Fallback to the Way-Back Machine?

DA is a great tool, and I confess I’ve barely scratched the surface of its power at this point, but one feature that I think would make it even more useful would be the (optional) ability to have DA try looking up a URL via the Way-Back Machine (i.e. the Internet Archive, at archive.org) when it encounters a dead link.

When I started using DA in combination with DT(Pro) in support of a large research project (2000+ documents), one of the first problems that arose was that around 20% of the bookmarks, bibliography links, and “see also” references were no longer valid; that’s just a fact of life on the Internet. Many of those “dead” pages still exist, however, in the Internet Archive, and by querying archive.org with the dead URLs I was able to recover perhaps 75% of them.

If there were a checkbox to configure DA to perform a secondary lookup of 404-error URLs via archive.org, this would save me many hours of manual lookups. A fancier addition might even allow for the specification of a minimum and maximum date range, since the Internet Archive often stores numerous snapshots of a given page, and for research purposes there might be some limitations on the “staleness” of a resource–e.g. I might accept a page from the Internet Archive, but only if it’s less than 3 years old, etc.

As far as I can tell from a read of the Internet Archive’s terms of use, I don’t see any reason that a spider like DA would not be permitted to use the service (note this is archive.org, not arxiv.org). Is this something worthy of consideration for DA?

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