Perma.cc is a service that helps scholars, courts and others create web citation links that will never break. Perma.cc prevents link rot.
What is Perma.cc?
When a user creates a Perma.cc link, Perma.cc archives the referenced content and generates a link to an archived record of the page. Regardless of what may happen to the original source, the archived record will always be available through the Perma.cc link. To learn more about how Perma.cc works, please take a look at our user guide.
Perma.cc is developed and maintained by the Harvard Law School Library in conjunction with university law libraries across the country and other organizations in the “forever” business.
Why use Perma.cc
In a sample of several legal journals, approximately 70% of all links in citations published between 1999 and 2011 no longer point to the same material. Broken links in journal articles undermine the citation-based system of legal scholarship by obscuring the evidence underlying authors’ ideas.
As Internet usage becomes more widespread and web citations in legal scholarship become more common, the problem of link rot will become increasingly important.
Using Perma.cc ensures that material cited by authors will always be accessible to readers, preserving the foundation of legal scholarship online.
How Perma.cc works
Any author can go to the Perma.cc website and input a URL. Perma.cc downloads the material at that URL and gives back a new URL (a “Perma.cc link”) that can then be inserted in a paper.
Readers who encounter Perma.cc links can click on them like ordinary URLs. This takes them to the Perma.cc site where they are presented with a page that has links both to the original web source (along with some information, including the date of the Perma.cc link’s creation) and to the archived version stored by Perma.cc.
Perma.cc relies on a distributed set of journals and libraries for administration. Journals work with authors to create archives and libraries provide guidance and oversight to journals.
Perma.cc was built by Harvard’s Library Innovation Lab and is backed by the power of libraries. We’re both in the forever business: libraries already look after physical and digital materials — now we can do the same for links.
If you’re a librarian or are affiliated with a library, we can make using Perma.cc free and simple for you and the scholars that depend on you. We’ve answered many common questions and prepared a special library signup at the link below.