Title not found: room for improvement in maintaining access to articles when journals disappear

Update July 3: 11 “titles not found” have been added, 9 for BioMedCentral and 1 for Springer Open, for a total of 15 titles so far.

Some open access journal publishers and services may not have much experience in the complexities of keeping track of journals and articles as journals change over time. The purpose of this post is to highlight the loss of ready access that occurs when a journal ceases publication and is removed from DOAJ, and sometimes from the publisher’s website as well. It is understandable that DOAJ wishes to focus on and encourage active open access journals, however removing content when journals cease is a disservice to readers and authors alike.

Recommendations

Authors: always post a copy of your article in an open access archive, even if you have published in an open access journal.

Open access journal publishers: if a title ceases to exist, do not remove the title from your website (unless it had no articles at all). If the journal has changed title, add a link to help the reader make the connection. If the title has ceased, include a note to that effect.

DOAJ: indicate that journals have ceased rather than removing them from DOAJ. Include a field to indicate whether journals are active or not. There is an “end date” in DOAJ which seems like a good candidate to use for that purpose.

Examples of title not found

These 9 titles were on the BioMedCentral website in 2014, but have disappeared as of May 2015:

BMC Medical Physics
Cough
Genome Integrity
International Archives of Medicine
Journal of Brachial Plexus and Peripheral Nerve Injury
Journal of Molecular Signaling
Longevity & Healthspan
Microbial Informatics and Experimentation
Nuclear Receptor Signaling

These titles were on the Libertas Academica website in 2014, but have disappeared as of May 2015:

      • Autism Insights
      • Cell Biology Insights
      • Clinical Medical Insights: Dermatology
      • Immunotherapy Insights
      • Particle Physics Insights

Sciedu Press

  • Journal of Haematological Malignancies – last issue appears to be 2013. Still listed in DOAJ, not included on publisher’s website.

From Springer Open, 1 title on the website in 2014 disappeared in 2015:

Scalable Computing

These 4 journals were from the sub-sample of 139 journals we surveyed last year published by publishers with 9 or fewer journals – a 3% attrition rate for this sub-group:

  • American Journal of Oil and Chemical Technologies
  • International Journal of Phytomedicine
  • International Journal of Marketing Practices
  • Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences

This post is part of the Tech Tips series