CSH Talk by Herbert Van de Sompel: “The Web is rotting and what to do about it”

Nov 10, 2021 | 15:0016:00

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The talk by Herbert Van de Sompel from Data Archiving and Networked Services in The Hague and IDLab at Ghent University, will take place at the Hub on November 10, 2021 at 3 pm (CET).


If you would like to attend, please register with office@csh.ac.at.




Links to web resources frequently break (link rot), and linked content can change at unpredictable rates (content drift). These dynamics of the Web are detrimental when references to web resources provide evidence or supporting information.


This presentation will report on research that assessed the extent of these problems for links to web resources in scholarly literature, by using three vast corpora of publications and a range of public web archives. It will also describe the Robust Link approach that offers a proactive, uniform, and machine-actionable way to combat link rot and content drift. Finally, it will introduce the Robustify web service and API that was devised to generate links that remain functional over time, paying special attention to challenges related to deploying infrastructure that is required to be long lasting.




Herbert Van de Sompel is currently researcher at Data Archiving and Networked Services in The Hague and Guest Professor at the IDLab at Ghent University. He previously worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (USA), the British Library (UK), Cornell University (USA), and Ghent University (Belgium). He graduated in mathematics and computer science at Ghent University and obtained a PhD in communication science there. His research focus is web infrastructure for scholarly communication. He has played a major role in devising a range of technical specifications that have become widely used.



Nov 10, 2021