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:
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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: email@example.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.
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?