It has happened to all of us: while reading a scholarly, scientific or legal document, we clicked the link of a cited website, just to hit a "404 Not Found" error. Weblock has been created as a web service to professionally address the problem of persistence of references to websites in scholarly, scientific and legal documents. The Internet and its HTTP protocol have not been designed as a persistent archive: nearly everyone can deploy a new website, and thus start to publish content on the Internet in minutes. Likewise content published on the Internet can suddenly disappear or change.
In scholarly and legal communications, however, information has to be corroborated with adequate citations so that others can verify provided information in future. Thus, cited websites, PDF reports, white-papers, Word files or Excel spreadsheets that are available online need to be archived at the time a new paper, book or other document is written and possibly published.
With Weblock, authors, journals, publishers, lawyers and courts can archive persistent versions of publicly available websites and common file formats (PDF, MS Word, MS Excel, MS Powerpoint, Image files) for citing, so as to allow for future readers to completely asses the document and cited information.
Weblock is compliant with the Memento protocol specified in RFC 7089, although currently we do not implement the TimeGate and TimeMap functionality.
Weblock is being initiated by Dietrich Rordorf. Dietrich has ten years of experience in scholarly publishing. He has joined Molecular Diversity Preservation International association (MDPI) as the second employee in August 2005. He made significant contributions to build up professional operations and scale the business of MDPI, and served as the CTO, CEO, as well as Co-Founder and Board Member of MDPI AG, the professional publishing branch of MDPI. He also worked as a Managing Editor for more than four years for several journals, including the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Entropy, and Marine Drugs. More recently he initiated SciLit (a database of scholarly literature) and Sciforum Journal Reviews (a database with industry-statistics of scholarly publishers and journals), both under the umbrella of MDPI AG.
We are looking for techies like you that want to help to establish Weblock as a robust, scalable archive and stack of preservation solutions. And we are looking for publishers, universities, and other parties to help co-found Weblock as a membership-based, non-commercial association.