To discover the current situation and characteristics of web reference accessibility, the present study examined the accessibility
of 1,637 web references in two key Chinese academic journals published from 1999 to 2003. The author develops linear regression
models to demonstrate the decay of web reference accessibility. The study examines the influence of high use of web references
in a paper, the associations between web reference accessibility and generic domain, country domain, protocol, and resource
type, respectively, and classifies inaccessible web references according to Internet Explorer feedbacks. It compares the retrieval
efficacy among three kinds of retrieval methods and reports on the limitations of Internet Archive.