Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Scholarship alert: The subject that won't die! Disappearing websites and what to do about them.

Night_off_the_Living_Dead Folks, this topic appears to be harder to kill than a zombie in a George Romero movie - what to do about web authority that may go AWOL before the court decides your case.  We reported on this story last week here and here

Now comes this new article by Professor Patricia A. Broussard entitled Now you see it now you don't: addressing the issue of websites which are "lost in space". available at 35 Ohio N.U. L. Rev. 155 (2009).

Here's the abstract:

[B]ecause Internet websites now have a place in scholarship, how does one prevent an article from going up in smoke because of shifting websites? ... Certainly a law professor, who is serving time for embezzlement in a prison that does not have a law library, but does have a fully loaded computer room, can be forgiven an excess of footnotes that utilize Internet websites. ... Without this invention, both law and scholarship would be all talk and no reading, rather like rap music without the bling. ... Publish or Perish Thus far the focus of the rise of law journals has been on the needs of the students and of their benefits to law schools. ... Dreading the thought that one of these new journals would go without articles, causing them to collapse and fold, most law schools instituted mandatory minimum articles for untenured faculty to publish before even being considered for tenure. ... The Internet is at once a world-wide broadcasting capability, a mechanism for information dissemination, and a medium for collaboration and interaction between individuals and their computers without regard for geographic location. ... That information, and its reliability is the source of potential problems for scholars who desire to use the Internet to prove (or at the very least support) the thesis therein. ... Here again, all is not lost, because the Internet can be used to discover if the material exist in another media, thereby, freeing the scholar to use the Internet website for convenience, but with the knowledge that the material can be found elsewhere. ... This author suggests that the context of the article be considered and the availability of other sources.

I am the scholarship dude.



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