Permanence and Characteristics of URLs cited in the Journal Scientometrics: A Study Using PHP Script

Mallinath Kumbar, Niveditha B.


The present study examines the permanence of URLs (Uniform Resource Locator) in the journal “Scientometrics” spanning a period of 10 years (2008-2017). It is also intended to determine the characteristic features of the URLs. A total of 2575 articles were downloaded and 96,137 references were extracted. A total of 14,261 URLs were checked for their availability. A PHP script was used to check the availability and document the error of URLs. Further, the characteristics of URLs like file extension, path depth, character length and the top-level domain were determined. The research findings indicated that out of 14,261 web-references, 6125 references contained URLs, DOIs were found in 7906 references and 230 references contained arXiv and WOS identifiers. The DOIs and arXiv identifiers were resolved to URLs for testing. It was found that 13,086 URLs were accessible and the remaining 1175 URLs were missing. The majority of errors were due to HTTP 404 error code (Not found error). The findings of the study will be helpful to authors, publishers and editorial staff to ensure that web references are accessible in the future.

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