The cure for linkrot?

John Holbo puzzled about how to ensure citations in his academic papers didn’t rot. Reader responses pointed him to the Wayback Machine, which I knew about, and WebCite, which I didn’t. It looks like a great service.

WebCite writes: “WebCite® is an entirely free service for authors who want to cite webmaterial, regardless of what publication they are writing for (even if the journal/publisher authors are writing for are not yet listed as members. Membership only means some sort of formal agreement with a publisher). We ask, however, to use WebCite® primarily in the context of scholarly publications.”

“Regardless of what publication” suggests to me that it could be a great resource for weblogs.

I also liked Holbo’s observation about the distinction between these services and Google: “It’s interesting: neither of these archives really has extensive search capabilities. You wouldn’t use them to find something. But stuff is kept there. By contrast, google is for finding, but not for keeping.”

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