Web citation archive: WebCite
Posted by Paul Beuk on 18 January 2007 08:32:36
Authors increasingly cite webpages in medical and scientific publications, which can 'disappear' overnight. The problem of unstable webcitations has recently been recently referred to as an issue 'calling for an immediate response' by publishers and authors.
What is WebCiteR?
WebCiteR is an archiving system for webreferences (cited webpages and websites), which can be used by authors, editors, and publishers of scholarly papers and books, to ensure that cited webmaterial will remain available to readers in the future. If cited webreferences in journal articles, books etc. are not archived, future readers may encounter a "404 File Not Found" error when clicking on a cited URL.
A WebCiteR reference is an archived webcitation, and rather than linking to the live website (which can and probably will disappear in the future), authors of scholarly works will link to the archived WebCiteR copy on webcitation.org.
How do I use WebCiteR as an author to archive webpages I want to cite?
WebCiteR is an entirely free service for authors who want to cite webmaterial, regardless of what publication they are writing for (even if the journal/publisher authors are writing for are not yet listed as members. Membership only means some sort of formal agreement with a publisher). We ask, however, to use WebCiteR primarily in the context of scholarly publications.
The author of a citing manuscript can:
* Either manually initiate the archiving of a single cited webpage (by using either the WebCite bookmarklet or the archive page) and manually insert a citation to the permanently archived webdocument on webcitation.org in his manuscript, or;
* Upload an entire citing manuscript to the WebCite server via the comb page, which initiates the WebCiteR tool to comb through the manuscript and to archive all cited non-journal URLs. The WebCiteR software also replaces all URLs in the manuscript with a link to the permanently archived webdocument on webcitation.org.
How can I use WebCiteR as an editor?
If you are a journal editor, publisher, or copyeditor, the first thing you should do is to insert a note in your 'Instructions for authors' asking your authors to use webcitation.org to permanently archive all cited webpages and websites, and to cite the archived copy rather than the original link, which may be 'dead' in a few weeks, months, or years.
Secondly, editors/copyeditors should initiate the archiving of cited webpages (see instructions above 'How to use WebCiteR as an author') and replace all webcitations in a manuscript with links to the archived copy, before the manuscript is published.
Thirdly, please notify us that you are using WebCiteR -- you will become a member of the WebCiteR consortium (which is free) by filling in the form.
How can I use WebCiteR as a publisher?
Contact us to become a partner in the WebCiteR consortium by filling in
Ask your editors to instruct their authors and copyeditors to cache all cited URLs 'prospectively' before submission or at least during the copyediting process. Talk to us if you would like to submit XML files (for us to archive cited webpages automatically), or if you would like to have back-issues of your journal(s) analyzed for webcitations and the cited documents 'retrospectively' archived.
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