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As most people probably know, the journal "K-theory" used to be published by Springer, but was discontinued after the editorial board resigned around 2007. The editors (or many of them) started the new "Journal of K-theory" in collaboration with Cambridge University Press.

Maybe I'm being very stupid or missing something obvious, but I am quite sure that articles from "K-theory" used to be available online via Springer, and as far as I can see they are no longer there. Did I miss something here, or did they just disappear? I can't believe Springer would do that, but then I can't find anything by searching, and the article links from MathSciNet are dead:

Sorry, the page you requested is unavailable. The link you requested might be broken, or no longer exist. SpringerLink is providing researchers with access to millions of scientific documents from Journals, Books, Protocols and Reference works.

In case it helps, here is the journal ISSN: 0920-3036 (print version) 1573-0514 (electronic version).

Grateful for any clarification.

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This was asked in chat: – Joel Reyes Noche Jul 12 '13 at 2:43
“I can't believe Springer would do that”—unfortunately, that is how the world currently works. :( – The User Jul 12 '13 at 14:52
Why don't you ask Springer? – Alexandre Eremenko Jul 13 '13 at 14:19
I asked Springer a week ago, they said they would come back to me shortly. – Andreas Holmstrom Jul 18 '13 at 22:17
Almost all issues of K-Theory (I guess till year 2006 or 2007) are available on torrents: (I guess one should register there to be able to download). – Pasha Zusmanovich Dec 22 '13 at 12:48

It seems that the archives have been taken down because of "legal issues related to the ownership of the content." See for further discussion. Unfortunately, nobody involved seems to be publicly discussing the situation, and I have not yet been able to learn exactly what's going on. One natural guess is that this has something to do with how the journal ended, but I really don't know. In any case, it's outrageous for a journal to disappear, and the community deserves to know why it has happened and what can be done about it.

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The very next post in that discussion links to this statement by Wolfgang Lück from 2007, which mentions a lawsuit between Anthony Bak and Springer, which is also the reason Scott Morrison named in chat – Tobias Kienzler Jul 12 '13 at 10:29

I was the only editor of the old "K-theory" who did not join the editorial board of the "Journal of K-theory". A decision I have never regretted. On the other hand, I do regret that it is no longer possible to access the old K-theory papers online. I do not believe the fault is with Springer. I urge all authors to make their papers available online. If you would like to read a K-theory paper and it is not already online, please ask the author to make it available online.

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Christian Kassel points out that he was another editor of the old "K-theory" who did not join the editorial board of the "Journal of K-theory", although he did not make public his reasons. The saga continues: the "Journal of K-theory" has now spawned the "Annals of K-theory", justifying my comparison of the launch of the "Journal of K-theory" in Belfast in 2007 with the Belfast launch in 1911 of the Titanic. – Andrew Ranicki Oct 4 '15 at 5:58

Thanks to a librarian's listserv here an update: Since recently K-Theory is now available through Portico (only available to members) - see But no news if there are any plans to change the situation at the Springer website...

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To keep people updated, there are behind-the-scenes efforts to get K-theory available from a non-subscription journal archiving service (EDIT: this one, which releases its material under a CC-BY-NC-ND license). Unfortunately this is progressing slowly. I have no firm date when this could be a reality, but one hope was to see progress by the middle of the year (though I'm not confident).

PS If one is particularly persistent and know the right people, I believe there is a complete collection of K-Theory articles out there "on the internet".

EDIT2: Given the recent developments between the Journal of K-theory editorial board and Bak, I'm a whole lot less hopeful that issues regarding K-theory will be sorted out anytime soon.

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There are further recent developments: – Matthias Wendt Nov 10 '14 at 12:59

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