Wikipedia:WikiProject Oregon/O-vanish

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Wikipedians working on stories that quote The Oregonian need to exercise particular care, because that particular paper is so woefully behind the times.

If you simply list a URL (web address) for a citation, it's bound to go dead in a matter of weeks or months, and nobody will ever be able to figure out what story you were trying to cite (even if they're willing to pay for the article). So it's of particular importance that you provide a full citation. Whether you get the formatting "right" is not so important, but getting the story's title, author, and date in there (at minimum) is really important.

As amateur as their site is, this newspaper is generally considered the newspaper of record in the state of Oregon.

The paper has a policy of showing stories for free only for 14 days, though in practice they seem to stay up for several months. But when they're gone, they're really gone -- even if you're willing to pay for the story, you won't find a link that lets you do it from the old link.

See my comments here and here and here for more.

Examples of the problem[edit]

The following examples, illustrating variations on the problem, are taken from the Ted Kulongoski article, which is in essence without citations (except for a couple articles from other publications.)

Ways to get around it[edit]

The Wayback Machine (aka "") preserves old pages on the internet. You can also enter an existing page—an Oregonian story, say—and archive it before it goes dead. Wikipedia has a template that provides easy access to anything that was "caught" by the Wayback Machine: type {{dlw | | Article name}} and the resulting link may take you to the original story. YMMV and -- other tools that allow you to preserve a site before it gets taken down.

Oregon papers that share the problem[edit]

Oregon papers that do NOT share the problem[edit]

National papers that take the ideal approach[edit]

Some national papers, wanting to charge for some older stories like the Oregonian does, take an approach that addresses the present problem nicely, and also serves their bottom line by making it easy for people to pay for a story. The New York Times, for instance, offers a free "preview," with all bibliographic info, and even a few paragraphs from the story's lead. See example here.

Tips for regional library card holders[edit]

Multnomah County[edit]

If have a Multnomah County library card, you can use their web site to search several newspapers, including the Oregonian, Statesman Journal, etc. (Expired URLs won't help, but you can search on story text, headlines, etc.) Go to, click "databases," and select the library card icon next to "NewsBank." Then enter your card number and PIN.

Clackamas County[edit]

This works if you have a Clackamas county card as well, in exactly the same way. Go to, click Online Databases, click "Connect to News Bank", then log in with your card number. Clackamas County, and perhaps other Oregon counties as well, no longer provides access to the Oregonian. According to the website: "Access to the Oregonian through NewsBank was provided as part of the Statewide Database Licensing Program. Due to a subscription cost increase, the Oregon State Library has discontinued access to the Oregonian." If this is true for all counties, more shame on the Oregonian. (Note from Pete: still appears to be working in the Multnomah County system. But, geesh, that's not good about OSL!)

Salem and CCRLS[edit]

A Salem Public Library card (available free to residents of Salem and with restrictions to residents of Yamhill, Polk, Marion, and parts of Linn County in the Chemeketa Cooperative Regional Library Service) will allow access to the above papers, as well as several research databases. See: Most other libraries in the CCRLS region offer the same service.