19th of December 2013 LIBIS-seminar: Investigating Reference Rot in Web-Based Scholarly Communication


References in scholarly communication are traditionally to published articles or books. But today’s web-based scholarly communication increasingly includes links to a wide range of resources that are needed or created in research activity such as software, datasets, websites, presentations, blogs, videos, scientific workflows, and ontologies. These resources often evolve over time, unlike traditional scholarly articles. Their dynamic nature poses a significant challenge for the consistency of the scholarly record: a link may no longer work or the referenced content may change from what it was originally.

The Mellon-funded Hiberlink project, a collaboration between the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of Edinburgh, explores reference rot along two tracks. A research track aims at characterizing and quantifying reference rot in web-based scholarly communication using a vast collection of scholarly articles from which links to referenced resources are extracted and an unprecedented collection of web archive holdings used to determine coverage of the referenced resources. A solutions track aims at identifying and prototyping approaches that can ameliorate the problem, such as pro-active archiving of referenced resources at an appropriate stage in the publication lifecycle and referencing resources with the inclusion of machine-actionable temporal context.

Project Hashtags - #hiberlink #memento
Project Links - http://hiberlink.org ; http://mementoweb.org
Bio Herbert Van de Sompel

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