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Reference rot September 1, 2017

Posted by Mia in Frontiers, Uncategorized.

It’s disconcerting that the problem of disappearing content in our repositories is not of much greater concern among academic librarians.  Perhaps we’ve just become too inured to linkrot — but what about content drift phenomena?  When those two are combined, you have reference rot.  Its everywhere once you start looking for it.

Intrigued by a study published in PLoS, a colleague and I teamed up to investigate the URLs in doctoral dissertations deposited in our institutional repository.

Massicotte, Mia and Botter, Kathleen (2017) Reference rot in the repository: A case study of electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) in an academic library. Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL), 36 (1). pp. 11-28. ISSN 0730-9295


In our shared, brave new digital information world, we really do need to gain a better understanding of what digital preservation means, especially if we expect it to achieve traction as a primary focus of library transformation.