Of all the writing & citing tools we’ve looked at this week, WebCite was (to me) the least familiar – but one that addresses a problem that everyone has encountered – the 404 File Not Found, otherwise known as link rot.
WebCite is an on-demand archiving system for web references (websites, blogs, or other kinds of Internet-accessible digital objects), which can be used by authors, editors, and publishers of scholarly papers and books, to ensure that cited web material will remain available to readers in the future. It makes snapshots of internet content as it existed at a certain point in time, and creates persistent URLs to those snapshots.
WebCite is similar to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, which also captures series of website snapshots, and allows you to submit a URL for archiving on demand.
Here, for example, is an archived image of the Dartmouth website as it existed on July 26, 2012.
Archiving in WebCite (or in the Internet Archive Wayback Machine) allows anybody – particularly authors and editors of scholarly papers and other publications – to cite a stable version of a web page, blog post, wiki page or other web document, making it “citable” in an academic context.
That’s it for tools that support your writing – next week, we take a look at the next research phase – publication.