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An initial exploration of the link relationship between UK university Web sites

Mike Thelwall (Mike Thelwall is a Senior Lecturer, School of Computing and Information Technology, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK.)

Aslib Proceedings

ISSN: 0001-253X

Article publication date: 1 April 2002



Aggregates of links are of interest to information scientists in the same way as citation counts are: as potential sources of data from which new knowledge can be mined. Builds on the recent discovery of a correlation between a Web link count measure and the research quality of British universities by applying a range of multivariate statistical techniques to counts of links between pairs of universities. This represents an initial attempt at developing an understanding of this phenomenon. Extracts plausible results. Also identifies outliers in the data by the techniques, some of which were verified by being tracked down to identifiable Web phenomena. This is an important outcome because successful anomaly identification is a precondition to more effective analysis of this kind of data. The identification of groupings is encouraging evidence that Web links between universities can be mined for significant results, although it is clear that more methodological development is needed, if any but the simplest patterns are to be extracted. Finally, based upon the types of patterns extracted, argues that none of the methods used are capable of fully analysing link structures on their own.



Thelwall, M. (2002), "An initial exploration of the link relationship between UK university Web sites", Aslib Proceedings, Vol. 54 No. 2, pp. 118-126.




Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

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