Web citation persistence over time by N. Riahinia of Iran

Eugene Garfield eugene.garfield at THOMSONREUTERS.COM
Tue Nov 29 13:18:51 EST 2011

While it is always interesting to have yet another study of the library science literature, it would be far more interesting if we could have a similar analysis of the literature of a field in the natural or physical sciences that is of interest to the  users of libraries rather than those who administer libraries. EG


TITLE: Web citation persistence over time: a retrospective study

(Article, English)

AUTHOR: Riahinia, N; Zandian, F; Azimi, A



SEARCH TERM(S): CITATION item_title; CITATION* item_title

KEYWORDS: Web citation; Web resources persistence; Print citations;

LIS journals; Citation domains; Resources file format;

Referencing; Communication processes

ABSTRACT: Purpose - By studying a large number of citations in the

US field, this paper seeks to examine carefully the persistence status of web resources specified by their domains and type of files.

Design/methodology/approach - All 2005-2008 volumes of six LIS journals ranked by ISI Thomson Reuters were selected. From 1,181 papers, 37,791 citations were recorded. Only original articles, which had a list of references, were included in the study. The persistence of web citations was checked by directly following the cited URLs.

Findings - Of the 37,791 citations, 4,840 (12.8 percent) were web citations. The means per articles of web and print citations were 4.09, and 27.9, respectively. Of all web citations, 4,617 (95 percent) were readily persistent, and 5 percent returned errors and thus were not originally accessible. The relationship between the print and web citation over time (year) was significant. The most prevalent domain of citations was html and the most favorable and persistent file format was pdf.

Practical implications - The web resources are used for their easy accessibility and the support they provide for a scientific content.

While direct accessibility to a web citation is not provided, many strategies are adopted to recover the dead citation. The issue is to what extent the authors rely on web resources and are they finished with citing paper-based materials? Are web resources becoming replaced with their print counterparts? The study showed that scholars still rely more on print resources than on the web materials.

Originality/value - Tracking current trends in scholars' communication behavior shows a shift from print to web resources. The paper examines web citations persistence in some prestigious journals to show whether the web citations are reliable enough and always accessible in the digital world.

AUTHOR ADDRESS: N Riahinia, Tarbiat Moallem Univ, Fac Psychol & Educ,

Tehran, Iran

Eugene Garfield, PhD. email:  garfield at codex.cis.upenn.edu<blocked::mailto:garfield at codex.cis.upenn.edu>
home page: www.eugenegarfield.org<blocked::http://www.eugenegarfield.org/>
Tel: 610-525-8729 Fax: 610-560-4749
Chairman Emeritus, ThomsonReuters Scientific (formerly ISI)
1500 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130-4067
Editor Emeritus, The Scientist LLC. www.the-scientist.com<blocked::http://www.the-scientist.com/>
121 W 27th Street, Suite 604, New York, NY 10001
Past President, American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) www.asist.org<blocked::http://www.asist.org/>

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