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On the Disappearance of Open Access Journals Over Time

Accepted submission by canopic jug at 2020-09-20 05:28:07 from the bitrot dept.
Career & Education

David Rosenthal discusses the last 25 years of digital preservation efforts in regards to academic journals. It's a long-standing problem and discontinued journals continue to disappear from the Internet []. Paper, microfilm, and microfiche are slow to degrade and are decentralized and distributed. Digital media are quick to disappear and the digital publications are usually only in a single physical place leading to single point of failure. It takes continuous, unbroken effort and money to keep digital publications accessible even if only one person or institution wishes to retain acccess. He goes into the last few decades of academic publishing and how we got here and then brings up 4 points abuot preservation, especially in regards to Open Access publishing.

Lesson 1: libraries won't pay enough to preserve even subscription content, let alone open-access content.

[...] Lesson 2: No-one, not even librarians, knows where most of the at-risk open-access journals are.

[...] Lesson 3: The production preservation pipeline must be completely automated.

[...] Lesson 4: Don't make the best be the enemy of the good. I.e. get as much as possible with the available funds, don't expect to get everything.

He posits that focus should be on the preservation of the individual articles, not the journals as units.

(2020) Internet Archive Files Answer and Affirmative Defenses to Publisher Copyright Infringement Lawsuit []
(2018) Vint Cerf: Internet is Losing its Memory []
(2014) The Importance of Information Preservation []

Original Submission