Web Citation Availability: Analysis and Implications for Scholarship
Casserly, Mary F.
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SubjectBibliographic citations--Research; Citation of electronic information resources; Information retrieval; Electronic information resource searching; Web archives; Internet searching; Websites--Management; Websites--Maintenance and repair; Internet research; Electronic information resource literacy; Internet addresses; Uniform resource locators; Link rot; URL persistence; URL availability
Five hundred citations to Internet resources from articles published in library and information science journals in 1999 and 2000 were profiled and searched on the Web. The majority contained partial bibliographic information and no date viewed. Most URLs pointed to content pages with “edu” or “org” domains and did not include a tilde. More than half (56.4%) were permanent, 81.4 percent were available on the Web, and searching the Internet Archive increased the availability rate to 89.2 percent. Content, domain, and directory depth were associated with availability. Few of the journals provided instruction on citing digital resources. Eight suggestions for improving scholarly communication citation conventions are presented. any students regard citations as annoying details with little relevance to their work. However, individuals conducting serious research understand that long-established citation conventions help them further their own scholarship and assess the validity of other works in their field. Through citation, “researchers generously acknowledge their debts to predecessors.”1 Collectively, appropriate and accurate citations document how established scholarly works build on one another over time to transform ideas and even entire fields of inquiry.