OA Journal Stops Publishing, Deletes Website

One of the things I look for in scholarly open-access publishers is an understanding of and a commitment to digital preservation. In fact, my Criteria for Determining Predatory Open-Access Publishers includes one criterion related to this: “The publisher … has no policies or practices for digital preservation.”

Publishers who devote no resources to digital preservation risk losing all of their published content. Some large publishers can effectively carry out this function in house, but to do it correctly, most publishers contract out this function to businesses that specialize in it.

So, now I have a solid example of a journal that has disappeared. It is the Journal of Advances in Developmental Research. If you visit its website, you see this:

No longer publishing, no longer any content.

No longer publishing, no longer any content.

With some exceptions, this journal’s content is lost. That means the author fees that the authors paid (or that were grant funded) were wasted. I tried contacting the journal’s editor, Prateek Shilpkar at this email address: pshilpkar@yahoo.com but received no reply. I found information about the journal from doing a Google search and retrieving an old call for papers for the journal. That CfP said:

Journal of Advances in Developmental Research

http://journal-advances-developmental-research.com/

 Publisher: Ms. Deepti Shilpkar

The Journal of Advances in Developmental Research is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal that publishes research articles, general articles, research communications, review article and abstracts of theses from the fields of science, social sciences, sports science, humanities, medical, education, engineering, technology, biotechnology, home science, computer, history, arts and other fields which participates in overall development of society.

It provides a platform to discuss current and future trends of research and their role in development of society.

The official language of journal is English.

ISSN: 0976-4844 (Online)

ISSN: 0976-4704 (Print)

Editor: Prateek Shilpkar  Email: pshilpkar@yahoo.com

Journal of Advances in Developmental Research is available free of charge as an Open Access journal on the Internet.

Articles available in PDF format.

Current Issue: Volume 1 Number 1 June 2010

Date: 23 August 2010

I was able to find some of the journal’s old content on the internet. The partial article screenshot below is from a document posting website called information 5.

JADR 2

So, thankfully, some of these document sharing websites may partially fulfill a digital preservation role.

Hat tip: I was tipped off to this journal by a reader named Dr. Sonali D.Bhawsar from Maharashtra, India who left the following comment on an old blog post of mine. He She wrote:

I just want to share my experience of web publication: in 2012, my research article was published in Journal of Advances in Developmental Research, recently one of the interviewer brought to my notice that this journal is no more publishing, the journal site appeared to be closed and I was shocked and felt very awkward. Can anybody tell me was that a fake publication? Shall I re-publish my valuable research?

Actually, this is a very interesting question:  What can authors do when an open-access, online-only publisher goes out of business? Is it ethical to re-submit their work elsewhere?

11 Responses to OA Journal Stops Publishing, Deletes Website

  1. Schenck says:

    Surely the Ingelfinger Rule doesn’t apply when the original journal collapses in on itself.
    Heck if an editor can’t find or get access to the original paper, then the Ingelfinger Rule shouldn’t apply either. That might make an argument for re-submitting (of course I. R. is about what an editor, not an author, should do) papers originally published in heavily-paywalled journals.

  2. This is going to be an increasing problem, potentially even with large publishers unless suitable archiving arrangements are in place. Whether that is the case or not can be difficult to find out so any author who is worried should archive their work independently with an institutional repository, or PMC, or some similar venue.

    As to the specific question, if the paper was OA then there seems no reason to not publish the work elsewhere. I would have thought adding a sentence somewhere such as the acknowledgements saying “An earlier version of this paper was published in XXX as [reference YYYYYYYYYY], but is sadly no longer available”, would satisfy any legal, ethical or moral qualms.

  3. Jan Feringa says:

    Apparently we need an Open Access orphanage.

  4. CLOCKSS is the simple solution to this problem. All good online publishers (OA or not) are CLOCKSS members for this very reason: http://www.clockss.org/clockss/Participating_Publishers

  5. WG says:

    Using the Internet Archive WayBack Machine, I was able to access the journal as it appeared in June 2012 and download an article as a PDF.

    It was a 3-page article titled, “Anxiety Level in Indian Basketball Referees at Different Levels of Officiating.” It has five references, including two with the words “text book” in their titles.

    Other red flags were text ads and a list of links on the journal homepage about search-engine optimization.

    I am inclined to think that this was a “fake” journal.

  6. J. Nadal says:

    This is very interesting and I like the label of “predatory OA”, but I wonder if it’s a little broad to label this as a digital preservation problem. I think it’s worth making a distinction between problems inherent in technologies (PDFs and HTML documents aren’t big preservation risks) and poor business practices. Would it be more accurate to see this as an example of why TRAC and third-party archiving arrangements are key to good stewardship in OA?

  7. alf says:

    All of the articles are still online as PDF files[1], but it looks like the WordPress site hosting them got hacked by a pro-Kashmir group in July 2012[2][3], and never got restored.

    [1] wget –mirror http://journal-advances-developmental-research.com/wp-content/uploads/

    [2] https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=121826224627207&id=254988964611648

    [3] http://wayback.archive.org/web/20120710140335/http://www.journal-advances-developmental-research.com/contact-us/feedback/

  8. Dear all,
    Maybe it was not predatory, but only a journal that could not survive.

  9. Archive what you cite is the solution: http://www.webcitation.org
    And if it wasn’t worth citing, then it is probably not worth preserving..

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