We have added a new type of relationship for an individual user to create Perma Links under the umbrella of a Registrar.
As always, every user has their own Perma.cc
account where they can log into their dashboard.
Each of these accounts has a “Personal Links” folder that is private to them. This folder is allocated ten “trial links” that can be made within it. Beyond that, a user either needs to have a personal subscription with Perma.cc
or create links within a folder that is affiliated with a Registrar institution.
Current users are already familiar with two types of affiliation with a Registrar:
Registrar User = admin overseeing all accounts affiliated with the Registrar. They have the power to create Organizations, set policies, and grant Sponsorships. They can also see all links created within Organization folders and Sponsored Links folders (but not Personal Links folders.)
Organization User = account that is affiliated with an “Organization” created by a Registrar User. Organizations are like collaborative silos under the umbrella of a Registrar. Any account affiliated with any Organization can see all of the associated folders and Perma Links.
Now, there’s a third:
Sponsored User = account that has been granted “Sponsorship” to create links directly by a Registrar User. They have a special folder in their dashboard with no link limit that is only visible to themselves and the Registrar User.
Accounts can be both Sponsored Users and Organization users at the same time.
The use of Organizations and Organization Users work well when groups using Perma.cc for their work will continue regardless of the users associated with it. Good examples of this are: law journals, a professor who would like to collaborate with her RAs, or academic departments. When an individual is removed from an Organization, all of the links they created there will remain, but the individual does not have access to them.
The granting of Sponsorships works well when the individuals using Perma.cc are autonomous, and will benefit from access to their Perma Links after their affiliation with your Registrar ends. When a Registrar User removes a Sponsorship from a users account, this means that user will no longer be able to create new Perma Links in their Sponsored Links folder. However, both they and the Registrar User will still have view access to the folder.
Let us know what you think! We’re at info at perma.cc
, happy to hear feedback or answer questions!
LLMC adds more than 1,000 Perma Links to preserve access to PDF documents on the Indigenous Law Portal (ILP).
Organizations in the forever business continue to find new ways to implement the services of Perma.cc. Most recently, our new partners at LLMC Digital
created Perma Links to ensure the persistence of PDF documents on their Indigenous Law Portal (ILP). The Indigenous Law Portal was begun at the Law Library of Congress as a way to provide access to American and Canadian indigenous materials at the Law Library, and has become a project of LLMC as it grows beyond the scope of of the Law Library of Congress.
This past weekend lawyers from both the House of Representatives and the White House filed initial documents for the ongoing Senate impeachment trial.
The Perma.cc team was thrilled to see that after collaboration over the past few months with both offices, their documents submitted to Senate contain Perma Links for their web citations. You can see House of Representatives’ trial memorandum here,
and an archived version of it here.
The President’s is available online here,
and archived here.
Now, as these documents enter the historical record, we can be confident that their references to the web will remain stable and available.
As Alex Howard (@digiphile) pointed out, this is a BFD for posterity.
This development is an exciting one, and is representative of the growth in the Perma network. A search of Westlaw reveals that adoption of Perma in our courts has been picking up speed lately. 77% of the 1,000+ briefs that have been filed in state and federal courts since 2013 were filed in the last three years. Of the nearly 1,500 court opinions published using Perma in the past six years, 76% of them have appeared since 2017.
In 2019 alone there were over 350 briefs filed with links from Perma.cc and almost 500 opinions published with Perma Links.
We hope this trend will continue upwards. If you are interested in learning more about Perma.cc for your law firm or court to prevent link rot please check out our website
and get in touch with us at email@example.com
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?
“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.”
Do you have a Perma.cc account yet to keep your links from rotting? Sign up here
A recent question from one of Perma’s librarian-registrars to us was how to handle Perma users who are graduating or departing academic institutions where it’s in use.
In short, we leave it to our academic library partners to decide whether to continue supporting Perma use after graduation. If they want to support personal use of Perma by alumni, and be responsible for customer questions and content-related policies for those folks, that’s fine with us. If they would prefer not to take on that alum support role, then they should put in place policies/practices for rolling graduates out of the orgs and we can take on those folks under our paid subscription model, if they so choose. All users retain access to their Personal Links folder regardless of academic affiliation and all public Perma Links created as part of an org remain visible via their URL.
If you do not wish alumni to remain on your library’s Perma account:
Actions to take:
- Develop workflow for removing those departing from their orgs
- Notify departing users of the upcoming changes:
- User will only have access to Personal Links Folder
- They will no longer have ability to create more than their 10 starter Personal Links, unless they purchase more via a Perma subscription
- If they want a record of the links that they made as part of that org, they should generate their own list of those Perma Link URLs – they will continue to be viewable as long as they’re public.
Things to note:
- It is possible to move links from an organizational folder to a personal folder, but those links would no longer be accessible to the org itself.
- As long as a Perma Link is public, anyone can continue to view / access its content.
If you want to allow graduates to continue creating Perma Links through your library:
Actions to take:
Set policies for this however you’d like: one option is to remove them from the org(s) they were a part of, then add them to a separate org for alumni / them specifically / etc.
Things to note:
Links created as part of a registrar organization are the responsibility of that registrar. Policies and best practices for collection of alumni links would still be the responsibility of the registrar library. As these users are no longer an active part of the institution, their use of Perma may extend beyond exclusively academic use. It may be worthwhile to create a separate alumni usage and support policy in light of this.
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
) or Virginia Tech’s here
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!
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.
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 SitesThe 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.
- (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.
IndemnityYou 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 ServiceWe 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
- (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.
Governing Law and Jurisdiction; Access from Outside MassachusettsThe 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
- (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.
For the last year or so, we’ve been working to understand the potential for Perma to help individuals and institutions outside the academic community combat link rot.
Two things have become clear through our work. First, link rot is a problem for lots of people, not just scholars. Indeed, link rot matters to anyone who cites, refers or links to web pages with the hope that they won’t change or disappear down the road. Second, Perma can help lots of people prevent link rot, whether or not they’re part of academia.
For Perma to continue to serve people outside the academic community, we have to make sure that we use our resources responsibly and focus on users with the greatest need to preserve web sources for public access.
To help us do that more effectively, we’re introducing monthly subscription tiers for people whose Perma usage is not sponsored and supported by academic libraries or other registrars:
Trial Use – Every account gets 10 free links upon registration.
Basic Use – For a $10 monthly fee, accounts can make up to 10 new links per month.
Intermediate Use – For a $25 monthly fee, accounts can make up to 100 new links per month.
Heavy Use – For a $100 monthly fee, accounts can make up to 500 new links per month.
As a result of these changes, accounts no longer will receive 10 free links on a recurring basis each month.
Free, unlimited service remains available for academic users whose Perma usage is supported by their libraries and for usage by courts. Similarly, academic institutions and courts will still continue to act as registrars for free. If you want to learn more about how academic institutions and courts can arrange for free service for those they support, please contact us
Private organizations will continue to have the option of becoming registrars for their users at a monthly group rate. Associated users are able to create unlimited links via their sponsor organization for free, and have access to collaboration tools. Later this year, we’ll be expanding subscription options for private organizations and launching additional enhancements to help academic libraries support faculty and students using Perma.
Our explorations into Perma’s potential are ongoing, and we welcome feedback. You can contact us by emailing info at perma.cc
Here’s Perma’s November stats as of Nov 28th, per Westlaw:
- 40 state and federal court opinions, including the highest courts in:
- 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!