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Perma.cc

The Problem: Link Rot

The Problem

Over 50% of cited links in Supreme Court opinions no longer point to the intended page and one in five articles suffers from reference rotCiting previous research in the peer-reviewed literature using persistent links such as digital object identifiers (DOIs) is usually an effective way of pointing to a source. But if your scholarship depends on citing or footnoting web sites, or anything without a persistent link, there is a good chance these links will not work, or the content will have disappeared or changed, 5 or 10 or 20 years from now. 

Scholarship depends on a solid foundation of evidence, one that won't erode as time passes.  Ensure that your future readers can see the same evidence you see.

The Solution: Perma.cc

What is Perma.cc?  Perma.cc is a service that helps prevent "link rot". Use it to preserve the online sources you cite and to make those records accessible to your readers.

What is link rot?  Link rot happens when you cite to an online source that later disappears or changes. It's a big problem, especially for academic scholarship which depends heavily on citations to stable sources.

How does Perma.cc work?  You give Perma.cc the URL of the page you want to preserve and cite. The Perma.cc software visits that URL, preserves what's there, deposits it into our collection, and gives you a unique URL that points to the record in our collection. Then, you can use that URL in your citation to give readers access to a stable, accurate record of the source you referenced ...even if the original disappears from the web. 

The Pace Library is a Registrar for Perma.cc. Researchers at Pace are able to archive, manage, and annotate an unlimited number of web pages with persistent "shortlinks" for citing, create multiple users with access to the same folders, and receive local support. Perma.cc is built by Harvard’s Library Innovation Lab, and in alignment with its focus on preservation, the service has a contingency plan and is also open source.