|Title:||Using a Web-Archiving Service - How to ensure your cited web-references remain available and valid|
|Authors:||Levy, David Claude|
referencing online links
|Abstract:||In today’s electronic information age, academic authors increasingly cite online resources such as blog posts, news articles, online policies and reports in their scholarly publications. Citing such webpages, or their URLs, poses long-term accessibility concern due to the ephemeral nature of the Internet: webpages can (and do!) change or disappear1 over time. When looking up cited web references, readers of scholarly publications might thus find content that is different from what author/s originally referenced; this is referred to as ‘content drift’. Other times, readers are faced with a ‘404 Page Not Found’ message, a phenomenon known as ‘link rot’2. A recent Canadian study3 for example found a 23% link rot when examining 11,437 links in 664 doctoral dissertations from 2011-2015. Older publications are likely to face even higher rates of invalid links. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make your cited web references more stable. The most common method is to use a web archiving service. Using a web archiving service means your web references and links are more likely to connect the reader to the content accessed at the time of writing/citing. In other words, references are less likely to “rot” or “drift” over time. As citing authors, we have limited influence on preserving web content that we don’t own. We are generally at the mercy of the information custodians who tend to adjust, move or delete their web content to keep their site(s) current and interesting. All we can do to keep web content that we don’t own but want to cite intact so that our readers can still access it in years to come is to create a “representative memento" of the online material as it was at the time of citing. This can be achieved by submitting the URL of the webpage we want to cite to a web archiving service which will generate a static (‘cached’) copy of it and allocate it a new, unique and permanent link, also called ‘persistent identifier’. We can then use this new link to the archived webpage rather than the ephemeral link to the original webpage for our citation purposes. There are a range of web archives available. This guide contains a list of trusted web archiving services.|
|Type of Work:||Article|
|Appears in Collections:||Research Papers and Publications. Sydney Health Ethics|
|Using a web archiving service 20170831-final.pdf||150.78 kB||Adobe PDF|
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