Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 7)

Link Rot Isn’t Unique to the Legal Field

Journalism – like scholarship – relies on citation, primary information, and credibility.

Perma.cc sprung up as a direct answer to a problem identified in legal scholarship: originally a tool in the fight legal link rot, and it has become a staple in the lives of many law students as they write for their journals and even after they leave school.

It’s important to note, though, that the basis of our code – literally and figuratively – is not unique to the legal field. While we’re a team of librarians and coders who work in a law library, the tools we build are for everyone.

Link rot is a not a issue unique to the law world: as we started exploring our user base outside of academia, one of the first user groups that came to the forefront was journalists, for whom link rot is a problem from many angles.

For an industry that in many ways now relies on click counts and interconnected content for revenue streams and user statistics, there are hang ups when it comes to freezing web content in the way that Perma.cc does. Nonetheless, it is an issue that should be considered as part of the journalistic ecosystem.

As you can see in this article from The Atlantic authors do not have a singular approach to web references. This particular article, published less than a year and a half ago, contains 25 linked citations. One of them is a Perma record, which has preserved a copy of a criminal procedure law will be available to readers in the long term. It makes sense for that particular citation to be frozen in time, as it is important to capture the law at that very moment it is referenced, not what it may be in the future. 23 of the other 24 links still send readers to a live source, for now. They are largely links to other news sites and in the short term having live links works well. One link however found in the fifth paragraph – which cites a study that is a central aspect of the article’s argument – leads readers to a 404 error page.

The story is the same with this article, also less than a year and a half old, from Time that has a 404 error on a link to their own website. On the flip side, in the first paragraph, the author uses a Perma Link to reference an event held at her alma mater’s church. That decision proved to be a wise one, since that link no longer works. Other URLs send readers to sites that are currently live, but obviously are vulnerable.

For journalists, it is interesting to see what type of content is viewed as stable (other news organizations – despite frequent site restructuring like is seen at Time) versus ephemeral (calendar listings).

Are you a journalist? Where are these lines for you? What do you consider ephemeral versus stable when you’re citing the web? Does your newsroom have rules when it comes to maintaining click tracking? Do you take link rot into consideration at all as you choose your internet sources?

 

Canadian Guide to Legal Citation: now recommending Perma.cc

The Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation, 9th ed, a.k.a. the “McGill Guide” now strongly recommends Perma.cc!

“In an effort to prevent link rot (broken links or pages in the future), when you cite to an item found online, you must provide a Permanent or Archived URL after the regular URL in square brackets. A permanent link (also called a Permalink or Archived link) is a URL that is intended to maintain permanence for many years despite the changes to links on a website that may occur in the future.  The McGill Guide strongly recommends the Perma.CC system to create permanent links where none is provided by the site you are citing.”

Read more here.  The McGill Guide other style guides including The Bluebook: a Uniform System of Legal Citation and the Chicago Manual of Style in recommending Perma.cc for the preservation of URLs in citations.

Do you have a Perma.cc account yet to keep your links from rotting? Sign up here!

So how bad a problem is link-rot?

An academic library recently reached out to us regarding literature on the severity of link-rot. Having these in one place can be useful for anyone looking into it, though – find a collection of these below!

  • The study that inspired Perma.cc’s creation: this study of law journals from ’99 to 2011 found more than 70% of the URLs do not link to the originally cited information, as well as 50% of the URLs in US Supreme Court opinions.
  •  In a study from the Hiberlink team of 3.5 million articles from 1997 to 2012, they found that in 2012 alone 22% of Elsevier article hyperlinks had rotted, with the percentage higher for each previous year,
    • 4/5ths of all 2012 papers contained at least one link that suffered reference rot, i.e., at least one reference to web content was either dead or not archived until some time after the publishing date.
    • 75% of all links in the study were not cached on an archiving site within two weeks of the article’s publication date, meaning the content might not reflect the citing author’s original intent.
  • A more recent study by the same group found that of the links examined, for those that still worked, 75% of them led to content that was different from what was originally referenced.
  • A study from Nanyang Technological University covering 7 years of science journals specifically showed 31% of links rotted, with .edu links at the highest rate: 36%.
—————-

At a library and wondering how best to let those there know how they can use Perma to fight link-rot? Many libraries set up a simple LibGuide with a contact email for those who want to utilize Perma.cc at their institution, such UMass’ here (archive) or Virginia Tech’s here (archive).

Perma now offers individual user subscriptions, organizational accounts, and free accounts for those at academic institutions. Perma was made at and is supported by the Harvard Law library, part of the oldest library system in the United States, and supported by a network of libraries. Use it to make a short-link to a preserved copy of the webpage you’re citing to – a link you can trust won’t die or go away. Nearly 1,000,000 citations saved!

Updates to our Terms of Service

In conjunction with updates to Perma.cc that will roll out on January 22, 2019 we will be making some changes to our Terms of Service that we wanted to let our users know about. The main edits are as follows:

  • Added language that broadens the stated scope of uses for Perma.cc – all non-commercial scholarly work, research, reporting, criticism and commenting are considered legitimate use of the service.

  • Revised language regarding free and ongoing link creation outside of use sponsored by a registrar.

You can read our updated Terms of Service in full below.


Effective Date: January 22, 2019

Use of the website http://perma.cc/ (the “Site”) and the content and services provided through the Site is subject to the following terms and conditions. By using the Site, you accept and agree to be legally bound by these Terms of Service, whether or not you register for an account. If you are using the Site on behalf of an organization, you are agreeing to these Terms of Service for that organization and promising that you have authority to bind that organization to these Terms of Service. In that case, “you” and “your” will refer to the organization on behalf of which you are using the Site.

If any of these Terms of Service is unacceptable to you, do not use the Site.

The Site is operated by President and Fellows of Harvard College (“Harvard”) in support of its mission to educate and disseminate knowledge and information. As used in these Terms of Service, “we,” “us” and “our” refer to the Harvard Law School Library’s Perma.cc initiative and to Harvard more generally.

Perma.cc helps people create links for citations in scholarly, legal and other works. Through the Site, people can create links to and direct us to store archival copies of web pages cited in their works. Visitors to the Site can access those links and archival copies under certain conditions. The services provided by us through or in connection with the Site are referred to collectively as the “Service.”

  • Changes to Terms of Service Are Binding; Other Policies

    • (a) We may change these Terms of Service from time to time without advance notice. Your use of the Site or Service after any changes have been made will constitute your agreement to the modified Terms of Service and all of the changes. Accordingly, you should read the Terms of Service from time to time for any changes. We will provide a link to the current Terms of Service on the Site, and will show the date on which the Terms of Service were last updated.

    • (b)In addition to reviewing this Agreement, you should read our Privacy Policy http://perma.cc/privacy-policy/ and Copyright Policy http://perma.cc/copyright-policy. By using the Site or Service, you also accept those policies.

  • Use of Site and Service

    • (a)You may use the Site and Service, including content stored at the direction of users, only for non-commercial scholarly, research, reporting, criticism and commenting purposes that do not infringe or violate anyone’s copyright or other rights.

    • (b)You agree to use the Site and the Service only in ways that comply with all applicable laws as well as these Terms of Service.

  • Account Creation, Maintenance, and Termination

    • (a)In order to use certain portions of the Service, you will need to register with us and create an account. When registering for an account with us, you will be asked to provide personal information such as your name and email address and, in some situations, your institutional affiliation. You represent and warrant that all information provided in establishing an account, and at other points as required in the use of the Service, is current, accurate, and complete, and that you will maintain the accuracy and completeness of this information. If we previously terminated your account, you may not register for another account. You agree that we may contact you from time to time in reference to the Service.

    • (b)As a registered account holder, you must maintain the confidentiality and security of your username(s) and password(s). You agree not to share, transfer, or authorize others to use your username and password or your account without our prior written approval. Any attempt to do so will be considered a violation of these Terms of Service.

    • (c)You agree that you are solely responsible for all usage or activity on your account, including, but not limited to, use of the account by another person, with or without authorization. You agree to notify us immediately if you have reason to believe that your account is no longer secure.

    • (d)We reserve the right to terminate or restrict access to your account and to delete or disable access to any links created and/or content stored in connection with the account, in our sole discretion, without advance notice, and shall have no liability for doing so. We will terminate your account in appropriate circumstances if you are determined to be a repeat infringer.

  • Links to Third-Party Sites

    The Site and Service provide links to third-party websites (“Third Party Sites”). We do not control and have not reviewed all material made available through Third-Party Sites linked from the Site. We do not endorse, are not affiliated with, and are not responsible for the availability of Third-Party Sites. You agree that use of Third Party Sites is at the your own risk and that we have no responsibility or liability, directly or indirectly, for any content accessed at or any damage or losses you incur in connection with any Third-Party Site. We encourage you to be aware of the terms and conditions and privacy policies of any Third-Party Sites that you visit.

  • User Submitted Content and Licensing

    • (a)Some portions of the Service enable users to direct us to store content (“User Submitted Content”) and make it available. With respect to any and all User Submitted Content that you may direct us to store, or that you may vest in connection with a publication in which it is cited, you represent and warrant as follows:

      • (i) that the User Submitted Content both (1) is freely available on the Internet to the general public without paying, registering with the website, or the like and (2) is cited in a legal work or in a work of scholarship, reporting, criticism or commentary;

      • (ii)that you lawfully acquired any User Submitted Content you provide us to upload;

      • (iii)that you have all rights necessary both to direct us to store the User Submitted Content and to grant any rights granted by you pursuant to these Terms of Service; and

      • (iv)that our storage, use, display and making available of the User Submitted Content in connection with the Service does not and will not infringe or violate the copyrights or other rights of any third party.

    • (b)You are solely responsible for any User Submitted Content you submit or direct us to store, and for the consequences of its being stored and made available as part of the Service.

    • (c)By submitting User Submitted Content, furnishing a link or otherwise directing us to store or vest User Submitted Content, you grant us, under any rights that you hold therein, a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, non-exclusive, fully paid-up, royalty-free, sublicensable, and transferable license to use, reproduce, create derivative works based upon, transmit, distribute, perform, display, and make available the User Submitted Content, in any medium now in existence or later developed, in connection with the Service or otherwise in furtherance of our mission, including but not limited to promotional uses, and to authorize others to do the foregoing.

    • (d)We reserve the right, but are not obligated, to monitor use of the Service and to review, modify, take down or delete any User Submitted Content, in our sole discretion, without notice, at any time. You may not be able to modify, take down or delete links or User Submitted Content that you direct us to store.

  • Rules of Usage

    Use of the Service is subject to the following restrictions and obligations:

    • (a)You may not impersonate, imitate, or pretend to be someone else when using the Service.

    • (b)You agree not to access links or content that you are not authorized to access.

    • (c)You agree not to log into a server or account that you are not authorized to access.

    • (d)You may not attempt to probe, scan or test the vulnerability of a system or network to breach security or authentication measures without authorization.

    • (e)You may not disrupt, overwhelm, attack, modify, reverse engineer, or interfere with the Service or associated software or hardware in any way. You agree not to attempt to gain unauthorized access to our servers by any means – including, without limitation, by using administrator passwords or by posing as an administrator while using the Service or otherwise.

    • (f)You are solely responsible for installing any anti-virus software or related protections against viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time bombs, cancelbots or other computer programming routines or engines that are intended to damage, destroy, disrupt or otherwise impair a computer’s functionality or operation.

    • (g)You must be 18 of age or older to use the Service, and fully competent to enter into and comply with these Terms of Use. If we learn that we have collected information from a child under the age of 13, we will delete that information promptly.

  • Intellectual Property

    • (a)The Site and much of the text, images, and other content of the Site are protected by copyright, trademark and other laws. We or others own the copyright and other rights in the Site, the Site content and the Service. All rights in the Site, the Site content and the Service that are not expressly granted are reserved.

    • (b)You are granted no right or license to use any trademarks, service marks or logos displayed on the Site. Any use or registration of such marks – including but not limited to use in connection with any product or service in any way that is likely to cause confusion among customers or that disparages or discredits the mark owner – is prohibited.

    • (c)We respect the intellectual property rights and other proprietary rights of others. If you believe that your copyright has been violated on the Site, please notify us as set forth in our Copyright Policy http://perma.cc/copyright-policy.

  • Indemnity

    You agree to indemnify and hold harmless us, our affiliates, governing board members, officers, employees, agents and representatives, and any party with whom we may contract to provide the Service, from and against any claims, liabilities, losses, damages, costs and expenses, including but not limited to reasonable attorneys’ fees and court costs, arising out of or in any way connected to your use of the Site or Service, including but not limited to any allegation or claim that, if true, reflects your violation of these Terms of Service or the infringement or violation by you (or occurring through use of your account) of any intellectual property or other right of any person or entity.

  • Termination of Service

    We reserve the right at any time to modify, suspend or discontinue the Site or Service, in whole or in part, without notice, and shall have no liability for doing so.

  • Disclaimer of Warranties; Limitations of Liability and Remedies

    • (a)WHILE WE ASPIRE TO PRESERVE LINKS AND ARCHIVAL COPIES OF CONTENT STORED AT THE DIRECTION OF USERS, WE MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS, WARRANTIES, OR UNDERTAKINGS AS TO PERMANENCE OR THE DURATION OF PRESERVATION. AS INDICATED ELSEWHERE IN THESE TERMS OF USE, WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO DELETE OR DISABLE ACCESS TO USER SUBMITTED CONTENT, AND TO TERMINATE ALL OR PART OF THE SERVICE AT ANY TIME. YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT STORED LINKS MAY FAIL TO WORK.

    • (b)THE SITE AND THE CONTENT ARE PROVIDED ON AN “AS IS” AND “AS AVAILABLE” BASIS. TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, WE DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND (EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR OTHERWISE) REGARDING THE SITE, THE SERVICE OR ANY SITE CONTENT, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, AND NON-INFRINGEMENT. WE MAKE NO WARRANTY ABOUT THE ACCURACY, RELIABILITY, COMPLETENESS, TIMELINESS, SUFFICIENCY, QUALITY OR SECURITY OF THE SITE, THE SERVICE OR ANY SITE CONTENT. WE DO NOT APPROVE OR ENDORSE ANY USER SUBMITTED CONTENT OR CONTENT PROVIDED BY OTHERS. WE DO NOT WARRANT THAT THE SITE WILL OPERATE WITHOUT ERROR OR INTERRUPTION, OR THAT THE SITE OR ITS SERVER IS FREE OF COMPUTER VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL MATERIALS.

    • (c)YOUR USE OF THE SITE, THE SERVICE AND THE SITE CONTENT IS AT YOUR OWN SOLE RISK. IN NO EVENT SHALL WE BE LIABLE TO YOU, IN CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING TO THE SITE, THE SERVICE OR ANY SITE CONTENT, OR YOUR USE THEREOF, OR THESE TERMS OF SERVICE, EVEN IF THE SITE, THE SERVICE OR ANY SITE CONTENT IS DEFECTIVE OR WE ARE NEGLIGENT OR OTHERWISE AT FAULT, AND REGARDLESS WHETHER WE ARE ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. IN NO EVENT SHALL WE BE LIABLE TO YOU, IN CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, FOR AN AGGREGATE AMOUNT GREATER THAN FIFTY DOLLARS ($50) IN CONNECTION WITH THE SITE, THE SERVICE OR ANY SITE CONTENT, OR YOUR USE THEREOF, OR THESE TERMS OF USE, EVEN IF THE SITE, THE SERVICE OR ANY SITE CONTENT IS DEFECTIVE OR WE ARE NEGLIGENT OR OTHERWISE AT FAULT. THE FOREGOING LIMITATIONS ARE EACH INTENDED TO BE INDEPENDENTLY ENFORCEABLE, REGARDLESS WHETHER ANY OTHER REMEDY FAILS OF ITS ESSENTIAL PURPOSE, AND SHALL APPLY TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW.

  • Governing Law and Jurisdiction; Access from Outside Massachusetts

    The Site is controlled and operated from our facilities in and around Cambridge, Massachusetts. These Terms of Service, and any claim or dispute that arises from or relates to your use of the Site, the Service or any Site content, will be governed by the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, U.S.A., without regard to its conflicts of laws principles that would require or permit the law of another jurisdiction to apply. You agree that all such claims and disputes will be heard and resolved exclusively in courts sitting in Middlesex or Suffolk County, Massachusetts. You consent to the personal jurisdiction of such courts over you for this purpose, and waive and agree not to assert any objection to such proceedings in such courts (including any defense or objection of lack of proper jurisdiction or venue or inconvenience of forum). If you choose to access the Site or Service from locations other than Massachusetts, you will be responsible for compliance with all local laws of those other locations.

  • General; Entire Agreement

    • (a)If any provision of these Terms of Use is held to be invalid or unenforceable, that provision, to the extent unenforceable, shall be struck, and shall not affect the validity or enforceability of the remaining provisions.

    • (b)Your rights under these Terms of Service are personal, non-exclusive and non-transferable.

    • (c)Headings are for reference purposes only and in no way define or limit the scope or extent of any provision of these Terms of Service.

    • (d)Our failure to act with respect to a breach by you or others does not waive our right to act with respect to subsequent or similar breaches.

    • (e)Nothing in these Terms of Service shall be deemed to confer any third-party rights or benefits.

    • (f)These Terms of Use set forth the entire understanding and agreement between you and us with respect to the subject matter hereof, and supersede and replace any prior or contemporaneous understandings or agreements, whether written or oral, regarding the subject matter hereof.

Perma’s November Appearances, at a glance

Here’s Perma’s November stats as of Nov 28th, per Westlaw:

  • 40 state and federal court opinions, including the highest courts in:
    • Hawaii
    • Iowa
    • Michigan, as well as
    • The U.S. Appeal Court, Third Circuit, and
    • Appellate courts in New York, Colorado, Illinois, Washington, California and more.
  • 417 law review articles
  • 23 briefs, and
  • 7 additional court filings, including trial court documents and trial court orders.

Sign up here to use Perma.cc to ensure your own linked sources are safe. We are also now offering individual unlimited-use accounts!

MozFest 2018

The LIL team is a freewheelin’ one, always looking for new people to collaborate with, new ideas to connect to our current projects, and welcoming a little bit of chaos – so, naturally, Mozilla’s annual MozFest was a great fit for us to attend! Held this year in London, the event spanned over a week culminating in a large scale conference over the weekend. By their own description, MozFest is “a seven day celebration for, by, and about people who love the internet” and they certainly delivered on the enthusiasm. Over the weekend Ravensbourne University was transformed on all nine floors into the home of six distinct spaces designated for varying facets of the web. Decentralisation, Digital Inclusion, Openness, Privacy & Security, Web Literacy and a Youth Zone were the main “spaces”, each with its own set of speakers, session leaders and artists.  Attendees were set free to visit each of these floors and facilitators encouraged to move away from lectures and towards hands-on workshops.

The Perma.cc session fell, appropriately, in the Web Literacy space, which took over the Ravensbourne library for Saturday and Sunday. We had a great discussion with internet users who were both familiar with the concept of link-rot and those who were seeing it in a new light. We created a physical web to help us visualize the ripple effect of a website going down. Here are some of us in the process of creating it:

Throughout the rest of the weekend, I was able to attend and experience some other great sessions:

  • In the web literacy space, an augmented reality view of the front page of the NYTimes: Users would hold iPads up to this large scale installation to see commentary on headlines. The augmentations ranged from funny to slightly off-putting, highlighting the experience of reading the news in the era of misinformation.

  • In someone else’s shoes: the prevalence of mobile-only internet access, and implications for users who are underserved in many other ways. The group gathered together and were all given user personas and a task to complete using only our mobile phones. Then, we were asked to map out our experiences on a large piece of paper. My partner and I put ourselves into the shoes of a middle-aged mother whose children had been her computer help until they both left for college. She now uses her sister’s smartphone when she needs to access the internet, and needed to apply for a government service. A lot of times, we think of online or digital solutions as simplifiers, but that’s not always the case. Here’s our visual representation of that experience:

  • Creating a feminist data set: Artist Caroline Sinders presented her work creating a dataset that would be capable of informing a responsibly programmed AI with a feminist perspective. Her work is concerned with how bias can trickle into technologies that are often viewed as objective. Her project seeks to create a dataset that is representative of intersectional feminism. 

There were countless other sessions happening, including installations by our friends from MetaLab, a talk by Tim Berners-Lee on his latest work, and a conference-wide LARP event.

Thanks to all the facilitators and organizers! And long live a healthy internet!

Perma & The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota

For the last couple of months, the Digital Press at the University of North Dakota has been using Perma.cc to archive links they come across for their work in both paper and digital publications. According to Director Bill Caraher:

“The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota is a small publisher that produces both paper and open access digital publications. As a result we are simultaneously concerned with the economy of space and the need for archival links especially for projects that draw heavily on digital objects. Perma.cc offers both with tidy links and a robust library-supported archiving of web content.”

Recently, the Digital Press published “Protesting on Bended Knee: Race, Dissent, and Patriotism in 21st Century America,” which involved more than 500 links to websites that provide historical evidence about the issues and controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick’s well-known protests and the reaction to them.  

“By using Perma.cc,” Caraher says, “we preserved the integrity of the relationship between arguments and (digital) evidence and a contextualized body of ephemeral evidence for the history of race, dissent, and patriotism in the 21st century.”

Get your own Perma.cc account here – and email us at info@perma.cc to request information on getting a shared company-wide account for your organization.

Perma.cc’s Late October Appearances: Opinions, Articles and More

Perma.cc keeps popping up: per Westlaw, in the past two weeks Perma.cc Links have showed up in:

  • 27 state and federal court opinions, including the highest courts in:
    • Vermont
    • Illinois
    • Washington
    • Michigan
    • Montana
    • Colorado
  • 119 law review articles
  • 15 court filings, including briefs and trial court documents

Sign up here to use Perma.cc to ensure your own linked sources are safe. We are also now offering individual unlimited-use accounts!

Perma and Genealogy

We’ve spent a lot of time recently brainstorming on different ways Perma can be used outside of the law arena: anyone who has experienced the frustration and disappointment of finding a 404 error instead of the information they were looking for knows link-rot does not discriminate by subject area.  Prompted by some of the Perma.cc teams’ family members’ interest in their personal histories, genealogy research presented us an interesting use-case to explore.

As researchers rely more heavily on the internet across all fields, consistent access to online information will only become more important, and disappearing or changing information can seriously hinder their work.  Thanks to the popularity of online genealogy sites such as Ancestry.com and increasing availability of online materials, genealogical research has never been more accessible. Researchers looking into their own families are making connections in real time and documenting their work for others in the future.

But link-rot threatens the stability of this information (and the researcher’s ability to reference it), as well as information cited by others researcher whose original citations no longer exist. A brief survey of blogs dedicated to genealogy and genealogical research has shown that few offer in and of themselves a way to prevent the dreaded 404 error. We believe Perma.cc provides a streamlined way to archive your work as someone undertaking genealogical research, as well as a convenient way to cite it so it’s always available to others.  

Perma is also now recommended by the Chicago Manual of Style as a way to preserve a permanent record of sources that are at risk for change!

Perma Madness! Mid-October Edition

Lots of Perma appearances over the past two weeks! Per Westlaw, in the two weeks Perma.cc Links have showed up in:

  • 24 state and federal court opinions
  • 192 law review articles
  • 16 court filings, including briefs and trial court documents

Sign up here to use Perma.cc to ensure your own linked sources are safe. We are also now offering individual unlimited-use accounts!

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