Proceedings of the AoIR-ASIST 2004 Workshop on Web Science Research Methods
Can scientific collaboration and excellence be measured by Web presence and Web links? [presentation]
Judit Bar-Ilan, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Bar-Ilan University
As soon as the Web appeared as an emerging information and communication medium, scientometricians became aware of the new opportunities it presented. Early works demonstrated the applicability of traditional bibliometric techniques to the Web, where documents were viewed as publications, hyperlinks as citations and sites or domains as publication sources (e.g. Larson, 1996; Rousseau, 1997; Ingwersen, 1998). Soon after these early works appeared, it was noticed that the results depend heavily on the coverage of the search engine or search engines used for these calculations (Smith, 1999; Thelwall, 2000). To overcome this problem, Thelwall (2001a, 2001b) decided to use his own crawler instead of relying on commercial search engines in order to study the interlinkage between UK universities. For larger scale studies measuring the visibility of a given site or publication based on non-academic and non-local links as well, we still have to rely on the results of the commercial search engines.
There are several problems related to the use of webometric measurements for the assessment of scientific collaboration and excellence:
Still, the Web cannot be ignored as a scientific information source, thus we must continue to use and develop Webometric indicators while taking into account the limitations of the medium and of the tools we use.
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