Open Access News

News from the open access movement


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

BMC partnership with WebCite

Matthew Cockerill, Webcite links provide access to archived copy of linked web pages, BioMed Central blog, September 17, 2007.  Excerpt:

...[The] lack of permanence of web links (sometimes known as link rot) is a general phenomenon across the web, but it is a particularly problem in the case of published scientific research. On the one hand, the coherence of the published scientific record depends on being able to refer back to the articles including the online material that they refer to. But on the other hand, the character of scientific research projects (which tend to be funded for a few years at a time) and of scientific careers (which tend to involved frequent shifts between institutions) mean that scientific web pages become inaccessible with worrying regularity....

So, since late 2005,  BioMed Central has been working in partnership with the WebCite initiative, based at the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation at Toronto General Hospital, to preserve archival copies of all web pages linked to from BioMed Central articles.

Wherever you see a [WebCite] logo, whether in the body of an article, or in the reference section, you can click on that link to view a version of that page that has been archived at WebCite....

For example, this Journal of Biology article links to the BioGRID database. The WebCite copy provides a snapshot of the BioGRID home page, including stats on the database, as it was at the time of publication....

[I]n order to provide long term digital permanence, it is important that the WebCite project itself should have long term sustainable support. To this end, we encourage other publishers to participate in the initiative, and to consider ways of supporting it, perhaps via a similar collective model as that used for the CrossRef linking initiative....