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The half-life of internet references cited in communication journals

In Article on March 8, 2008 at 2:16 am

New Media & Society, Vol. 9, No. 5, 811-826 (2007)
DOI: 10.1177/1461444807081226
© 2007 SAGE Publications

The half-life of internet references cited in communication journals

Daniela V. Dimitrova Iowa State University, USA, Danielad@iastate.edu

Michael Bugeja Iowa State University, USA, Bugeja@iastate.edu

This exploratory study examines the use of online citations, focusing on five leading journals in journalism and communication. It analyzes 1126 URL reference addresses in citations of articles published between 2000 and 2003. The results show that only 61 percent of the online citations remain accessible in 2004 and 39 percent do not. The content analysis also shows that .org and .gov are the most stable domains. Error messages for `dead’ URL addresses are explored. The instability of online citations raises concerns for researchers, editors and associations.
Key Words: internet research • online citations • replicability • source attribution

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