Link-rot has been a problem on the SE sites, and will probably always be. This is one of the reason why link-only answers are highly discouraged and on most sites get converted to comments (or if that is too much work simply deleted). On scientific sites such as these, in many cases this can be avoided by simple strategies:

  • Use persistent links. These are not always easy to come by though.
  • Link through a DOI and include a human readable citation. The latter is also nice to maybe find an open version of the article.
  • When uncertain, bookmark it in the Internet Archive. If you are referring to specific data, values and whatnot, time might be of the essence. It takes a minute to 'eternalise' a website. Someone 10 years from now might thank you.
  • Be verbose with your sources. Instead of leaving a link tacked on to the word source, you can write the name of the website.
  • Always upload the images you use to this platform (make sure you have got the rights to it).

If you have more strategies, please add them.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Is there a way to upload fites to stackexchange, instead of just images? These days I answered a question linking to a calc spreadsheet and worried about that, if the link eventually breaks. $\endgroup$
    – ksousa
    May 10, 2020 at 17:24
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @ksousa No, unfortunately not. However, you could possibly use the Internet Archive to create a persistent version of that file. $\endgroup$ May 10, 2020 at 17:57

1 Answer 1


Inspired by the feature request Automatically have links archived in the Wayback Machine, a while ago I wrote the Stack Exchange Archivist user script, which searches posts for external links and offers a simple way to archive them in the Wayback Machine, in the form of an 'archive' link underneath the post:

enter image description here

It's a userscript, which means you need a userscript manager installed in your browser if you don't have one already. Just Google for Violentmonkey or Tampermonkey; how to install them depends on your browser.

You can install the userscript via this direct link.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Wow @Glorfindel this might save a lot of people time for the people going through and archiving the references given by new users that don't know better! Thank you! $\endgroup$ May 10, 2020 at 19:32

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .