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BBC revises guidelines for online article links

BBC journalists told to link to primary sources, such as specific articles in a scientific journal.

The BBC has asked its online reporters to provide links to primary sources like articles published in scientific journals, rather than links to the homepage of the journal, the Guardian reported on Friday.

The broadcaster recently revised its guidelines to reporters on writing news articles for its website.

The corporation's guidelines emphasised the need to have the relevant links as they "are essential to online journalism".

Under the new guidelines, reporters can use inline linking -- the use of a linked object from one site to a web page belonging to a second site -- when it is to a primary source. Inline linking was previous banned in the articles.

The links to primary resources, however, are restricted to two per story.

The guidelines were reportedly to address the concerns of the BBC editorial staff who were not sure of how and where to link to external websites.

Ben Goldacre, a British psychiatrist and author of the Guardian's Saturday column Bad Science, has been instrumental in getting the BBC to link directly to science journal articles, the Guardian added.