Vanishing Act: The Erosion of Online Footnotes and Implications for Scholarship in the Digital Age. Michael Bugeja and Daniela V. Dimitrova. Duluth, MN: Litwin Books, 2010. 86 pp.
This book addresses an emerging issue in scholarship with some solid research by the authors, not speculation. Bugeja is director and Dimitrova a faculty member in the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication at Iowa State University.
The issue is what happens to citations of online sources in journal articles. The title suggests many disappear. The authors address the question in two ways. They checked all the online sources mentioned in ten communication journals between 2000 and 2003. They also interviewed the editors of these journals about the question of vanishing cited sources. They asked about how often editors thought online sources were cited, how important they thought they were, and how much of a problem they thought vanishing sources were.