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Author: Caitlin

Perma & The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota

For the last couple of months, the Digital Press at the University of North Dakota has been using to archive links they come across for their work in both paper and digital publications. According to Director Bill Caraher:

“The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota is a small publisher that produces both paper and open access digital publications. As a result we are simultaneously concerned with the economy of space and the need for archival links especially for projects that draw heavily on digital objects. offers both with tidy links and a robust library-supported archiving of web content.”

Recently, the Digital Press published “Protesting on Bended Knee: Race, Dissent, and Patriotism in 21st Century America,” which involved more than 500 links to websites that provide historical evidence about the issues and controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick’s well-known protests and the reaction to them.  

“By using,” Caraher says, “we preserved the integrity of the relationship between arguments and (digital) evidence and a contextualized body of ephemeral evidence for the history of race, dissent, and patriotism in the 21st century.”

Get your own account here – and email us at to request information on getting a shared company-wide account for your organization.

Perma and Genealogy

We’ve spent a lot of time recently brainstorming on different ways Perma can be used outside of the law arena: anyone who has experienced the frustration and disappointment of finding a 404 error instead of the information they were looking for knows link-rot does not discriminate by subject area.  Prompted by some of the teams’ family members’ interest in their personal histories, genealogy research presented us an interesting use-case to explore.

As researchers rely more heavily on the internet across all fields, consistent access to online information will only become more important, and disappearing or changing information can seriously hinder their work.  Thanks to the popularity of online genealogy sites such as and increasing availability of online materials, genealogical research has never been more accessible. Researchers looking into their own families are making connections in real time and documenting their work for others in the future.

But link-rot threatens the stability of this information (and the researcher’s ability to reference it), as well as information cited by others researcher whose original citations no longer exist. A brief survey of blogs dedicated to genealogy and genealogical research has shown that few offer in and of themselves a way to prevent the dreaded 404 error. We believe provides a streamlined way to archive your work as someone undertaking genealogical research, as well as a convenient way to cite it so it’s always available to others.  

Perma is also now recommended by the Chicago Manual of Style as a way to preserve a permanent record of sources that are at risk for change!

Perma in the News: American Libraries Magazine got a recent shout-out in a December article for American Libraries Magazine about the importance of libraries in the Internet Age.

We  highly value our relationships with libraries across the country as they are key partners in our work because, as the author points out, “Libraries respect history. Web pages are ephemeral, and link rot is a real problem. The content of library collections is much more stable.”

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Recent Perma Updates

A series of small updates to Perma over the last few weeks have included:

  • Updated password requirements to enhance security
  • Some minor style changes to the user interface for viewing private links
  • Several small bug fixes and an update to Django 1.11

Try out yourself at!

Recent Perma Updates

Recent updates to Perma include:

  • The new library sign-up form includes an address field, which allows us to display registrar libraries’ location on a map
  • A better user experience when viewing a Perma linked PDF on mobile
  • Improvements to the password reset function

Try out yourself at!


Looking Forward to the New Semester!

As of November 2016, was a fully approved product supported by the Harvard University Libraries, including the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the various Harvard graduate schools. We’re looking forward to welcoming students back as they return to campus in the next couple of weeks,  and helping them preserve their work this semester!

To find out more about how Perma can help your faculty and students, visit!

Try out Perma for yourself by creating an account!

Perma in the News: D-Lib Magazine

The May/June 2017 issue of D-Lib Magazine features an article by Library Innovation Lab Director Kim Dulin on the Lab’s IMLS National Digital Platform grant to further develop the service and what we have accomplished in the first year!  The grant will allow to grow our user base outside the legal community and expand the impact can have on ending link rot.  With this grant, is expanding our outreach to academic institutions and communities beyond the legal sphere, as well as building a framework for private and commercial usage to maintain a free service for public and academic users.

Read the full article here!

Help us fight link rot and sign up your library today!

The Law Library of Congress is Using Perma to Battle Link Rot

Perma is proud to call the Law Library of Congress one of our active, leading users. Charlotte Stitcher, the law library’s managing editor, has implemented since 2015 to fight link and reference rot in Library of Congress publications.  A 2014 internal Law Library of Congress review of law reports published by the Global Legal Research Center (GLRC) found that “a significant number” of footnoted links no longer worked, which fits similar conclusions found by the Harvard Law Review’s own study of link rot in three Harvard journals and U.S. Supreme Court cases.  In their search to find a solution to the link rot problem, the Law Library found, which they officially implemented in October 2015.

Using Perma, the GLRC is able to add archived copies of web pages to the footnotes of all new reports.  A recent example is the GLRC’s November 2016 report on “Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, and War Crimes Jurisdiction,” which contains an archived link alongside each cited hyperlink.

Get your institution on to and help your patrons and scholars fight link-rot, by signing your library up today!

Law Library of Congress Implements Solution for Link and Reference Rot

Perma at the Moritz College of Law

A recent blog post on “Research Tips” by the Moritz Legal Information Blog, run by the Moritz Law Library at The Ohio State University, highlights as a method to find or create a permanent url, because “adding them to citations is becoming an increasingly common practice for authors who cite online content.”

Academics and journals at Ohio State have used Perma extensively to back-up their web citations.  Get started yourself by signing up for a free account here!

Perma in the news: Slaw Magazine

A recent column from “Slaw,” an Canadian online legal magazine, looked at the prevalence of link rot in material cited by the Supreme Court of Canada [SCC] in the wake of Harvard Law School’s 2014 study, which found that 50% of URLs cited in US Supreme Court Opinions no longer link to their original material.

Nate Russell, the column’s author, found that of the 29 URLs cited in cases from 2016, only 72% remain healthy, with seven redirecting and one already broken.  For citations from 2011, Russell says the SCC’s links “are right near the morbidity sweet spot” with only three out of 17 reporting as healthy (ten redirect and four fail).

Russell, who works for Courthouse Libraries BC (a legal information non-profit in British Columbia), highlights as “a slick, simple to use, peace-of-mind-giving tool that is already saving us from link rot in one of our legal publishing projects.”

To get started using yourself, sign up here!

The Sweet Morbidity of Link Rot

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