A new working paper by Zittrain, Albert, and Lessig, at Harvard.
Make sure to note a new service (launching soon) named Perma.cc that’s being developed by Harvard Library Innovation Lab. It is possible to request beta access.
Harvard Law School and Kennedy School;
Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Harvard Law School
Harvard University – Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics
Harvard Law School
We document a serious problem of reference rot: more than 70% of the URLs within the Harvard Law Review and other journals, and 50% of the URLs found within U.S. Supreme Court opinions do not link to the originally cited information.
Given that, we propose a solution for authors and editors of new scholarship that involves libraries undertaking the distributed, long-term preservation of link contents.
Direct to Full Text Article (16 pages; PDF)
Harvard Library Innovation Lab has pioneered a project to unite libraries so that link rot can be mitigated. We are joined by about thirty law libraries around the world to start Perma.cc, which will allow those libraries on direction of authors and journal editors to store permanent caches of otherwise ephemeral links. Libraries are the ideal partners for this task: they think on a long timescale; they take user trust and service seriously; and they are non-commercial. You can see more about the system at perma.cc. The amazing Internet Archive has lent its archiving engine to the effort, and Instapaper has generously provided an alternative path to parse Web pages to be saved. CloudFlare has kindly ensured that the the system at Perma.cc can scale with use.
Something Rotten in the State of Legal Citation: The Life Span of a United States Supreme Court Citation Containing an Internet Link (1996-2010)
by Raizel Liebler and June Liebart
15 Yale Journal of Law & Technology, Spring 2013
- Supreme Court citations are falling apart as web links begin to change and disappear (via The Verge)
Other infoDOCKET Posts About Link Rot
See Also: 2011 Report on Link Rot” (March 3, 2011)
Research from Chesapeake Project Legal Information Archive.