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I have been reading a journal article that extensively references another article by the same author. The cited article is referenced to a pre-print service but it has now been removed. I had no luck finding it through other searches so I requested it directly from the author. I received no reply for months despite following up a few times. In the end, I managed to call the author but was told, very abruptly, that the reference was not available.

The question I have is what are the ethics of essentially deleting a reference from literature that remains used to justify a subsequent article? I know some articles don't progress but deleting them seems extreme.

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    This sounds like you want opinions, which will vary and also depend on information you haven't provided (and maybe don't know), such as why the reference is not available (author has a copy but is not willing to share it, author had a copy but has since lost it, etc.). Probably a more appropriate question is how do you deal with such a reference when citing it, which I think would simply be handled by saying the reference is cited in Article X, but you have been unable to locate a copy. Commented Apr 20, 2023 at 7:15
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  • @DaveLRenfro. Thanks for links - much appreciated. Regards to your first comment...I just don't know...not sure whether it was lost or unwilling to share. I was just told it was not available.
    – Mari153
    Commented Apr 20, 2023 at 10:19

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