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Oxford University Press have failed to preserve access to the scholarly record

January 23rd, 2017 | Posted by rmounce in Paywall Watch | SciHub

This morning, a PhD student asked me if I could get access to copy of:
“Bayes factors unmask highly variable information content, bias, and extreme influence in phylogenomic analyses” by Jeremy M Brown and Robert C Thomson which was first published online (ahead of print) on 20th December 2016. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/sysbio/syw101

The student urgently needs access to this work because it relates very closely to some of his research and he has a manuscript in the final stages of preparation doing something similar or related to this work.

As of 23-01-2017, this paper is seemingly completely missing from OUP’s new website (they appear to have migrated all journals to this base URL now: https://academic.oup.com ) and they have failed to put in place any redirect links that resolve to where this article is, if it is online at all. This paper may have been missing/offline/unavailable since January 13th 2017 – remember it has not appeared in print yet, thus it is only electronically available.

Old links to it that used to work include:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/sysbio/syw101
http://sysbio.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/11/14/sysbio.syw101.abstract

The society itself knows this article exists, it tweeted about it:

A third-party website also acknowledges the existence of this article:
http://www.pubpdf.com/pub/28003531/Bayes-factors-unmask-highly-variable-information-content-bias-and-extreme-influence-in-phylogenomic-

Sci Hub preserves access to paid-for scholarly content, when the original publisher fails to do so

Interestingly, Stian Håklev alerted me to the fact that the full text of this otherwise missing paper is available via Sci Hub https://twitter.com/houshuang/status/823478936030052352

Direct Sci Hub link to this paper here: http://dx.doi.org.sci-hub.cc/10.1093/sysbio/syw101

It is deeply ironic that my only available access to an article that my library (and thousands of other libraries and personal subscribers around the world!) has paid a publisher to make available is at a so-called “pirate library” like Sci-Hub. Why do we pay large sums to legacy publishers for incompetent service provision, whilst our libraries pay nothing to competent, low-cost archival services like Sci-Hub? “Lots of copies keeps things safe” as they say.

Final questions…

HOW MANY OTHER PUBLISHED PAPERS ARE NOW “MISSING” (NOT AVAILABLE ONLINE) AT JOURNALS PUBLISHED BY OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS? IT STRIKES ME THAT THIS PROBABLY ISN’T AN ISOLATED CASE – IT SEEMS THAT OUP HAVE NOT USED ROBUST AUTOMATED PROCESSES TO MIGRATE CONTENT AND CREATE APPROPRIATE REDIRECT LINKS.

BUT EVIDENCE OF ABSENCE IS HARD. WE HAVE ONE ROBUSTLY EVIDENCED CASE HERE BUT THERE ARE PROBABLY MORE.

PLEASE HELP FIND MISSING ARTICLES SO WE CAN ASSESS THE TRUE SCALE OF THE LOSS OF SERVICE HERE.

LIBRARIES AND INSTITUTIONS AROUND THE WORLD PAY SUBSCRIPTIONS TO HAVE ELECTRONIC ACCESS TO THIS CONTENT. THIS IS CLEARLY A SIGNIFICANT BREACH OF SERVICE. WILL OUP BE MADE TO PAY COMPENSATION FOR THIS PROFESSIONAL INCOMPETENCE?