I have seen many questions and answers in which a link is provided and after a while, the link is corrupted, out of date, changed or currently is not accessible.

Unfortunately, there is no bibliographic citation included in the posts to chase the linked content, users usually only have the link on their posts.

How should these types of posts be edited, should that link be removed or the link should be remained unchanged?

PS: Some links may be temporarily unavailable and will be working in the future; so we should avoid to edit links instantly.

  • 1
    So, the link to the Library of Congress's article on how to design preservable websites is... broken. That may be the most ironic thing I've seen in a very long time.
    – eykanal
    Sep 16, 2014 at 12:35
  • The link in the post you mention works fine for me... Maybe it's just blocked by whatever network you're on
    – ff524
    Sep 16, 2014 at 13:03
  • 1
    @ff524 It did not work at the time I was posting this question. Instead, a page came up indicating an error exists.... :(
    – enthu
    Sep 16, 2014 at 13:05
  • So, a temporary website outage? Whatever the reason, probably a lesson not to be too zealous in editing things that appear to be broken...
    – ff524
    Sep 16, 2014 at 13:08
  • My suggestion to such links is that we should include kind of bibliographic citation to the links. Not just including a link.
    – enthu
    Sep 16, 2014 at 13:09
  • Should the question/answer be edited and an Internet Archive link be added in braces after the original link or perhaps as a comment to the question/answer? (Example question with broken link: academia.stackexchange.com/q/85712/22062. In this case the broken link would become: lipn.univ-paris13.fr/~bennani/CSRank.html (broken link: Internet Archive version))
    – Daniel
    Aug 28, 2018 at 12:19

1 Answer 1


There isn't really a "policy" here. Please feel free to update links that are out-of-date. However, to quote from a similar discussion on Meta:

The standard way to deal with this is to make the answer not rely on a link in the first place. An answer should contain some sort of relevant summary, excerpt, or explanation from the content it links to so that if the link breaks, the answer is not compromised. If you're finding answers that contain practically only links, they might not be salvageable.

  • What should we do with links that don't work and there is no citation for the linked page on the posts. How should I edit broken links that are not accessible at all?
    – enthu
    Sep 16, 2014 at 13:17
  • 3
    @EnthusiasticStudent Good answers will summarise the linked content making the link unnecessary and only mildly helpful. If you can find the new link, hey replace it, if not, then leave it be since someone else might have better luck finding it.
    – StrongBad
    Sep 17, 2014 at 5:52

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