The FDLP PURL Usage Tool: PURLS by Domain

At the 2018 Federal Depository Library Conference, a question was raised during the presentation, “Intricacies of PURLs and Linking to Digital Content.” PURLs, Persistent Uniform Resource Locators, are a way that GPO provides permanent access to digital resources. The recording of the session and accompanying slides for download are available here.

The question focused on where GPO’s PURLs are directed. For example: how many go to GPO websites, GPO’s Public Access Partnerships, Federal Web Archives, and Federal Government agency websites. Since this information is relevant to a number of Federal depository libraries, we’d like to share the data with the FDLP community.

GPO compared the total number of PURLS created to the results of the PURL Target Domains Report* to create the following PURL metrics. This report is created by GPO’s PURL server software and counts the number of PURLs by domain name.

Total Number of PURLs created as of 10/1/2018: 230,023

  • 81% (184,731) point to GPO content, Partnership content, and Federal Web Archives.
    • Breakdown
      • 71% (163,752) - GPO sites such as govinfo and permanent.access.gpo
      • 7% (16,660) - Public Access Partnerships:
        • 5% (12,187) - Government Agency Partners
        • 2% (4,473) - Educational Institution Partners
      • 3% (7,809) point to Federal Government Web Archives
  • 19% (45,292) point to content on sites other than the above.
    • Sites in this group are being harvested when technically possible and will be used if needed. Examples include live serials and integrating resources hosted by Government agencies.

*Note: This report does not count PURLs pointing to sites that use protocols such as FTP and Gopher, nor does it count cloud-based dynamic content behind firewalls.

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