#LinkRot Panel 1 - Whose Problem is This - @EJWalters, Eltis, and Walls

Professor Eltis:

This is an "unwanted forgetting" (while some forgetting, such as publication of private and sensitive information, is certainly wanted).

We must have public access to the reasons and though processes behind judicial decisions. Sources leading to this reasoning therefore must be available.

Mr. Walls:

GPO. Regrets from Mary Alice, the SuDoc, who couldn't make it today.

Mission, of course, is to provide permanent public access to government information.

Interesting that they faced these challenges with so much and such diverse information so early. It's definitely been a learning process. And now we have FDSys (which I've always appreciated).

Next focus is to have some sort of catalog record for Gov Docs. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, but learning about docs this semester makes me skeptical.

Ed Walters (I think I'm entitled to use his given name):

What does link rot look like to a small publisher as opposed to a government agency or educational entity.

Hyperlink is formatted as text. The company does not create a hyperlink where one is intended. On reason they didn't do this was link rot.

To this point, they didn't want to divert resources to a problem that didn't yet have a solution, or at least no process in place.

More than 12,000 hyperlinks in 2013 caselaw.

Problems -- permanence, versioning, authentication. All noted in the Keele and Pearse article. Also, volume issue. Hard to hand tag the links. It would take forever.

The real problem as Ed sees it is with the creator. Judge or clerk should just make a Perma.cc link. Side note, I think that judges should also include simple descriptive metadata with their decisions... which people (ok, me and a few others) are calling metadicta. You're welcome.

Educate the courts. Educate the courts. Educate the courts.


To Ed: Very difficult decision not to include links. But the idea is to do no harm.