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Evidence for the existence of geographic trends in university Web site interlinking

Mike Thelwall (School of Computing and Information Technology, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 1 October 2002


The Web is an important medium for scholarly communication of various types, perhaps eventually to replace entirely some traditional mechanisms such as print journals. Yet the Web analogy of citations, hyperlinks, are much more varied in use and existing citation techniques are difficult to generalise to the new medium. In this context, one new challenging object of study is the modern multi‐faceted, multi‐genre, partly unregulated university Web site. This paper develops a methodology to analyse the patterns of interlinking between university Web sites and uses it to indicate that the degree of interlinking decreases with distance, at least in the UK. This is perhaps not in itself a surprising result, despite claims of a paradigm shift from the traditional virtual college towards collaboratories, but the methodology developed can also be used to refine existing Web link metrics to produce more powerful tools for comparing groups of sites.



Thelwall, M. (2002), "Evidence for the existence of geographic trends in university Web site interlinking", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 58 No. 5, pp. 563-574.




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