Proceedings of the AoIR-ASIST 2004 Workshop on Web Science Research Methods























The web as a mirror of scientific and technical achievements: Issues in access and measurement

Pre-conference workshop: Association of Internet Researchers conference: Brighton, UK: Sunday 19 September 2004


Scope and objectives

The web has changed the way in which many researchers conduct research, communicate their findings and share data. In some research fields, such as high-energy physics, online posting of preprints is standard practice. In others, such as astronomy, the maintenance of large shared online data banks is common, fundamentally changing the way in which scientists operate. Other changes are less dramatic, but more universal, such as the widespread creation of public home pages for individual researchers and research groups. There is a need for assessing the impact of the myriad web uses and for the identification of the potential and actual impact of the web.

This workshop will provide an opportunity to discuss quantitative and qualitative approaches for studying academic web use. The themes of the workshop will be:

  • Scientific collaboration and communication on the Web: new opportunities, new social organisation.
  • Measuring science on the web: new techniques.
  • Publishing research online: adaptation and innovation.
  • Disciplinary differences in web use.
  • Individual case studies.
  • Large scale analyses.

Keynote talks

The two keynote talks for this workshop both cross the qualitative-quantitative divide and should provide food for thought for all workshop attendees.

Nentwich: Qualitative Aspects of Quantitative Measurements in the Age of Cyberscience

Michael Nentwich, from the Austrian Academy of Sciences, is the author of the already classic book, "Cyberscience. Research in the Age of the Internet", which is an essential reference work for anyone researching how the Internet is used by academics and scientists. His talk will cover issues raised in his book as well as quality control in academia in the age of the Internet.

Bjorneborn: Small-world connectors across academic web spaces

Lennart Björneborn, from the Royal School of Library and Information Science in Denmark, has recently completed a groundbreaking PhD, developing a library and information science approach for studing small-world phenomena on the web. His talk will show how interesting structure in academic webs can be identified and investigated. Of particular interest are links that cross topic boundaries, turning the web into a small world, where there are short link paths between many pairs of web pages.

Presentations: Qualitative - Theoretical

Presentations: Qualitative - Methodological

Presentations: Quantitative

Presentations: Quantitative - Statistical

Workshop plan

A key objective is to get cross-fertilization between the different research traditions.

9am-10.20 Keynote talks

Keynote talk 1: Michael Nentwich: Qualitative Aspects of Quantitative Measurements in the Age of Cyberscience

Keynote talk 2: Lennart Björneborn: Small-world connectors across academic web spaces

10.20 – 10.40

Coffee and biscuits

10.40 – 12: Short presentations

  • Christine Hine: An ethnographic approach to understanding scientific web use
  • Erika Uberti: Internet and personal contacts in research activities: complement or substitute?
  • Franz Barjak: From the “analogue divide” to the “hybrid divide”: no equalisation of information access in science through the Internet
  • Han Woo Park: Comparing academic hyperlink structure with co-authorship patterns in Korea
  • Natalie Arroyo: What is the invisible Web? A crawler perspective
  • Alexandre Caldas: Internet connections in science: The discovery of digital knowledge bases
  • Denise Rall: Locating internet research methods within five qualitative research traditions
  • Jenny Fry: The role of informal communication practices in shaping the production and use of the scholarly web
  • Judit Bar-Ilan: Can scientific collaboration and excellence be measured by Web presence and Web links?
  • Irene Berkowitz: Changing evidence and changing paradigms: How does technology affect the claims of scientific research?

Sponsored by:

  • The European Chapter of the American Society for Information Science & Technology – ASIS&T/EC (www.asis.org/Chapters/europe/)
  • The Communication and Information Technology section of the American Sociological Association
  • The European Union funded project WISER - Web Indicators for Science, Technology & Innovation Research (www.webindicators.org)
  • The academic journal Online Information Review
  • The academic journal Cybermetrics


  • Mike Thelwall (University of Wolverhampton, UK)
  • Andrea Scharnhorst (Nerdi/NIWI, The Netherlands)
  • Irene Berkowitz (Temple University, USA)
  • Lennart Björneborn (Royal School of Library and Information Science, Denmark)
  • Les Carr (University of Southampton, UK)
  • Christine Hine (University of Surrey, UK)
  • Michael Nentwich (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Technology Assessment)
  • Steve Schneider (SUNY Institute of Technology, USA)
  • Henry Small (Chief Scientist of Thomson ISI, USA)
  • Liwen Vaughan (University of Western Ontario, Canada)
  • Michel J. Menou (ASIS&T international liaison officer)