A recent column from “Slaw,” an Canadian online legal magazine, looked at the prevalence of link rot in material cited by the Supreme Court of Canada [SCC] in the wake of Harvard Law School’s 2014 study, which found that 50% of URLs cited in US Supreme Court Opinions no longer link to their original material.
Nate Russell, the column’s author, found that of the 29 URLs cited in cases from 2016, only 72% remain healthy, with seven redirecting and one already broken. For citations from 2011, Russell says the SCC’s links “are right near the morbidity sweet spot” with only three out of 17 reporting as healthy (ten redirect and four fail).
Russell, who works for Courthouse Libraries BC (a legal information non-profit in British Columbia), highlights Perma.cc as “a slick, simple to use, peace-of-mind-giving tool that is already saving us from link rot in one of our legal publishing projects.”
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