webcite- ubercool!

Lessig’s blog pointed me at WebCite– surely one of those ‘everyone in academia has thought about this at one point, but no one has actually done it’ ideas. (I know I’ve had it in the back of my mind since my last year of college, but never had the motivation to get off my ass and do it.) Basic notion is that they’ll archive any page you point them at, so that in your papers you can link to a permanent archived copy of a site as it was when you cited it, instead of a potentially broken or modifiable URL. Apparently it is already a year old- shocked I haven’t actually seen it used yet. (Interestingly, none of the members of their consortium are law reviews, despite that it is not uncommon for law reviews to cite blogs these days- wonder why that is? Perhaps the Columbia Science and Tech Law Review can become the first. ;)

1 thought on “webcite- ubercool!”

  1. Citations need to include dates, this has been standard practice for years already.
    Academics need to learn about the Web Archive. Whenever possible I provided links to both the orignal page as well as a link to the web archive containing the same text was cited. Mostly works but the Web archive isn’t comprehensive.
    Broken links are an inherent feature of the web and try as I might to avoid brittle links I still get bitten by it all to often.

    Most likely if Webcite gains any level of success they will suffer the same difficulties as the web archive, from litigious people who put things on the web but decide they dont really want people to read it and object to being archived.

    Generally it is easier to quote a great big extract and put it in the appendix of your paper. Anyway good writing will give enough context and not force you to read the whole citation to make sense of the reference.

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