The Effect of the Web on Undergraduate Citation Behavior 1996-1999
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Davis, Philip M.; Cohen, Suzanne
A citation analysis of undergraduate term papers in microeconomics revealed a significant decrease in the frequency of scholarly resources cited between 1996 and 1999. Book citations decreased from 30% to 19%, newspaper citations increased from 7% to 19%, and Web citations increased from 9% to 21%. Web citations checked in 2000 revealed that only 18% of URLs cited in 1996 led to the correct Internet document. For 1999 bibliographies, only 55% of URLs led to the correct document. The authors recommend 1) setting stricter guidelines for acceptable citations in course assignments; 2) creating and maintaining scholarly portals for authoritative Web sites with a commitment to long term access; and 3) continuing to instruct students how to critically evaluate resources.
citation analysis; URL permanence; undergraduates
Previously Published As
JASIST, 52(4):2001, p.309-314