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Creating Perma Links  

Link rot is a major issue for legal publications. This guide describes how to use to create permanent links for use in legal publications.
Last Updated: Aug 8, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Lisa Levesque
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What is was developed by Harvard Law as a way to prevent link rot. It creates a permanent, archived version of a webpage that can be used as a stable link.


Why Create Perma Links?

Perma links solve the problem of link rot, which occurs when a link URL changes, a site is taken offline, or a link is otherwise broken. It usually results in the dreaded 404 error.

Link rot is a serious issue for legal and scholarly publishing, which rely on citations for credibility. As noted by Zittrain, Albert and Lessig, "more than 70% of the URLs within the Harvard Law Review and other journals, and 50% of the URLs found within United States Supreme Court opinions, do not link to the originally cited information."


How Can I Use Perma Links?

Imagine you're writing an article and you want to cite a blog post. The live page may be taken down or changed in the future, so you create a Perma link  to capture the post. The Perma link preserves the webpage just as it was on the day that you captured it. When you refer to the Perma link in your paper, you can comment on the content, images, or even comments of this page, and know that they will be available for your future reader to access.

For more information, see our how to guides on The Basics and Beyond the Basics of using Perma on the menu above.


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