Back to the Original: Incidences of Web Citations in South African Electronic Legal Journals for the period 2005 to 2012

Solomon Tsekere Bopape


The primary and secondary sources of information in law are today available and accessible through the World Wide Web and Online Databases to the advantage of lawyers, legal scholars, writers, researchers and academics, as well as to the public at large. With the increased usage of the Internet for legal research and writing, citation and referencing of online legal information sources also become issues of concern to the legal scholarship community. In order to test the extent to which online legal information sources are used by legal researchers and academics, an analysis of the incidences of web citations in the South African electronic legal journals between 2005 and 2012 was conducted. Despite an ever-increasing availability of primary and secondary legal information sources on the Internet, the citation counting of domain names found in Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) searched from the SA e-Publications Law Collection Database revealed both an increased and decreased usage of online legal information sources in the South African legal journals. Explanations for the increased and later decreasing use of web citations in the South African law journals during the specified period should, therefore, be an issue for concern for those who are involved with research on citation patterns of the web or Internet resources.


Web citations, Internet citations, citation counting, legal research, legal periodicals, law journals, legal scholarly communication and South Africa

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