persistent uniform resource locator

n. a unique Web resource identifier used to facilitate the redirection of a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) search query to its permanent network location

Notes

Developed in 1995 by the work of OCLC’s Office of Research with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Uniform Resource Identifier working groups, PURLs represent an approach to address the problem of “link rot,” where hypertext links fail to direct searches to the proper Web resource due to site reorganization, page removal, or URL change.  A PURL is a permanent uniform resource locator used in conjunction with an intermediate resolution service, which associates the PURL to the current URL, and thus redirects the HTTP search to the appropriate Web resource.