Critical issues presentations/How to use Checklinks to check external links in Wikipedia articles

From Wikimania 2016 • Esino Lario, Italy
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Submission no. 40
Title of the submission

How to use Checklinks to check external links in Wikipedia articles

Author of the submission
  • Wayne Calhoon
Country of origin

United States of America



  • checklinks
  • timesaver
  • article improver
  • dead links
  • linkrot
  • link rot
  • accessdate
  • deprecated values
  • on the fly
  • dead link archiver
  • toollabs software

Using a laptop, projector, and screen I will do a live presentation of the on-the-fly use of Checklinks. I am not the developer of this great tool; I am an experienced user.

Checklinks is a tool that checks external links for Wikimedia Foundation wikis. It parses a page, queries all external links and classifies them (live, dead, etc.) using heuristics. The tool runs in two modes: an on-the-fly mode for instant results on individual pages, and in a project scan for producing reports for interested WikiProjects.

The tool is typically used in one of two ways: in the article review process as a link auditor to make sure the links are working and the other as a link manager where links can be reviewed, replaced with a working or archive link, add citation information, tagged, or removed.

Link rot is a major problem for the English Wikipedia more so than for other websites since external links are the sourcing practices of providing links to references. Some of the dead links are caused by content being moved around without proper redirection, while others require micropayments after a certain time period, and others simply vanish. With nearly a hundred links in some articles it becomes an ordeal to ensure that all the links and references are working correctly--even in our featured articles (FA) that appear on our main page. Much of this is a repetitive and inefficient use of a human's time. The Checklinks tool attempts to increase efficiency as much as possible by combining the most used features into one interface.


Not accepted