Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

The Availability and Persistence of Web Citations in Iranian LIS Journals (2006-2010)

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

The Availability and Persistence of Web Citations in Iranian LIS Journals (2006-2010)

Article excerpt

Introduction

The Internet is one of the most important and complex innovations in human history, the largest and most complete tool for information exchange ever made available to the global population. Since the quasimiraculous emergence of the Web in 1990s, there has been a continuous increase in the volume of scholarly resources in electronic form, such as e-books, e-journals, e-databases, e-theses and dissertations, e-prints of research papers, and the like. These resources have provided a scope for researchers and authors in various subject fields and stimulated their research productivity. Library and information science (LIS) is no exception to this (Maharana and Nayak, 2006).

Web resources play a prominent role as a medium of information in helping Iranian researchers with their studies and it has been supported in numerous theoretical and empirical studies (Sa'adat, 2008; Roshandel et al, 2005). Web has gradually become an information source in the research papers and publications in Iran and has continued to work its way through different scientific fields. but, the fleeting nature of information on the Internet and rapid changes in Web technologies have both LIS authors and publishers concerned. The constantly changing environment of the Internet does not provide any guarantee of permanence. Anyway, Mobility and inaccessibility of Web-based sources are still serious reasons that may affect the acceptance of scholars to use them as legitimate media of formal scholarly communication (Spinellis, 2003).

In this study, we investigate how Web citations are used in articles on LIS by Iranian authors published in Journals during 2006 to 2010 and afterwards, the results are analyzed. This study assessed the overall rate of Web citations and the frequency of inaccessible URLs in LIS journals. While cross disciplinary Web citations allow us to compare differences among disciplines in the acceptance to Web resources in scholarly publications, concentrating on one discipline can provide an in-depth understanding of uses of Web resources in scholarly publications.

Literature Review

Shortly after the Web emerged, information scientists started to monitor the impact of Web resources on the scholarly literature and the citation behavior of authors during the process of research. In 1996, Harter and Kim (1996) studied citations in 279 articles published in peer-reviewed LIS e-journals to measure the extent to which authors cite e-journals and other online sources. Harter and Kim found that, while e-journals accounted for 0.2 percent of the references cited, citations of various online sources as a whole consisted of 1.9 percent of the total references. In a similar citation study conducted in 2001, Zhang (2001) also investigated the use of Internet-based electronic resources by LIS researchers for scholarly contributions. Zhang discovered that the percentage of electronic citations in print journals of LIS increased from 0.2 to 5.2 percent during the period of 1991 and 1998, whereas the percentage of articles containing electronic citations showed a dramatic increase from 1.8 to 33.9 percent.

Markwell and Brooks (2002) found that some 14% of all URLs had ceased to function or changed their content in the first 14 months of the study. The authors found that the top-level domain that was most reliable and less likely to disappear when compared to other top-level domains were those associated with government sites. Conversely, the.com domain exhibited the highest degree of instability with almost 50% of these types of URLs not being accessible after 24 months.

Casserly and Bird (2003) conducted another study of LIS journal articles published between1999 and 2000 and found that among the 35,689 citations included in 1,425 articles, a total of 3,582 or 10% of the references were originated from the Web.

In a study of Web citations in high-impact oncology journals, Hester (2004) documented an increase in the Number of articles with references to Web sites, from 9% in 2001 to 16% in 2003. …

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