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

By Mike Thelwall and Liz Price

Abstract

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
Journal:

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