The impact of impermanent Web-located citations: A study of 123 scholarly conference publications
Article first published online: 16 MAR 2005
Copyright © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Volume 56, Issue 7, pages 695–703, May 2005
How to Cite
Sellitto, C. (2005), The impact of impermanent Web-located citations: A study of 123 scholarly conference publications. J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci., 56: 695–703. doi: 10.1002/asi.20159
- Issue published online: 7 APR 2005
- Article first published online: 16 MAR 2005
- Manuscript Revised: 17 MAY 2004
- Manuscript Accepted: 17 MAY 2004
- Manuscript Received: 11 FEB 2004
In this article the results of research that examined the permanence of 1,068 Web-located citations in 123 academic conference articles published between 1995 and 2003 are reported. The study is one of the few but increasing number of investigations that examines the growing practice of authors citing URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) in their publications to support and argue their scholarly research. It was found that some 46% of all citations to Web-located sources could not be accessed—with the HTTP 404 (“Page not found”) message (61.5%) being the greatest cause of missing citations. Collectively, the missing citations accounted for 22.0% of all citations, which represents a significant reduction in the theoretical knowledge base underpinning many scholarly articles. It is argued that the consequences of disappearing Web-located citations has led to diminishing opportunities for future researchers to examination the underlaying foundations of discourse and argument in scholarly articles.