Monday, September 23, 2013
Courts - More on "link rot" in SCOTUS opinions
Today, Adam Liptak, in his NY Times "Sidebar" column, writes of "In Supreme Court Opinions, Clicks That Lead Nowhere." He reports on a third "link rot" study, apparently out today, titled "Perma: Scoping and Addressing the Problem of Link and Reference Rot in Legal Citations," by Joathan Zittrain and Kendra Albert.
Today's Liptak column concludes:
The Supreme Court has taken modest steps to address the matter. Its opinions note the date each site was last visited, and its clerk keeps a hard copy of those materials. In an interview, Ms. Liebler [of the Yale article] said the court should do more.ILB: I agree with the Liebler/9th Circuit approach. And I believe it should be followed here in Indiana by our Supreme Court/Clerk of the Courts. (Administrative law might serve as an example, if an agency adopts rules incorporating documents by reference, it has a responsibility to keep those documents readily available for perusal - and all this can be made much simpler digitally.)
“It’s a half measure to put a piece of paper in a court file,” she said. “This is the Supreme Court, and it’s their responsibility to make these things available.”
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, could serve as a model. It maintains an electronic archive of what it calls “webcites” in the PDF format.
Professor Zittrain and his colleagues are at work on a more ambitious solution, Perma.cc, a platform built and run by a consortium of law libraries. It allows writers and editors to capture and fix transient information on the Web with a new, permanent link.
The project is initially focused on legal scholarship. And there is no reason, Professor Zittrain said, why it could not also work for the Supreme Court.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 23, 2013 11:58 AM
Posted to Courts in general