Presentation Open Access

Citation not found: the case of non-canonical URLs

Boruta, Luc

Alternative title: DOIs are not silver bullets.

Scholarly literature has become more than just papers. Hyperlinks are the preferred way to reference other works, including non-textual objects like datasets and software. While hyperlinks are more powerful than text-based citations, they are prone to link rot. 

Link rot is inevitable to some extent, but some practices compound the problem and cannot be mitigated without the engagement of all stakeholders. Shortened URLs, proxy URLs, vanity URLs, Sci-Hub URLs and many other non-canonical citations add an extra level of indirection that increases the risk of breaking the permanent record of science.

We are building Cobaltmetrics to set the new standard for citation tracking and foster diversity in altmetrics. The web is our corpus, and we index all URIs and identifiers as first-class citations.

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