Jason Hennessey and Steven Xijin Ge have published "A Cross Disciplinary Study of Link Decay and the Effectiveness of Mitigation Techniques" in BMC Bioinformatics.
Here's an excerp:
We accessed 14,489 unique web pages found in the abstracts within Thomson Reuters' Web of Science citation index that were published between 1996 and 2010 and found that the median lifespan of these web pages was 9.3 years with 62% of them being archived. Survival analysis and logistic regression were used to find significant predictors of URL lifespan. The availability of a web page is most dependent on the time it is published and the top-level domain names. Similar statistical analysis revealed biases in current solutions: the Internet Archive favors web pages with fewer layers in the Universal Resource Locator (URL) while WebCite is significantly influenced by the source of publication. We also created a prototype for a process to submit web pages to the archives and increased coverage of our list of scientific webpages in the Internet Archive and WebCite by 22% and 255%, respectively.