The Effect of the Web on Undergraduate Citation Behavior 1996-1999


Work data:

Type of work: Article (academic)


Information Society | Knowledge Management | Open Access


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.