In theory, the web has the potential to provide information about the wider impact of academic research, beyond traditional scholarly impact. This is because the web can reflect non-scholarly uses of research, such as in online government documents, press coverage or public discussions. Nevertheless, there are practical problems with creating metrics for journals based on web data: principally that most such metrics should be easy for journal editors or publishers to manipulate. Nevertheless, two alternatives seem to have both promise and value: citations derived from digitised books and download counts for journals within specific delivery platforms.
An investigation into the pattern of international interlinking between Asia-Pacific university Web sites is described. AltaVista
advanced searches were used for the data collection and network diagrams used to portray the results from four perspectives.
It was found that each of the four angles allowed novel interpretations of the data, but that Australia and Japan were nevertheless
clearly at the heart of the Web in the region, with Australia being a particularly common target of links and Japan having
a more balanced profile of ingoing and outgoing hyperlinks. Interestingly, one of the perspectives mimicked an official grouping
of less wealthy countries in the region whilst another contained the more developed countries, with Singapore and Thailand
appearing in both. It was hypothesised that the nature of larger Web sites covered was qualitatively different from that of
smaller ones, making the deduction of relationships between the hosting institutions difficult from the link counts alone.
University web sites play an important role in facilitating a wide range of types of communication. This paper reports an
analysis of international academic linking in Europe, with particular reference to European Union (EU) integration. The Microsoft
search service was used to calculate international interlinking to universities and from universities. Four different web
topologies were found for the link structure data and poorly connected countries were identified. The results show the expected
EU dominance of the large richer Western European nations, particularly the UK and Germany. The new EU countries are not yet
integrated into the EU web but some show strong regional connections.
The Web has become an important means of academic information exchange and can be used to give new insights into patterns
of informal scholarly communication. This study develops new methods to examine patterns of university Web linking, focusing
on Mainland China and Taiwan, and including language considerations. Multiple exploratory investigations into Web links were
conducted between universities in these two places. Firstly, inlinks were counted to each university Web site from its national
peers using four alternative Web document models. The results were shown to correlate significantly with research productivity
in Taiwan but not in the Mainland, although in the latter case less reliable institutional data could have been the cause.
For Taiwan, this is the first evidence of a scholarly association with academic linking for a non-English speaking region.
It was then ascertained that the same link counts associated more strongly with scientific than social scientific research
productivity in Taiwan. This confirms the general assumption of greater Web use by the hard sciences. We then investigated
Taiwan-Mainland university cross-links, and found that although English is extensively used on the Web, there was no evidence
that it was the language of preference for informal scholarly communication between the two areas.
An investigation of links to 89 US academic departments from three different disciplines gave insights into the kinds of international regions and national domains that linked to them. While significant correlations were found between total counts of international inlinks and total publication impact in Psychology and Chemistry, counts of international inlinks to History departments were too small to give a significant result. The correlations suggest that international links may reflect, to a certain extent, patterns of scholarly communication. Even though History departments attracted a significantly lower percentage of international inlinks than those of Chemistry and Psychology, the main source of links for all three disciplines was from Europe. Analyses of national inlinks, characterized by gTLDs (generic Top Level Domains), showed that the major source of links for all disciplines was.edu sites, followed by.com,.org,.net. As a whole, international regional differences in disciplines were stronger than gTLD differences, although in both cases discrepancies were not of a large scale.
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.
It has been shown that information collected from and about links between web pages and web sites can reflect real world phenomena
and relationships between the organizations they represent. Yet, government linking has not been extensively studied from
a webometric point of view. The aim of this study was to increase the knowledge of governmental interlinking and to shed some
light on the possible real world phenomena it may indicate. We show that interlinking between local government bodies in Finland
follows a strong geographic, or rather a geopolitical pattern and that governmental interlinking is mostly motivated by official
cooperation that geographic adjacency has made possible.
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.
Highly cited articles are interesting because of the potential association between high citation counts and high quality research.
This study investigates the 82 most highly cited Information Science and Library Science’ (IS&LS) articles (the top 0.1%)
in the Web of Science from the perspectives of disciplinarity, annual citation patterns, and first author citation profiles.
First, the relative frequency of these 82 articles was much lower for articles solely in IS&LS than for those in IS&LS and
at least one other subject, suggesting that that the promotion of interdisciplinary research in IS&LS may be conducive to
improving research quality. Second, two thirds of the first authors had an h-index in IS&LS of less than eight, show that
much significant research is produced by researchers without a high overall IS&LS research productivity. Third, there is a
moderate correlation (0.46) between citation ranking and the number of years between peak year and year of publication. This
indicates that high quality ideas and methods in IS&LS often are deployed many years after being published.
Many studies have found that collaborative research is, in general, more highly cited than non-collaborative research. This
paper describes an investigation into the extent to which the association between high citation and collaboration for Economics
articles published in 2000 varies from region to region and depends on the choice of indicator of citation level. Using data
from the Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) for 18 countries, 17 American states and four indicators of citation level the
citation levels of the collaborative articles are compared with the citation levels of the non-collaborative articles. The
main findings are that: (a) for every country and every indicator the mean citation level of the collaborative articles was
at least as high as that for the non-collaborative articles, but for five US states and for at least one other indicator the
citation level of collaborative articles was lower than that of non-collaborative articles, and (b) the extent to which collaborative
articles were more highly cited varied considerably from country to country, from state to state, and from indicator to indicator.
This indicates the importance of using multiple indicators when investigating citation advantage since the choice of indicator
can change the results.