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Research Guide for Journals: Perma.cc

This guide is primarily for Villanova University School of Law students participating in a Journal.

What is Perma?

Perma.cc is a service that allows you to create and link to a permanent snapshot version of almost any publicly-available web resource.  By saving a copy of the web page at a moment in time, journal authors and editors can avoid "link rot," i.e. links to pages that are either gone or significantly changed since the time they were saved.

Studies have shown that nearly half of the web links cited in Supreme Court opinions over the last few years are no longer operational, and thus so much of the information that the justices have cited to is lost and unverifiable.  Perma.cc was created specifically to avoid this problem in the future.

How does it work?

When a perma.cc user enters a URL into the perma site, the service will download all of the information on the page, take a screenshot of it, and create a new perma URL for citing purposes.  If nothing else is done, this perma link will expire after 2 years.  If, however, someone with a vesting account  chooses to "vest" the URL, it will be archived permanently.  Vesting accounts are given to editors of journals and similar entities.

For more information, read the full description at https://perma.cc/docs

Perma.cc

Getting a perma.cc account

It is free to set up a basic perma account at https://perma.cc/register, the basic level will allow you to create links, but they will not be permanent unless vested by a user with a vesting account.

If you are a journal editor who needs privileges to vest links and archive them permanently, please contact  Lori Corso in the law library for vesting access.

Creating Links

Log in to Perma.cc and enter the URL to be archived into the form and click the perma logo:

Verify that the page looks the way you want it to.  If the image is not what you expected, check the URL again, or click "Upload Your Own" to add your own file to the link archive.

You can look at all of the links you have created by clicking on your name in the top right corner and selecting "My Links":

At this point, you're done creating the link!  It will work for two years before expiring unless it is vested by a user with vesting privileges.

Vesting Links

If you have already logged in to Perma.cc, when you visit any unvested link created in Perma you will be given the option to vest it:

You will then vest the site on behalf of your organization (i.e. journal).  Here you are also given the option to put the archived page in a specific folder (e.g. a folder for each volume/issue/article.

Another option would be to have vesting users within the organization (journal editors) create the links themselves without vesting them, then the links would all appear within the organization's folder structure, and another editor could vest the links after doing a second check for quality.

Perma.cc and the Bluebook

The 21st edition of the Bluebook (released in Summer 2020) makes specific reference to web archiving in rule 18.2.1(d): "Archiving of Internet sources in encouraged, but only when a reliable archival tool is available."  The Bluebook then goes on to cite a specific example that uses Perma.cc, so you should feel comfortable using this service while still obeying the rules of citation.