We’ve all been there before – you put together a great research document, sent a press release linking to key facts, or sent a report to a client linking out to web pages, only to have those pages taken down or key facts on them changed. Or you come back months or years later to reuse some prior research, and link-rot has eaten half of your citations.
Luckily there are some new tools out there that can help prevent this, and lock in the citations and resources you’ve found. Here’s a few:
Perma.CC is a cool utility that saves full pages and creates easy links to them from an extension in the browser. It also saves a screenshot, and lets you add notes to the page, upload content, and more.
The interface requires that you sign up for a account, and limits non-library users to 10 links per month. I’ve emailed them and asked if there are ways to get larger accounts, but haven’t heard back.
In the meantime, the project is also available on github, so you can spin up your own version of it and host as many links as you want, if you’re so inclined.
The Internet Archive
Nearly every researcher has used the internet archive, but you may not know the organization has a chrome extension letting you preserve any page to it.
Preserving the page saves the page to the public archive (which may not be what you want, in some cases) and generates a link that you can use to cite back to the preserved page in its new location.
The main downside to using this extension is that if the site has a robots.txt file, it will prevent the Internet Archive from capturing the page, so there will be many pages that you aren’t able to archive via this route. However, having and using the extension can also be more broadly useful, helping make sure any pages you might want to see in the future are still around.
Another project from Harvard, Amber, does something a little different. It works in the background on blogs and other sites where it’s installed (principally just on the WordPress CMS for now) and saves copies of the links out from your blog, making sure that everything referenced on it is preserved. If you’re hosting a lot of research on a site, this could be a great option.
Have other helpful tools like this you’d like to share? Let us know. Want more tips? Subscribe to get our posts by email!