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Summary  

We define the URL citations of a Web page to be the mentions of its URL in the text of other Web pages, whether hyperlinked or not. The proportions of formal and informal scholarly motivations for creating URL citations to Library and Information Science open access journal articles were identified. Five characteristics for each source of URL citations equivalent to formal citations were manually extracted and the relationship between Web and conventional citation counts at the e-journal level was examined. Results of Google searches showed that 282 research articles published in the year 2000 in 15 peer-reviewed LIS open access journals were invoked by 3,045 URL citations. Of these URL citations, 43% were created for formal scholarly reasons equivalent to traditional citations and 18% for informal scholarly reasons. Of the sources of URL citations, 82% were in English, 88% were full text papers and 58% were non-HTML documents. Of the URL citations, 60% were text URLs only and 40% were hyperlinked. About 50% of URL citations were created within one year after the publication of the cited e-article. A slight correlation was found between average numbers of URL citations and average numbers of ISI citations for the journals in 2000. Separating out the citing HTML and non-HTML documents showed that formal scholarly communication trends on the Web were mainly influenced by text URL citations from non-HTML documents.

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Abstract  

As the web is continuously changing, perhaps growing exponentially since its inception, a major potential problem for webometrics is that web statistics may be obsolete by the time they are published in the academic literature. It is important therefore to know as much as possible about how the web is changing over time. This paper studies the UK, Australian and New Zealand academic webs from 2000 to 2005, finding that the number of static pages and links in each of the three academic webs appears to have stabilised as far back as 2001. This stabilisation may be partly due to increases in dynamic pages which are normally excluded from webometric analyses. Nevertheless, the results are encouraging evidence that webometrics for academic spaces may have a longer-term validity than would have been previously assumed.

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Abstract  

For practical reasons, bibliographic databases can only contain a subset of the scientific literature. The ISI citation databases are designed to cover the highest impact scientific research journals as well as a few other sources chosen by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). Google Scholar also contains citation information, but includes a less quality controlled collection of publications from different types of web documents. We define Google Scholar unique citations as those retrieved by Google Scholar which are not in the ISI database. We took a sample of 882 articles from 39 open access ISI-indexed journals in 2001 from biology, chemistry, physics and computing and classified the type, language, publication year and accessibility of the Google Scholar unique citing sources. The majority of Google Scholar unique citations (70%) were from full-text sources and there were large disciplinary differences between types of citing documents, suggesting that a wide range of non-ISI citing sources, especially from non-journal documents, are accessible by Google Scholar. This might be considered to be an advantage of Google Scholar, since it could be useful for citation tracking in a wider range of open access scholarly documents and to give a broader type of citation impact. An important corollary from our study is that Google Scholar’s wider coverage of Open Access (OA) web documents is likely to give a boost to the impact of OA research and the OA movement.

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Abstract  

A survey of linguistic dimensions of Web site hosting and interlinking of the universities of sixteen European countries is described. The results show that English is the dominant language both for linking pages and for all pages. In a typical country approximately half the pages were in English and half in one or more national languages. Normalised interlinking patterns showed three trends: 1) international interlinking throughout Europe in English, and additionally in Swedish in Scandinavia; 2) linking between countries sharing a common language, and 3) countries extensively hosting international links in their own major languages. This provides evidence for the multilingual character of academic use of the Web in Western Europe, at least outside the UK and Eire. Evidence was found that Greece was significantly linguistically isolated from the rest of the EU but that outsiders Norway and Switzerland were not.

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Gender inequalities are prevalent in science despite many initiatives to try to eradicate them. Given the deep-rooted and complex nature of these inequalities there is a continuing need for research into their causes and manifestations. This study analyses one aspect of web communication, hyperlinks, to explore whether they are a potential source of insights into gender differences in this important scientific communication medium. A study of links to life sciences research groups in nine European found little evidence of gender differences, except in Germany. As a consequence, it is argued that hyperlinks are not a promising source of quantitative information about gender differences in communication strategies or online visibility, at least for senior researchers or research groups.

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Abstract

This paper investigates whether CiteULike and Mendeley are useful for measuring scholarly influence, using a sample of 1,613 papers published in Nature and Science in 2007. Traditional citation counts from the Web of Science (WoS) were used as benchmarks to compare with the number of users who bookmarked the articles in one of the two free online reference manager sites. Statistically significant correlations were found between the user counts and the corresponding WoS citation counts, suggesting that this type of influence is related in some way to traditional citation-based scholarly impact but the number of users of these systems seems to be still too small for them to challenge traditional citation indexes.

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National and international university departmental Web site interlinking

Part 1: Validation of departmental link analysis

Scientometrics
Authors: Xuemei Li, Mike Thelwall, David Wilkinson, and Peter Musgrove

Summary  

The structural similarity between hyperlinks and citations has encouraged information scientists to apply bibliometric techniques to the Web. University links have been previously validated as a new data source through significant statistical correlations between link and research measures, together with identification of motivations for hyperlink creation at the university level. Many investigations have been conducted for university interlinking, but few for departments. University Web sites are large compared with departmental Web sites, and significant statistical results are more easily obtained. Nevertheless, universities are multidisciplinary by nature and disciplines may employ the Web differently, thus patterns identified at the university level may hide subject differences. This paper validates departmental interlinking, using Physics, Chemistry and Biology departments from Australia, Canada and the UK.

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Scientometrics
Authors: Xuemei Li, Mike Thelwall, David Wilkinson, and Peter Musgrove

Summary  

Although many link patterns have been identified at the university level, departmental interlinking has been relatively ignored. Universities are multidisciplinary by nature and various disciplines may employ the Web differently, thus patterns identified at the university level may hide subject differences. Departments are typically subject-oriented, and departmental interlinking may therefore illustrate interesting disciplinary linking patterns, perhaps relating to informal scholarly communication. The aim of this paper is to identify whether and how link patterns differ along country and disciplinary lines between similar disciplines and similar countries. Physics, Chemistry and Biology departments in Australia, Canada and the UK have been chosen. In order to get a holistic picture of departments' Web use profiles and link patterns, five different perspectives are identified and compared for each set of departments. Differences in link patterns are identified along both national and disciplinary lines, and are found to reflect offline phenomena. Along national lines, a likely explanation for the difference is that countries with better research performances make more general use of the Web; and, with respect to international peer interlinking, countries that share more scholarly communication tend to interlink more with each other. Along disciplinary lines, it seems that departments from disciplines which are more willing to distribute their research outputs tend to make more general use of the Web, and also interlink more with their national and international peers.

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Abstract  

Previous research has shown that Web link based metrics can correlate with traditional research assessment at the university level. In this study, we test whether the same is true for the computer science departments in the UK. The relevant Web Impact Factors (WIFs) were calculated from the link data collected both from AltaVista and the special academic crawler of the University of Wolverhampton. The numbers of staff members and Web pages in each computer science department were used as denominators for the WIFs calculation. The number of inlinks to the computer science departments correlated significantly with their research productivities, and WIFs with numbers of staff members as denominators correlated significantly with their Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) ratings. The number of staff members was confirmed to be a better indicator of departmental size than the number of Web pages within the department's domain.

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Abstract  

A technique is presented for the identification of patterns from the links between large Web spaces and is applied to data concerning the interlinking of university Web sites in fifteen European countries. This is based upon a procedure for normalising the data so that it can be analysed using standard multivariate statistical techniques and is less susceptible to individual outliers than standard methods. The approach was successfully able to identify clusters of European countries based upon data for their universities' interlinking patterns. For example, the northern countries were differentiated from the southern with this method.

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