About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

94 Law Libr. J. 27 (2002)
Runaway Train: Problems of Permancence, Accessibility, and Stability in the Use of Web Sources in Law Review Citations

handle is hein.journals/llj94 and id is 37 raw text is: Runaway Train: Problems of Permanence,
Accessibility, and Stability in the Use of Web
Sources in Law Review Citations*
Mary Rumsey**
Ms. Rumsey examines the dangerous use of citations to Web sources in law
review articles. URLs in law review citations suffer from link rot because
Web pages disappear or URLs change. After four years, only 30% still work
Writers and editors can reduce but not eliminate this problem.
Runaway train. Never goin' back.
Wrong way on a one way track.
Seems like I should be gettin' somewhere.
Somehow I'm neither here nor there.'
i Although the World Wide Web dates back only a few years,2 law students and
professors have quickly begun to rely on Web sources in their research and writ-
ing. A rough measure of that reliance is the increase in the percentage of law
review articles that cite to at least one Web source: from half a percent in 1995 to
23% in 2000.3
Figure 1
Percentage of Law Review Articles Citing to the Web
1995  1996   1997  1998  1999  2000 2001
© Mary Rumsey, 2002.
Foreign, Comparative & Intermational Law Librarian, University of Minnesota Law School,
Minneapolis, Minnesota. Thanks to Paul Healey, mentor extraordinaire, for his helpful and intelligent
comments on this project and on life in general.
I. DAvE PiRNER, Runaway Train, on GRAVE DANcERS UNION (Sony/Columbia 1992).
2. Michael A. Stoker, Comment, Framed Web Pages: Framing the Derivative Works Doctrine on the
World Wide Web, 67 U. CIN. L. REv. 1301, 1303-05 (1999) (providing timeline of significant events
in development of the Internet and the World Wide Web).
3. See infra  19 for specific data on the percentage of law review articles containing Web citations from
1995 to 2000.

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing thousands of academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.

Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline.

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most