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  • Author or Editor: Mike Thelwall x
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Abstract

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.

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Abstract  

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.

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Abstract  

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.

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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.

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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.

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Abstract  

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.

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Abstract  

High citation is associated with research quality and consequently findings on highly cited articles are useful to increase understanding of the factors that produce high quality research. This study explores highly cited articles in six subjects, focusing on late citation and peak citation years. Longitudinal citation patterns were found to be highly varied and, on average, different from the remaining articles in each subject. For four of the six subjects, there is a correlation of over 0.42 between the percentage of early citations and total citation ranking but more highly ranked articles had a lower percentage of early citations. Surprisingly, for highly cited articles in all six subjects the prediction of citation ranking of from the sum of citations during their first six years was less accurate than prediction using the sum of the citations for only the fifth and sixth year.

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In this paper we report on the results of an exploratory study of knowledge exchange between disciplines and subfields of science, based on bibliometric methods. The goal of this analysis is twofold. Firstly, we consider knowledge exchange between disciplines at a global level, by analysing cross-disciplinary citations in journal articles, based on the world publication output in 1999. Among others a central position of the Basic Life Sciences within the Life Sciences and of Physics within the Exact Sciences is shown. Limitations of analyses of interdisciplinary impact at the journal level are discussed. A second topic is a discussion of measures which may be used to quantify the rate of knowledge transfer between fields and the importance of work in a given field or for other disciplines. Two measures are applied, which appear to be proper indicators of impact of research on other fields. These indicators of interdisciplinary impact may be applied at other institutional levels as well.

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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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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.

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