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ERIC Number: ED547576
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 242
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2674-6412-5
Maintaining Persistent Scholarship: The Case of University at Albany Dissertations
Germain, Carol Anne
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, State University of New York at Albany
Citation is a highly valued practice in the academic community. This mechanism supports an author's ideas, theories, and research; it acknowledges the scholarly contributions of others; and integrates academic works to enrich scholarly communication. Well-constructed citations, in addition to providing the appropriate bibliographic information needed to retrieve a supporting document, acknowledge the contribution of previous literature to the topic and create important links between the citing and cited sources which often have similar contents. The development of the World Wide Web has generated the use of digitally-based citations. Web pages can be volatile and are often not static publications, so when an author cites a URL resource there is a risk that it may vanish and thus the cited work is lost. Of particular interest are citation strategies of doctoral students who are developing their research protocols. This study analyzed the patterns of freestanding URL citations found in University at Albany dissertations between 1996 and 2007. Three distinct years of dissertation citations (2000, 2003, 2006) were tested for accessibility and content accuracy. Each URL was searched using a URL Web browser (Firefox), the search engine Google, and two Web archival tools, the Internet Archive and WebCite. In addition, members of the University's doctoral granting departments were interviewed to determine departmental dissertation citation policies and practices. The findings of this study indicate that the use of URL citations in dissertations is increasing over time. After testing the URL citations using the four information retrieval tools, the results showed that 42% of Humanities, 61% of Science, and 63% of Social Science citations could be located in at least one of the tools. Data from the departmental interviews showed that three departments (20%) had a policy regarding dissertation citations (defer to discipline style manuals) and no department had engaged in departmental discussions on the use of URL citations. This research contributes data on the changing nature of scholarly attribution across disciplines, empirically documents the rising use of online citations in scholarly works, and highlights the need to increase discussions about citation policies across academic disciplines if citations are to continue over time as the means of acknowledging the work of others and providing intellectual context to new research. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York