THE primary objective of academic journals is to provide high-quality, peer-reviewed and open-access infrastructure for scholarly articles, allowing pre-print archiving of these journals and submission of an updated version, if required.

There can be many reasons for the discontinuation of a journal, such as financial crunch or institutional hurdles that may not be purely fiscal or even academic.

The editorial team has to rely on a relatively smaller number of quality articles in a revived journal in order to attract the readers and researchers. Calling it an attempt by faculty members to make it a tool for their own career promotions, as some people try to do, is baseless because there is a strict blind review process in universities, including at least three field experts, mostly from developed countries, who make qualitative as well as quantitative assessment of each case.

In all papers in which some freshness in the research outcome exists, the citation/referencing is a little tricky. Since the publication of an article may not be delayed for long, researchers try to submit it in various relevant journals to improve the probability of publication. When an article is submitted to a journal which offers a backlog publication, the material ready for publication with a scholar may not necessarily be as old as when the publication of journal got ceased.

So, a researcher will surely have references ahead of the years and is compelled either to give the correct publication date or hide it. The latter would be an academic dishonesty.

Thus, as per the prevailing norms of publishing, any article can cite works that came into existence after its date of publication, especially when it is a matter of revived/backdated issues.

Dr Intikhab Ulfat
Karachi

Published in Dawn, July 24th, 2021

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