Location of Repository

Disciplinary Differences in Academic Web Presence – A Statistical Study of the UK

By Mike Thelwall and Liz Price


The Web has become an important tool for scholars to publicise their activities and disseminate their findings. In the information age, those who do not use it risk being bypassed. In this paper we introduce a statistical technique to assess the extent to which the broad spectrum of research areas are visible online in UK universities. Five broad subject categories are used for research, and inlink counts are used as indicators of online visibility or impact. The approach is designed to give more complete subject coverage than previous studies and to avoid the conceptual difficulties of a page classification approach, although one is used for triangulation. The results suggest that Science and Engineering dominate university Web presences, but with Humanities and Arts also achieving a high presence relative to its size, showing that high Web impact does not have to be restricted to the sciences. Research funding bodies should now consider whether action needs to be taken to ensure that opportunities are not being missed in the lower Web impact areas

Topics: Web impact factors, Information dissemination, Webometrics, Statistical study, E-journals, Websites, E-publishing, UK, Academic websites, Higher education
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
Year: 2003
OAI identifier: oai:wlv.openrepository.com:2436/26897

Suggested articles



  1. (2002). A comparison of sources of links for academic Web Impact Factor calculations. doi
  2. (1999). A tale of two Web spaces: comparing sites using Web Impact Factors.
  3. (2001). A Web crawler design for data mining. doi
  4. (2001). About the tables, http:/ / education.guardian.co.uk [viewed 14
  5. (2003). Assessing the assessment: an analysis of the UK Research Assessment Exercise, doi
  6. (1999). Authoritative sources in a hyperlinked environment. doi
  7. (2002). But my subject’s different”: a Web-based approach to supporting disciplinary lifelong learning skills. doi
  8. (2002). Conceptualizing documentation on the Web: an evaluation of different heuristicbased models for counting links between university Web sites. doi
  9. (2003). Disciplinary differences in US academic departmental Web site interlinking, doi
  10. (2002). Evidence for the existence of geographic trends in university Web site interlinking, doi
  11. (2002). Evidence of hypertext in the scholarly archive. doi
  12. (2001). Extracting macroscopic information from Web links. doi
  13. (2001). Hyperlink analysis for the Web. doi
  14. (2002). Hyperlink-affiliation network structure of top Web sites: Examining affiliates with hyperlink in Korea. doi
  15. (1997). Informetric analyses on the World Wide Web: Methodological approaches to ‘Webometrics’. doi
  16. (1997). International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED doi
  17. (1999). Internet use by faculty members in various disciplines: a comparative case study. doi
  18. (2000). Law libraries in hyperspace: A citation analysis of World Wide Web sites.
  19. (2000). League Tables doi
  20. (2002). Library and information science schools in Canada and USA: A Webometric perspective. doi
  21. (2003). Mapping networks of support for the Zapatista movement: Applying social network analysis to study contemporary social movements.
  22. (2003). Mining longitudinal Web queries: Trends and patterns. doi
  23. (1998). Mixed methodology. doi
  24. (2003). Motivations for academic Web site interlinking: Evidence for the Web as a novel source of information on informal scholarly communication. doi
  25. (2000). Not Just a Matter of Time: Field Differences in the Shaping of ElectronicMike Thelwall and Liz Price Media in Supporting Scientific Communication. doi
  26. (2002). Not worth the paper.
  27. (1999). Presenting a model for the structure and content of a university World Wide Web site. doi
  28. (1980). Regression Diagnostics: Identifying Influential Data and sources of collinearity. doi
  29. (2002). Research assessment in the UK. doi
  30. (2002). Research dissemination and invocation on the Web. doi
  31. (2002). Scholarly communication and bibliometrics. doi
  32. (1999). Scholarly communication and the continuum of electronic publishing. doi
  33. (2003). Scholarly use of the Web: What are the key inducers of links to journal Web sites? doi
  34. (2001). Searching the Web, doi
  35. (2003). Self-citation and self-reference: credibility and promotion in academic publication. doi
  36. (1997). Sitations: an exploratory study.
  37. (2001). Small-world linkage and co-linkage. In: doi
  38. (1998). The anatomy of a large scale hypertextual Web search engine. doi
  39. (1998). The calculation of Web Impact Factors. doi
  40. (2002). The changing information needs of users in electronic information environments. doi
  41. (1984). The citation process.
  42. (2003). The connection between the research of a university and counts of links to its Web pages: An investigation based upon a classification of the relationships of pages to the research of the host university. doi
  43. (1999). The emergence of scaling in random networks. doi
  44. (2003). The relationship between the links/Web Impact Factors of computer science departments in UK and their RAE ratings or research productivities in
  45. (1973). The sociology of science: Theoretical and empirical investigations. doi
  46. (2002). The top 100 linked pages on UK university Web sites: high inlink counts are not usually directly associated with quality scholarly content. doi
  47. (2003). Three target document range metrics for university Web sites. doi
  48. (2004). to appear. A fair history of the Web? Examining country balance in the Internet Archive. doi
  49. (2004). to appear. Do better scholars’ Web publications have significantly higher online impact? doi
  50. (2004). to appear. Electronic journals, the Internet, and scholarly communication. doi
  51. (2004). to appear. Search engine coverage bias: evidence and possible causes, doi
  52. (2003). to appear. Which academic subjects have most online impact? A pilot study and a new classification process. doi
  53. (2001). Using the World Wide Web for research: Are faculty satisfied? doi
  54. (2002). Web and database network environments for educational supply and demand. doi
  55. (2002). Web logs as indices of electronic journal use: Tools for identifying a ‘classic’ article. doi
  56. (2000). Web mining research: a survey. doi
  57. (2003). Web theory.
  58. (2000). Web-based analysis of e-journal impact: Approaches, problems, and issues. doi
  59. (2000). Webometric analysis of departments of librarianship and information science. doi
  60. (2003). What is this link doing here? Beginning a fine-grained process of identifying reasons for academic hyperlink creation,
  61. (2003). Which way forward for UK corporate universities? An analysis of subject specialisms.
  62. (2002). Winners don’t take all: Characterizing the competition for links on the Web. doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.