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Nearly one-fifth of websites mentioned over the past decade in abstracts on Medline, the clearing-house of papers used by biomedical researchers, have disappeared, according to a new study.

The findings underline concerns that research published on the Internet may 'get lost' when web addresses change. 

According to Robert Dellavalle, a dermatologist at the University of Colorado in Denver, United States, who is campaigning for better electronic archives, publishers' responses to the problem are inadequate. "Journals aren't doing anything to address the potential for electronic resources to disappear," he says.

Link to full news story in Nature

Reference: Nature 428, 592 (2004)