Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version

Winter 2-15-2020


The study investigated the use of URLs as citations and their longevity, based on 966 articles published in selected LIS journals published during 2011-2015. It is found that there are 36,968 references in 966 articles with an average of 38.26 per article. Of the 36,968 references, there are 5,867 URL references. Each of the 5,867 URL citations were checked using W3C link checker to verify their accessibility. The study also found that 46.53% URLs (2,730 out of 5,867) remained active while the remaining 3,137 (53.46%) were found to be missing. The largest number of missing URLs (83.22%) cited in LIS articles are published in the year 2012. The HTTP error 404 - ‘file not found’ error message was the common error 40.36% In this regard the study suggested that the author(s) should check the accessibility of URL citation before it is used in the reference list of the article.