Avoiding "404 File Not Found"
WebCite® is an archiving system for webreferences, which can be used by authors, editors, and publishers of scholarly papers and books, to ensure that cited web content will remain available to readers in the future. If cited webreferences in journal articles, books etc. are not archived, future readers may encounter a "404 File Not Found" error when clicking on a cited URL.
How does it work? A WebCite® reference is an archived webcitation, and rather than linking to the live website (which can and probably will disappear in the future), authors of scholarly works will link to the archived WebCite® copy on webcitation.org. Cross-posted on Law Librarian Blog. [JH]
Footnote 123 is actually an electronic footnote. My “Recent Development” article for the Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution (JDR) contains one final footnote, numbered “123,” which points readers to its online extension here on this blog.
Previously, Footnote 123 contained this explanation: “[Y]ou are now reading the footnote of an article that does not yet exist in published form. The article still needs to go through a final editing process. My own editing is over, and I can therefore give this electronic footnote a number, ‘123,’ based on its number in the print version.”
This explanation is now outdated, because my Recent Development is now finished and has been posted online at Footnote 123. The text for the print version of Footnote 123, which appears in the article, states the following:
“Footnote 123 is available online, and applies to the entire Recent Development. The author created an electronic version of Footnote 123 for the sake of keeping this article continuously updated. The author intends Footnote 123 to be a perpetual resource for displaying further research on Campbell, its impact, and its progeny. If the URL should become inactive, this footnote’s contents will be in the possession of the author and will be made available through another online source. The current URL of Footnote 123 is: https://3lepiphany.typepad.com/
I will use Footnote 123 to do future research on the case of Campbell v. General Dynamics Gov’t Sys. Corp, 407 F.3d 546 (1st Cir. 2005), which is the subject of my article. I am taking the opportunity to use my Recent Development article on Campbell, and my Independent Study blog 3L Epiphany, to demonstrate how online media can transcend the time and space limitations of traditional publishing forms.
Footnote 123 enables me to perpetually update my article with the results of new research. I can report on further developments in the Campbell case, track any progeny within the First Circuit, and describe how other circuits are handling similar issues. If time allows, I will contact the attorneys involved in the Campbell case at both the trial and appellate levels. Should they be willing to share briefs and motions from the case, or describe their own opinions about Campbell's significance, I will post this information at Footnote 123.
If other law review articles are written that cite to Campbell, or that even cite my own Recent Development (including Footnote 123), I will list them there. I may also collect news or business articles that describe the impact of the Campbell decision on the non-legal world.
My electronic version of Footnote 123 is therefore an unlimited resource, where I can update my article on Campbell for as long as I would like. And one aspect of this footnote I consider to be especially significant: Before my Recent Development was published and printed in JDR, I already posted it online at Footnote 123. The article existed in its final form online before it existed as a hard copy. Thus a footnote contained within the article has become the location of that article. This is one example of what I meant when I first referred to a Mobius strip, and when I made a paradoxical movie analogy.
I am especially thankful that the article is on the Campbell case, which concerns the use of new technology such as hyperlinks and mass emails. My one concern is that the URL of Footnote 123 may change for some reason in the future. Even if I keep 3L Epiphany online for years, unforeseen things could happen that will change the footnote's address. Should the URL fail, I will work out the details as to where the final version of Footnote 123 will be stored.
I predict that this method of blending old and new forms of legal publishing will become more common in the future. Students who wish to keep their law journal article perpetually updated can always link the last print footnote to an electonic footnote on their blog. This unusual feature may also rescue a student article from typical and near-certain obscurity.