Over time, links between resources become outdated and are no
longer usable. We use a link-checking robot called Linbot to
traverse all of our ejournal pages and try and follow all the
links. It will report on all of the broken or outdated links. You
can start using this page at:
The page you're most interested in is the "Bad Links" report.
This report contains a list of all of the links that linbot was not
able to follow, and a more detailed code regarding the
Linbot is a good tool, but has problems with certain sites.Even
if Linbot reports a link as being bad, your first step is to check
the link manually.
If the link is truly broken, there are a few strategies for
finding a replacement URL. If the URL looks like it might be malformed
(there appear to be missing characters, etc.), simply try entering what
you think the URL might be. This works for cases where the URL was recorded
The next strategy is to work backwards
from the broken URL until you find a URL that is not broken.
For example, if the link
http://myserver.com/journals/JLA/fall98/intro.html doesn't work,
the first thing you'd do is take off the filename, and try to
connect to http://myserver.com/journals/JLA/fall98/. If the
shortened URL doesn't work, keep removing directory names until you
get a directory that works. Once you're on a valid page on that
site, see what you can do to locate the resource again. Often times
this involves reading the text associated with the link on a given
page, Linbot will also list the pages a broken link was found
If you can't find the link that way, try searching one or more
internet search engines. Often this is a great way to find home
pages for an organization.
If you still can't find a valid link to replace the broken link,
insert an editorial note like the following next to the link in the
[note -- this link is no longer valid]
DO NOT remove the original text, it is important to preserve the
last known location of the resource. DO make sure the URL is no longer
a link (see example below).
If you find a replacement link, insert an editorial note like
the following next to the broken link in the original texts:
[note -- this link has moved to http://amazon.com/ ]
The important thing to remember is that the printed text of the
URL should remain as it was when the journal was published, but
should no longer be a link. The updated URL should also be a link
to the new resource.
The point of the previous example is that you want the original
content to be there, but you want to remove the ability for users
(and Linbot) to easily follow the broken link.