The Editor has just completed the arduous task of reviewing most of the URLs in the Scholarly Societies Project. In the process, over 200 broken links had to be repaired.
In some cases, the old page contained a pointer to the new site. More frequently however, there was simply no indication that a site had ever existed at the URL. In cases like that, it was necessary to use a search engine and attempt to identify the new site from among the search results (usually numbering in the dozens or hundreds).
The Bad News is the appalling number of URL changes that were uncovered, and that had occurred in little more than a year.
The Good News is that a significant number of these URL changes were to a so-called permanent form. This is a form that incorporates a domain name in the URL. For an extended discussion of this form of URL, see my essay URL-Stability Index for the Project.
Because of the magnitude of URL changes, most of the time that I spend on the Project will now have to be devoted to checking and fixing broken links, as opposed to seeking out new sites for inclusion.
For the time being, I will continue to process all new requests for inclusion that satisfy the guidelines of the Project. But a time may come when it becomes necessary to restrict new additions to sites that have permanent URLs, in order to keep future maintenance costs as low as possible.
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last modified: 2009, December 27
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