Last Updated: 1997 October 22

Scholarly Societies Project


No Additional Websites Without Permanent URLs Will Be Added

In an editorial entitled Moved URLs and the Maintenance of the Project (1997, March 13) the Editor referred to the problems associated with maintaining a large collection of links to websites when a significant number of changes occur over a single year.

In a later editorial entitled A Limit on Adding Websites Without Permanent URLs (1997, July 7) the Editor announced that, in order to keep maintenance costs of the Project reasonable, it was necessary to place a limit on the total number of websites in the Project WITHOUT a URL in standard domain-name format (that is, without a permanent URL). That maximum was set at 716.

It was hoped that, during regular checking of URLs in the Project, the number of sites changing their URLs to permanent form would be approximately equal to the number of new requests for inclusion of sites with non-permanent URLs. As it has happened, that has not been the case: there have many more requests of the latter sort than the number of sites that have been discovered changing their URLs to permanent form.

The Editor has therefore decided, with regret, that it is no longer practical to continue to add new sites without permanent URLs. Other projects similar to the Scholarly Societies Project, but with a considerably narrower subject scope, and therefore considerably fewer entries that need regular checking, will undoubtedly continue to include non-permanent URLs in their projects in the immediate future. This Project will point to as many of these other collections of links to websites of subject-specific scholarly societies as possible.

The Editor has begun the process of converting all subject-discipline pages to a new format that provides (for each site) the URL-Stability Rank, which is a graphical representation of the URL-Stability Index for that site. This new format serves two purposes. Firstly, the URL-stability rank will help make clear to users what permanent URLs look like. Secondly, the URL-stability rank tells users which URLs are absolutely reliable; with these URLs, any failure to connect is a transient failure only.

At the time of writing, about half of the subject pages have been converted, including the following: Anthropology | Archaeology | Astronomy | Bibliography & History of Book | Biology | Business | Civil Engineering | Classical Studies | Computer Science | Drama | Earth Sciences | Fine Arts | Geography | History | Language & Linguistics | Literature | Music | Philosophy | Political Science | Psychology | Religious Studies | Sociology. The other subject-specific pages in this Project will be converted as time permits.

From now on, the history of URL changes for each site already in the Project will be tracked. If the total volume of URL changes within the Project from one non-permanent form to another non-permanent form continues to be high, it will be necessary to impose some form of sanction on sites with a history of frequent URL changes. This sanction may take the form of labelling such sites as "unstable", or even of completely removing the site from the Scholarly Societies Project.

At present, permanent URLs are no longer a novelty. One has only to spend an evening watching television to see several URLs that are in permanent form. The time has come for all managers of scholarly sites to take their share of the responsibility in rectifying the present chaotic situation caused by URL changes.

Jim Parrott
The Editor
Scholarly Societies Project
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Overview of the Scholarly Societies Project

Scholarly Societies Project

facilitating access to information about scholarly societies across the world since 1994
last modified: 2009, December 27

NEWS/EDITORIAL 2009, December 27
Fifteen Years of the Scholarly Societies Project

4157 Scholarly Societies, 3832 Websites
Search Engine
By Subject [83]
By Country
By Language
By Founding Dates
Inventory of the Oldest Scholarly Societies (1323-1849)

Special Kinds of Scholarly Societies
Academies and Royal Societies of Broad Scope [272]
International Unions [88]
Federations of Scholarly Societies [198]

Special Resources at Scholarly Society Websites
Meeting/Conference Announcement Lists
Standards [59]
Full-Text Serials

Scholarly Societies and Scholarly Communication [essays]
Meeting Sponsors and Publishers
Bibliographic Work
Interactions with Commercial Publishers
Crisis in Scholarly Publishing
Creating a Society Web Site
Bailey's Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography

For a rough translation of this page, including all hyperlinks, into one of the above languages, copy the URL to the Altavista Babelfish Translator.

About the Scholarly Societies Project

Feedback to the Project
Guidelines for Inclusion of Resources
Scholarly Society Registration Form
Technical Problems Report
Sending Other Suggestions or Comments

Documentation on the Project
Linguistic Considerations
URL-Stability Index for the Project
The Editor
Project Timeline
Other Projects of Broad Scope Covering Scholarly Societies

Sending Email to the Scholarly Societies Project

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