As a result of the so-called information explosion, it is very important for researchers, faculty members and students to access scientific and research information, which highlights the importance of designing university websites. The purpose of this paper was to evaluate Iranian state university websites using the Web quality evaluation method (WebQEM).
The research method was a combination of a descriptive survey and Delphi technique. The research population included 100 Iranian state university websites. Data collection was done using the checklists prepared by WebQEM. Descriptive statistics (frequency, mean and standard deviation) and analysis statistics (Spearman rank-difference correlation coefficient) were used for data analysis.
The results indicated that Iranian state university websites met the four main criteria considered in WebQEM; reliability (mean = 0.67), efficiency (mean = 0.66) and functionality (mean = 0.62) were in a “good” condition, and usability was in a “middle” condition (mean = 0.59). Also, the findings showed that 60 per cent of the websites were in a good condition and 37 per cent were in a middle condition. In conclusion, Iranian state university websites were found to be in a “good” condition (mean = 0.63). Also, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad was ranked in the first place (score = 0.822). The hypothesis that there was a very weak correlation between Iranian state university ranking and Iranian state university websites ranking was confirmed (with the correlation of 0.22).
The paper includes implications for the development of user interface of academic websites. This paper fills a part of the gap in terms of an urgent need for research on how university websites can be standardized. If university websites have significant and necessary standard factors (i.e. ISO 9126-1), students may succeed in academic information retrieval. Using the results of this research can help university website designers to fix weaknesses for active participation in these websites.
This study has evaluated Iranian state university websites using WebQEM.
Gharibe Niazi, M. and Karbala Aghaei Kamran, M. (2016), "Evaluating Iranian state university websites using WebQEM", The Electronic Library, Vol. 34 No. 6, pp. 1031-1050. https://doi.org/10.1108/EL-07-2014-0112Download as .RIS
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