Malaysian Journal of Library & Information Science
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Article Information
Title:The growth and decay of URLs citation: A case of an online Library & Information Science journal
Auhtor(s): Sumeer Gul,Iram Mahajan,Asifa Ali,
Journal:Malaysian Journal of Library & Information Science
Volume:19, No 3
Keywords:Web citations; Missing links; Dead URL’s; URL persistency; Broken links; URL Accessibility.
Abstract:The present study makes an attempt to explore and analyze the growth and decay rate of URL citations cited in one of the eminent information web magazine ARIADNE. All the web citations cited in the featured article section of ARIADNE web magazine spanning a period of three years (2010- 2012) were identified and downloaded. All the URLs provided in the web citations were checked by W3C link checker ( to test whether they were accessible or not. Web resources are used more than the printed ones. Though the number of references in web based format is more in use but a significant number of web references lose their identity with the passage of time. The results indicate that early published papers have collectively a larger number of missing web citation compared to the recent ones. It was found that majority of errors were due to the missing content (http 404-file not found) representing 52.68% of all http error codes followed by “http 500” (24.73%) and “http 403” (19.35%). The “.com/.co” domain was also found to be the most stable and persistent domain with 95 per cent accessibility. The greatest number of web resources cited in the articles, were found to be of “html” and “htmls” formats and “ppt” files were found to be most stable with 100% accessibility. Finally, the study confirms that continued availability of web resources is not guaranteed because of the dying phenomenon of web based references, but there can be certain solutions (WebCite, LOCKSS etc) that can prevent the decay or disappearance of web citations.

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