You spend a couple years carrying out some research, another year writing it up, and then you submit your research manuscript to an open-access publisher. It’s accepted, you pay the article processing charges, and then it is published online. A year later, the publisher goes out of business and all its published articles disappear forever.
This is the actual scenario for many authors who published with the former open-access publisher called VictorQuest Publications.
VictorQuest, now officially dissolved, published these seven journals [Note: the links go to the Wayback Machine’s archived version of the pages]:
International Journal of Basic Sciences and Applied Research (ISSN: 2147-3749)
International Journal of Agronomy and Plant Production (ISSN: 2051-1914)
International Journal of Sport Studies (ISSN: 2251-7502)
International Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Research (ISSN: 2322-4002)
International Journal of Management and Humanity Sciences (ISSN: 2322-424X)
International Journal of Traditional and Herbal Medicine (ISSN: 2345-3249)
Journal of Applied Mathematics and Engineering computations
If you’re an author who paid article processing charges to this company, reasonably expecting that your content would be available forever, it appears that you are out of luck. I had this publisher on my list early on, and the criteria I use when evaluating publishers includes analyzing the publisher’s plans for digital preservation. This publisher had none, and its demise illustrates the value of digital preservation.
Scholarly authors should not submit their works to journals that lack honest and standard digital preservation practices, especially if they are paying to publish.
While it’s true that some articles are still available on the internet, scattered around the web at various websites such as ResearchGate, the articles were not published bearing Creative Commons licenses; instead, they had copyright statements:
These copyright statements may make it harder for legitimate organizations to archive any remaining VictorQuest articles floating around, fearing legal action from the copyright owner.
It is also entirely possible that the owners of VictorQuest never intended the operation to be permanent. It’s ephemeral existence may have been the strategy from the beginning: make some quick and easy money, and then disappear.
After I drafted this blogpost, Dr. Jaime Teixeira da Silva reported to me that he found one of the VictorQuest journals still functioning. This is the International Journal of Agronomy and Plant Production (IJAPP). The site bears one of VictorQuest’s old logos (a logo that appears to have been lifted from the SEREN Global Media website) and apparently all the original articles. So it appears that VictorQuest is not completely dead. Note that the journal uses bogus metrics (Universal Impact Factor (UIF): 0.5564; Global Impact Factor (GIF): 0.467) to promote itself.