Scholarship depends on evidence ("show me, don't tell me"). In most cases, this means citing previous research in the peer-reviewed literature, using persistent links such as digital object identifiers (DOIs), used by most academic journals, or handles, used by repositories such as VTechWorks. 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.
Over 50% of cited links in Supreme Court opinions no longer point to the intended page, one in five articles suffers from reference rot, and three out of four URI references lead to changed content.
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 University Libraries is a registrar for Perma.cc, a service to provide archiving of web pages for research purposes. Researchers at Virginia Tech 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.
All original content on this page is licensed under a CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Third-party content including, but not limited to images and linked items, are subject to their own license terms.