Have you ever cited a web source only to have it no longer render when you or a reader tries to access it at a later time (the dreaded 404 error!)? Have you heard of 'link rot'? It's when websites change, go away, or get taken down, and the original links lead to broken, blank, altered, or even malicious pages. Yikes!
Never fear! You can use Perma.cc to create a permanent, archived version of a website. Perma.cc will assign a permanent URL to the archived version of the site, making that source accessible to your readers even if the web page goes away. It's a free service created by Harvard Libraries with the goal of long term preservation of web content cited in scholarly sources.
1. Create a free Perma.cc account - this will allow you to test drive the software and save 10 links total.
What does a Perma.cc link look like in action? See this example of a Perma.cc record from the White House home page in 2015.
3. Click the "Create Perma Link" button.
Note: Perma.cc works on Chrome, Firefox, Safari and IE10+.
Note: You can delete Perma Links within 24 hours after you create them - feel free to practice with one or two links and then delete them so that they don't take up your initial 10 free links.
When is it best to use Perma.cc?
When the source you are citing doesn't already have a permanent link. For example, scholarly sources with DOIs are permanent links. However, governmental or organizational web pages, news articles, blog posts, working papers, and other ephemeral web pages are good candidates for archiving in Perma.cc.
How do you cite a Perma Link?
Citations to Perma Links may vary, depending on the citation style you use, but a popular approach is to include the original link, followed by "archived at" and the Perma Link.
How do you organize Perma Links?
Once you're set up for unlimited links, consider creating folders of links that are meaningful to you. That way, when you come back to your account at a later time, you'll have a better sense of where things are that you need. For example, you might label links by:
5729 Fogler Library · University of Maine · Orono, ME 04469-5729 | (207) 581-1673