Last Updated: 1999 April 19

Scholarly Societies Project


Quality Control of the Project: 1999 Report



The 1999 beginning-of-year review of URLs in the Scholarly Societies Project is nearly complete now. I am taking this opportunity to report on the results of that review and their implications for quality control of the Project.

Quality Control and URL-Stability

There are various ways in which quality control can be maintained in a project such as this one:

It is this last point that is the most problematic, since as time goes on, any collection of URLs will develop broken links, and the quality of the project will suffer unless steps are taken to deal with this situation. The remaining discussion of quality control in the Scholarly Societies Project concerns dealing with the degradation in quality caused by link breakage.

The 1997 Review

The 1997 beginning-of-year review was a critical one, since it was the review that pointed out the high rate of change of URLs, but also made it clear that an increasing number of scholarly societies were obtaining permanent URLs. In conjuction with that review, I developed the notion of a URL stability index.

Note: Below I have used the phrase permanent URL to mean that the society in question has gone to the effort of getting its own domain name. The word permanent is, of course, an exaggeration for anything connected with the Internet. I am using it as a convenient way of saying that these URLs are considerably less likely, on the whole, to change than the others.

At the beginning of 1997, the URL stability index for the entire Project was 18.0%. After the beginning-of-year review of URLs (which included deliberate searching for permanent URLs for sites already in the Project), the URL stability index increased to about 30%. In the process of doing this review, about 200 URLs had to be changed.

Because all the URLs were checked and fixed where necessary, the quality of the Project underwent a temporary increase. But the increase in the percentage of URLs in permanent form meant that there was also a long-term increase in the quality of the Project. At the time, there were slightly more than 1000 URLs in the Project, with slightly more than 300 in permanent form, and slightly more than 700 in non-permanent form.

In order to keep the maintenance work on the Project at a manageable level, it was necessary in October of 1997 to restrict future sites added to those with permanent URLs.

Comparison of 1997, 1998 & 1999 Reviews

Note: The numbers below are approximate, and represent the situation after each annual review, which is conducted in the first quarter of the respective year.

Year of Review
Number of URLs Changed
Number of Permanent URLs
Number of Non-Permanent URLs
URL Stability Index

The data shows the following trends:


The conclusions follow directly from the comparison of the annual reviews for 1997-1999:

The Editor is, therefore, cautiously optimistic about the possibility of continuing to maintain quality control over the URL stability of the Scholarly Societies Project.

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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