, Volume 68, Issue 3, pp 501–517 | Cite as

Motivations for URL citations to open access library and information science articles

  • Kayvan Kousha
  • Mike Thelwall


We define the URL citations of a Web page to be the mentions of its URL in the text of other Web pages, whether hyperlinked or not. The proportions of formal and informal scholarly motivations for creating URL citations to Library and Information Science open access journal articles were identified. Five characteristics for each source of URL citations equivalent to formal citations were manually extracted and the relationship between Web and conventional citation counts at the e-journal level was examined. Results of Google searches showed that 282 research articles published in the year 2000 in 15 peer-reviewed LIS open access journals were invoked by 3,045 URL citations. Of these URL citations, 43% were created for formal scholarly reasons equivalent to traditional citations and 18% for informal scholarly reasons. Of the sources of URL citations, 82% were in English, 88% were full text papers and 58% were non-HTML documents. Of the URL citations, 60% were text URLs only and 40% were hyperlinked. About 50% of URL citations were created within one year after the publication of the cited e-article. A slight correlation was found between average numbers of URL citations and average numbers of ISI citations for the journals in 2000. Separating out the citing HTML and non-HTML documents showed that formal scholarly communication trends on the Web were mainly influenced by text URL citations from non-HTML documents.


Citation Count Citation Impact Open Access Journal Scholarly Communication Formal Citation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Akadémiai Kiadó 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kayvan Kousha
    • 1
  • Mike Thelwall
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Library and Information Science, University of Tehran
  2. 2.School of Computing and Information Technology, University of Wolverhampton

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