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The 8 free e-books (of Human Nature, etc.) that used to be at http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/classic/ebooks/ disappeared in a site reorganization some time this year. On each of the 8 novels' articles here, we've got a link to the no-longer-existing page.

You can still find them all at the Wayback Machine (http://wayback.archive.org/web/*/http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/classic/ebooks/). The online and printable versions seem to be accessible at any snapshot from 2005 to 2010. To see all the images, and to get the PDF, PDB, LIT, and Mobi versions, you may have to look through a few different snapshots.

I don't know what this wiki's policy is on this. Should we replace the links in the articles to Wayback archived versions, remove them, or replace them with a note that they used to be available at (URL in plain text rather than as a link) but no longer are? --70.36.140.19 07:03, September 23, 2011 (UTC)

This is an interesting question. I think it might be acceptable to link to the Wayback versions, but does that cross the line of linking to "official" web content since it's no longer hosted at BBC? — Rob T Firefly - Δ - 00:19, October 11, 2011 (UTC)
We don't have a policy on this, and as far as I can tell, it's never even been discussed on the forums before. I guess people just weren't that bothered when Martha Jones' myspace blog disappeared. :) My initial thought, however, is that it's not really our job to provide access to content that the BBC have intentionally removed. The easiest solution in this case is probably the "morally correct" one. If it were me, I'd just pull the links and forget about it. But, like I said, we don't actually have a policy on links to material that no longer exists on the current revisions of pages. So this is a chance for the community to formulate new policy. Get to talkin' about it, people!
czechout@fandom   01:46: Tue 11 Oct 2011 
After giving this some more thought I've concluded that you're probably right, and the easiest and least-potentially-troublesome thing to do would be to just pull the dead links. We could mention in the article that there used to be a free ebook online at BBC but there isn't anymore. We could still cite the WC as a source for anything which was exclusive to it, just as we currently cite other out-of-print items like Target and Virgin books, but it will be up to people to track down the web archives or whatever on their own. — Rob T Firefly - Δ - 21:05, October 11, 2011 (UTC)
Link rot isn't just an issue for these sites, it's also an issue for sources. There's articles like the Black Sheep article which I sourced a bunch of author information from GallifreyOne, which has bitten the dust.
There's other sites that were on Geocities, some of them were mirrored over to oocites (sites like the Bewildering references guide).
For sourcing information which has gotten link rot we can link through to the wayback machine, with everything formatted using the Template:Cite web, so, to cite Author Notes for The Dying Days Chapter 1:
Lance Parkin. The Dying Days - Author Notes - Chapter 1 (HTML). Doctor Who - Classic Series - Ebooks. BBC. Archived from the original on 15 Sep 06 - 7 Aug 07. Retrieved on 13th October 2011.
One other question; is that when these sources get link-rot do we remove the information, or keep it and the web addy, even though it's got link rot as at one point the information was correct and it's still essentially sourced correctly (in theory), it just doesn't connect anywhere any more. Wikipedia seems to advocate not dumping the info solely based on a dead link. I'd also be in favour of keeping the info sources.
But I think this should relate specifically to sourcing information, rather than providing links away for people, it's about maintaining as Wikipedia says the verifiability of the wiki, not helping people to circumvent the BBC's decision to pull down the books. --Tangerineduel / talk 13:24, October 12, 2011 (UTC)
The trouble with keeping live links to rotted addresses is the case of domains that fall unregistered and end up taken up by unrelated sites. We wouldn't want a policy in place that tells us we have to keep increasing the Google ranking of some spam site or that !@#$%^& girl with the backpack just because someone once had some useful info there. We may wish to look at how that other wiki implements the Wayback Machine as well as other ways of keeping the relevant data available:
Rob T Firefly - Δ - 08:26, October 14, 2011 (UTC)

Suggested procedure: 1: Someone notices that a link has fallen into desuetude. 2: Notifies the wiki, either by posting it somewhere in the community (this one?) or alerting someone who knows what's going on (nominally an admin) who 3: arranges a check after a reasonable length of time, say a week, that it isn't one of your usual site-going-down reasons and 4: links to the Wayback Machine. Of course, anyone familiar with the Wayback stuff will probably short-circuit this procedure and do the linking himself, but now we have a procedure. Anyone wish to work out the forms to be filled in quintuplicate? Boblipton talk to me 12:18, October 14, 2011 (UTC)

Reviving

In trying to archive this thread, I realised that this thread stalled before any resolution occurred. This is an important issue that we probably should hash out to conclusion. We do in fact need a policy about dealing with link rot. For that reason, I'm tossing it back up tot he top of the list in the hopes of firming up some policy on the matter.
czechout@fandom   13:59: Wed 02 May 2012 

For external links I say we should just remove the links, a text-only web addy can be provided in the Notes section of the page when noting information relating to the ebook version.
For citations I'd favour something similar to Wikipedia's policy with regard to link rot.
For archive sites (like wayback machine etc) our Template:Cite web currently provides for adding an archived version when using the cite template. --Tangerineduel / talk 14:22, May 2, 2012 (UTC)
I agree with the tangerine. —Josiah Rowe talk to me 18:22, May 2, 2012 (UTC)
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