49 Link Checking Process

Process for Link Correction

Authors will write a textbook that includes links to sources they reference in their writing. Occasionally, these links become broken or deleted, and when a user tries to click on them in the textbook, they are unable to access the source.

To fix this, we have created a process for correcting links to ensure textbooks stay up to date and full accessible.


  1. Open the designated link checking excel sheet to record information
  2. Open the link checker (https://ecampus.oregonstate.edu/forms/pressbooks-link-checker/)
  3. Run link checker on desired textbook to check for broken links
  4. Go through each broken link and its information provided by the link checker (starting with “page” and through the list), and record the information in the Excel sheet
  5. Search on the internet for another version of the link given
  6. Record in the “Status” column of the Excel sheet that the link has been checked, and whether it is “broken” or “fixed”.
  7. If a new link is found, type “Fixed” in the column, put the link in the “Notes” column, and in the textbook.
  8. If no other link is found, record next steps needed in “Notes from OER Unit,” type “(inactive link as of mm/dd/yyyy),” next to the link in the textbook, and add a link class in Pressbooks:  <a href=”link” class=”badlink”>.
  9. After completing the process for each textbook, update the versioning page if any changes were made to the text: Change made: “Web links to external sources checked and updated.” Location in text: “Whole text scanned.”
  10. Update textbook with revised links after receiving response from author. When a link is corrected, remove the “(inactive link as of mm/dd/yyyy)” notation, and remove the link class in Pressbooks:  <a href=”link”>.

Process for Contacting Author

  1. Make sure Excel sheet is all filled out with information, and correct notes.
  2. Construct an email to the author explaining the broken links, and ask them to provide new links for the one you cannot find. Also, ask them to double check the new link that you have found (if you found one).


  1. Using the same wording and language for the Excel sheet helps others who are looking back on an Excel sheet can understand what a person was talking about. Using universal language like “checked; broken” can help the process so that everyone can understand it in the future when link checks are done regularly on all texts.
  2. Finding a new link to replace the broken one is difficult. Unless you can be sure it is the same link, make sure to reach out to the author for replacement links to double check. It’s hard to look for a new link when you don’t know what the link contained or looked like in the first place, so double checking is encouraged.
  3. When authors do respond, a new column can be added onto the excel sheet to document their response to ensure accuracy and for the records.


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