . . is yet to vanish," the authors write.
"The analysis demonstrates that research integrity and the scholarly record preservation . . . are at risk across all academic disciplines and geographical regions," says Andrea Marchitelli, managing editor of JLIS.it, the Italian Journal of Library, Archives, and Information Science, who was not involved in the study.
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