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  • 1 Education Policy & Leadership, Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong, Hong Kong mslee@ied.edu.hk
  • 2 Department of Media and Communication, WCU Webometrics Institute, YeungNam University, 214-1 Dae-dong, Gyeongsan-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do 712-749, South Korea
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Abstract

With the rapid development of the Internet, there is a need for evaluating the public visibility of universities on the Internet (i.e., web visibility) in terms of its implications for university management, planning, and governance. The data were collected in December 2010 by using Yahoo, one of the most widely used search engines. Specifically, we gathered “Single Mention” data to measure the number of times that each university was mentioned on websites. In addition, we collected network-based data on Single Mentions. We obtained another data set based on the 2010 world university rankings by Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU). We employed several analytical methods for the analysis, including correlations, nonparametric tests (e.g., the Mann–Whitney test), and multidimensional scaling (MDS). The significant positive correlation between university rankings and web visibility suggests that indicators of web visibility can function as a proxy measure of conventional university rankings. Another distinctive implication can be drawn from the pattern of a disparity in web visibility stemming from the linguistic divide, that is, universities in English-speaking countries dominated the central positions in various network structures of web visibility, whereas those in non-English-speaking countries were located in the periphery of these structures. In this regard, further research linking web visibility to university management, planning, and governance is needed.

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