Thu Mar 17 18:44:32 PDT 2022
It was in the mundane course of getting a scientific paper published that
physician Robert Dellavalle came to the unsettling realization that the
world was dissolving before his eyes.
The world, that is, of footnotes, references and Web pages.
Dellavalle, a dermatologist with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in
Denver, had co-written a research report featuring dozens of footnotes --
many of which referred not to books or journal articles but, as is
increasingly the case these days, to Web sites that he and his colleagues
had used to substantiate their findings.
Problem was, it took about two years for the article to wind its way to
publication. And by that time, many of the sites they had cited had moved
to other locations on the Internet or disappeared altogether, rendering
useless all those Web addresses -- also known as uniform resource locators
(URLs) -- they had provided in their footnotes.
"Every time we checked, some were gone and others had moved," said
Dellavalle, who is on the faculty at the University of Colorado Health
Sciences Center. "We thought, 'This is an interesting phenomenon itself.
We should look at this.' " [.. see link above for rest of article .. ]
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