Like any material, Open Access publications sometimes “disappear” from the web. Professional organizations dissolve and their conference web pages are taken down, publishers cease operations and their assets are sold or go into legal limbo, and individuals lose interest in maintaining websites and move on. Fortunately, thanks to efforts by open access advocates and the Internet Archive, these resources may remain available long after their original hosts are gone.

The Internet Archive, perhaps best-known for the Wayback Machine which provides historical snapshots of websites, recently launched Internet Archive Scholar. Under a delightfully retro banner users can perform a keyword search for archived scholarship and creative materials that may no longer be available on their original web host. Search results can be narrowed by facets for release date, resource type, availability, and sorted by relevancy or ascending or descending date.

Internet Archive Scholar indexes archived versions of public web content, digitized versions of paper and microform collections, and materials from the larger collections and their partners. The home page has been translated into several languages from English, and currently provides access to over 25 million documents and datasets. The site is a work in progress, with additional articles being added and improvements in metadata and the search function being explored and implemented.

Open access materials aren’t inherently any more or less likely to be removed from the web than other materials, and a strong institutional host for materials greatly increases the chance of long-term or perpetual access. ISU ReD is the institutional repository for Illinois State University and is committed to providing open access publishing options for our faculty, staff, and students. Authors can often place pre-prints and published articles in a wide variety of formats on ISU ReD. If you wish to discuss these options further, for current or already published research, please contact Milner Library’s Scholarly Communication Team at

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