I for one posted several links (PDF or HTML files) in several answers of mine or in comments, and it appears that many are just dead. I can fix some of them here and there, but I wonder: Shall we just update all of them using, e.g., the Wayback Machine, or is there an established policy regarding dangling pointers on the SE network, and in particular on Cross Validated?

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    $\begingroup$ Whenever possible, I use the Wayback Machine to fix them. I do it fairly commonly. $\endgroup$ Nov 4 '20 at 12:26
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    $\begingroup$ If you have given enough detail for the reader to put into their favourite search engine like the title and first author of an article then I think there is little cause for concern here. $\endgroup$
    – mdewey
    Nov 4 '20 at 13:45
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you both for your comments. $\endgroup$
    – chl
    Nov 4 '20 at 19:44

If you have time for it, feel free to do so. When I notice such links and there is an easy way of replacing them with something that works, I do so. If there is no obvious way to solve it, I usually leave comment for OP noticing them that the link is dead.

  • $\begingroup$ (+1) Is the Wayback Machine the best (and only) way to go then? Sometimes I just delete link to PDF since I provided a full reference. i'm just wondering whether relying on WBM is really a good idea. E.g., links might fade away for good reasons, or not. $\endgroup$
    – chl
    Nov 3 '20 at 21:56
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know. If possible, I use more official sources, but also WBM sometimes. $\endgroup$
    – Tim Mod
    Nov 3 '20 at 22:00
  • $\begingroup$ That's what I do too. Was just checking if there's an official policy on SE nowadays. $\endgroup$
    – chl
    Nov 3 '20 at 22:01
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    $\begingroup$ No policy that I'm aware of. A very few users routinely find dead links and suggest edits to replace them, an activity that obviously takes effort and for which I am very grateful. When we make those changes we should try to include visible identifying information to help people track down the references the next time the links rot... . $\endgroup$
    – whuber Mod
    Nov 3 '20 at 23:05
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks, A fully qualified reference is probably the best option, as a default. $\endgroup$
    – chl
    Nov 4 '20 at 9:05

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