Perma is proud to call the Law Library of Congress one of our active, leading users. Charlotte Stitcher, the law library’s managing editor, has implemented Perma.cc since 2015 to fight link and reference rot in Library of Congress publications. A 2014 internal Law Library of Congress review of law reports published by the Global Legal Research Center (GLRC) found that “a significant number” of footnoted links no longer worked, which fits similar conclusions found by the Harvard Law Review’s own study of link rot in three Harvard journals and U.S. Supreme Court cases. In their search to find a solution to the link rot problem, the Law Library found Perma.cc, which they officially implemented in October 2015.
Using Perma, the GLRC is able to add archived copies of web pages to the footnotes of all new reports. A recent example is the GLRC’s November 2016 report on “Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, and War Crimes Jurisdiction,” which contains an archived Perma.cc link alongside each cited hyperlink.
Get your institution on to Perma.cc and help your patrons and scholars fight link-rot, by signing your library up today!
Law Library of Congress Implements Solution for Link and Reference Rot
A recent blog post on “Research Tips” by the Moritz Legal Information Blog, run by the Moritz Law Library at The Ohio State University, highlights Perma.cc as a method to find or create a permanent url, because “adding them to citations is becoming an increasingly common practice for authors who cite online content.”
Academics and journals at Ohio State have used Perma extensively to back-up their web citations. Get started yourself by signing up for a free account here!
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.”
To get started using Perma.cc yourself, sign up here!
The Sweet Morbidity of Link Rot