The world’s largest law library has an enemy in its crosshairs: link rot.
The library’s mission of providing a comprehensive collection of U.S. law has led to a process for fighting the fleeting nature of internet hyperlinks, according to a blog post.
Charlotte Stichter, the Law Library of Congress’ managing editor, recently described the library’s new process for addressing “link rot,” or citations to hyperlinks that stop working. The Harvard Law Review estimates that 36 percent of hyperlinks cited in U.S. Supreme Court opinions from 1996-2012, for instance, no longer work.
Discovering the extent of the problem in legal citations led the library to Perma.cc, Stichter said. The service built by Harvard’s Library Innovation Lab helps the legal community create links to documents cited in their writing that never break.
As of October 2015, Congress’ law library has included a Perma.cc link as an alternate reference in all its own reports. For instance, the first footnote to a recent report on human trafficking reads:
Decreto-Ley 11.925, Sept. 30, 1957, BOLETÍN OFICIAL [B.O.], Oct. 30, 1957, http://infoleg.mecon.gov.ar/infoleg Internet/anexos/200000-204999/201859/norma.htm, archived at https://perma.cc/UBB4-UECN.
Perma.cc is primarily administered by law libraries but is available to scholars, journals, official law reports and courts.
While many legal citations from the Internet’s first 20 years may come to dead ends, there’s now hope that the legal hyperlinks of the future will be forever.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)