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For criticism see Criticism of WebCite

WebCite is a service that archives web pages on demand. Authors can subsequently cite the archived web pages through WebCite, in addition to citing the original URL of the web page. Readers are able to retrieve the archived web pages indefinitely, without regard to whether the original web page is revised or removed (so-called link rot). Such archiving is especially important in the academic context. WebCite is at present a non-profit consortium supported by publishers and editors, and it can be used by individual authors and readers without charge.

Rather than relying on a web crawler which archives pages in a "random" fashion, WebCite users who want to cite web pages in a scholarly article can initiate the archiving process. They then cite — instead of or in addition to the original URL — a WebCite address, with an identifier that specifies a snapshot of the contents of the particular page they meant to cite.

One may archive all types of web content, including HTML web pages, PDF files, style sheets, JavaScript and digital images. WebCite also archives metadata about the collected resources such as access time, MIME type, and content length. This metadata is useful in establishing the authenticity and provenance of the archived collection.


Conceived in 1997, WebCite was publicly described the following year when an article on Internet quality control declared that such a service could also measure the citation impact of web pages.[1] In the same year, a pilot service was set up at the address webcite (see archived screenshots of that service). Shortly thereafter, Google and the Internet Archive entered the market, seemingly reducing the need for a service like WebCite.

The WebCite idea was revived in when a study published in the journal Science concluded that no appropriate and agreed-on archiving solution yet existed for publishing.[2] Neither the Internet Archive nor Google allows for “on-demand” archiving by authors, and they do not have interfaces to scholarly journals and publishers to automate the archiving of cited links. By over 200 journals had begun routinely using WebCite.[3]


WebCite allows on-demand prospective archiving. It is not crawler-based; pages are only archived if the citing author or publisher requests it. No cached copy will appear in a WebCite search unless the author or another person has specifically cached it beforehand.

To initiate the caching and archiving of a page, an author may use WebCite's "archive" menu option or create a WebCite bookmarklet that will allow web surfers to cache pages just by clicking a button in their bookmarks folder.

One can retrieve or cite archived pages through a transparent format such as

where URL is the URL that was archived, and DATE indicates the caching date. For example,

or the alternate short form retrieves an archived copy of the URL that is closest to the date of March 4.

Business Model

The term WebCite® is a registered trademark.[4] WebCite® does not charge most typical [individual] users any fee (money) to use their service.[5] WebCite does appear to [/hope to] earn some revenue from certain membership fees, and fees for premium membership accounts (see the section "Who is going to pay for this?" at "[5]"), even though their basic service is free of charge to individuals. Part of WebCite's financial support seems to also come from charitable grants on a "non-profit organization" (/worthy cause) basis (see the sections that mention "grant-funded" at "[5]").

See also


  1. Eysenbach, Gunther; Diepgen, Thomas L. (28 November 1998). "Towards quality management of medical information on the internet: evaluation, labelling, and filtering of information". British Medical Journal (London: BMJ Publishing Group Ltd) 317 (7171): pp. 1496-1502. ISSN 0959-8146. OCLC 206118688. PMID 9831581. BL Shelfmark 2330.000000. 
  2. Dellavalle, Robert P; Hester, Eric J; Heilig, Lauren F; Drake, Amanda L; Kuntzman, Jeff W; Graber, Marla; Schilling, Lisa M (2020-10-31). "Going, Going, Gone: Lost Internet References". Science (Washington, D.C.: American Association for the Advancement of Science) 302 (5646): pp. 787-788. doi:10.1126/science.1088234. ISSN 0036-8075. OCLC 211169635. PMID 14593153. BL Shelfmark 8130.000000. 
  3. Eysenbach, Gunther; Trudel, Mathieu. "Going, Going, Still There: Using the WebCite Service to Permanently Archive Cited Web Pages". Journal of Medical Internet Research (Toronto: Centre for Global eHealth Innovation at the University Health Network) 7 (5): e60. doi:10.2196/jmir.7.5.e60. ISSN 1438-8871. OCLC 107198227. PMID 16403724. 
  4. "WebCite® Legal and Copyright Information". WebCite® Consortium. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "WebCite® Consortium FAQ". WebCite® Consortium. 

External links

  • WebCite website

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at WebCite.
The list of authors can be seen in the page history. The text of this Wikinfo article is available under the GNU Free Documentation License and the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license.

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