Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln
To discover the current situation and characteristics of Web citations accessibility, the present study examined the accessibility of 4,253 Web citations in six key Iranian LIS journals published from 2006 to 2010. The proportion percentage of Web citations increased from 11% in 2006 to 30% in 2010. The most widely cited top level domains in URLs include the .edu and .org with respectively 37% and 23%. This study provides further evidence that organizations Websites have become increasingly vulnerable to URL decay .The results show that only 3,467 Web citations remain accessible in 2011, of which 71% allowed easy and long-term access to author information contained in URLs. Long time inaccessibility to author information was shown to be mostly from URLs that returned the 404 error and also the URLs that had gone through an information update. A 4-year half-life was estimated for Iran’s LIS Publications. The results suggest that the decay of URLs is a grave problem in the publications of Iran’s LIS researchers and cannot be overlooked. These authors need to gain the necessary knowledge about using Web citations as major sources of information for their publications.