Introduction to Webometrics: Quantitative Web Research for the Social Sciences

Morgan & Claypool Publishers
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Webometrics is concerned with measuring aspects of the web: web sites, web pages, parts of web pages, words in web pages, hyperlinks, web search engine results. The importance of the web itself as a communication medium and for hosting an increasingly wide array of documents, from journal articles to holiday brochures, needs no introduction. Given this huge and easily accessible source of information, there are limitless possibilities for measuring or counting on a huge scale (e.g., the number of web sites, the number of web pages, the number of blogs) or on a smaller scale (e.g., the number of web sites in Ireland, the number of web pages in the CNN web site, the number of blogs mentioning Barack Obama before the 2008 presidential campaign). This book argues that it can be useful for social scientists to measure aspects of the web and explains how this can be achieved on both a small and large scale. The book is intended for social scientists with research topics that are wholly or partly online (e.g., social networks, news, political communication) and social scientists with offline research topics with an online reflection, even if this is not a core component (e.g., diaspora communities, consumer culture, linguistic change). The book is also intended for library and information science students in the belief that the knowledge and techniques described will be useful for them to guide and aid other social scientists in their research. In addition, the techniques and issues are all directly relevant to library and information science research problems.

Table of Contents: Introduction / Web Impact Assessment / Link Analysis / Blog Searching / Automatic Search Engine Searches: LexiURL Searcher / Web Crawling: SocSciBot / Search Engines and Data Reliability / Tracking User Actions Online / Advaned Techniques / Summary and Future Directions

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Publisher
Morgan & Claypool Publishers
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Published on
Dec 31, 2009
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Pages
115
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ISBN
9781598299939
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Library & Information Science / General
Social Science / Research
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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We live in an information age that requires us, more than ever, to represent, access, and use information. Over the last several decades, we have developed a modern science and technology for information retrieval, relentlessly pursuing the vision of a "memex" that Vannevar Bush proposed in his seminal article, "As We May Think." Faceted search plays a key role in this program. Faceted search addresses weaknesses of conventional search approaches and has emerged as a foundation for interactive information retrieval. User studies demonstrate that faceted search provides more effective information-seeking support to users than best-first search. Indeed, faceted search has become increasingly prevalent in online information access systems, particularly for e-commerce and site search. In this lecture, we explore the history, theory, and practice of faceted search. Although we cannot hope to be exhaustive, our aim is to provide sufficient depth and breadth to offer a useful resource to both researchers and practitioners. Because faceted search is an area of interest to computer scientists, information scientists, interface designers, and usability researchers, we do not assume that the reader is a specialist in any of these fields. Rather, we offer a self-contained treatment of the topic, with an extensive bibliography for those who would like to pursue particular aspects in more depth. Table of Contents: I. Key Concepts / Introduction: What Are Facets? / Information Retrieval / Faceted Information Retrieval / II. Research and Practice / Academic Research / Commercial Applications / III. Practical Concerns / Back-End Concerns / Front-End Concerns / Conclusion / Glossary
Let us start with a simple scenario: a man asks a woman "how high is Mount Everest?" The woman replies "29,029 feet." Nothing could be simpler. Now let us suppose that rather than standing in a room, or sitting on a bus, the man is at his desk and the woman is 300 miles away with the conversation taking place using e-mail. Still simple? Certainly--it happens every day. So why all the bother about digital (virtual, electronic, chat, etc.) reference? If the man is a pilot flying over Mount Everest, the answer matters. If you are a lawyer going to court, the identity of the woman is very important. Also, if you ever want to find the answer again, how that transaction took place matters a lot. Digital reference is a deceptively simple concept on its face: "the incorporation of human expertise into the information system." This lecture seeks to explore the question of how human expertise is incorporated into a variety of information systems, from libraries, to digital libraries, to information retrieval engines, to knowledge bases. What we learn through this endeavor, begun primarily in the library context, is that the models, methods, standards, and experiments in digital reference have wide applicability. We also catch a glimpse of an unfolding future in which ubiquitous computing makes the identification, interaction, and capture of expertise increasingly important. It is a future that is much more complex than we had anticipated. It is a future in which documents and artifacts are less important than the contexts of their creation and use.

Table of Contents: Defining Reference in a Digital Age / Conversations / Digital Reference in Practice / Digital Reference an a New Future / Conclusion

In recent years there has been an increasing demand for research evaluation within universities and other research-based organisations. In parallel, there has been an increasing recognition that traditional citation-based indicators are not able to reflect the societal impacts of research and are slow to appear. This has led to the creation of new indicators for different types of research impact as well as timelier indicators, mainly derived from the Web. These indicators have been called altmetrics, webometrics or just web metrics. This book describes and evaluates a range of web indicators for aspects of societal or scholarly impact, discusses the theory and practice of using and evaluating web indicators for research assessment and outlines practical strategies for obtaining many web indicators. In addition to describing impact indicators for traditional scholarly outputs, such as journal articles and monographs, it also covers indicators for videos, datasets, software and other non-standard scholarly outputs. The book describes strategies to analyse web indicators for individual publications as well as to compare the impacts of groups of publications. The practical part of the book includes descriptions of how to use the free software Webometric Analyst to gather and analyse web data. This book is written for information science undergraduate and Master’s students that are learning about alternative indicators or scientometrics as well as Ph.D. students and other researchers and practitioners using indicators to help assess research impact or to study scholarly communication.
The rise of social media technologies has created new ways to seek and share information for millions of users worldwide, but also has presented new challenges for libraries in meeting users where they are within social spaces. From social networking sites such as Facebook and Google+, and microblogging platforms such as Twitter and Tumblr to the image and video sites of YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, and to geotagging sites such as Foursquare, libraries have responded by establishing footholds within a variety of social media platforms and seeking new ways of engaging with online users in social spaces. Libraries are also responding to new social review sites such as Yelp and Tripadvisor, awareness sites including StumbleUpon, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Reddit, and social question-and-answer (Q&A) sites such as Yahoo! Answers—sites which engage social media users in functions similar to traditional library content curation, readers' advisory, information and referral, and reference services. Establishing a social media presence extends the library's physical manifestation into virtual space and increases the library's visibility, reach, and impact. However, beyond simply establishing a social presence for the library, a greater challenge is building effective and engaging social media sites that successfully adapt a library's visibility, voice, and presence to the unique contexts, audiences, and cultures within diverse social media sites. This lecture examines the research and theory on social media and libraries, providing an overview of what is known and what is not yet known about libraries and social media. Chapter 1 focuses on the social media environments within which libraries are establishing a presence, including how social media sites differ from each other, yet work together within a social ecosphere. Chapter 2 examines how libraries are engaging with users across a variety of social media platforms and the extent to which libraries are involved in using these different social media platforms, as well as the activities of libraries in presenting a social "self," sharing information, and interacting with users via social media. Chapter 3 explores metrics and measures for assessing the impact of the library's activity in social media sites. The book concludes with Chapter 4 on evolving directions for libraries and social media, including potential implications of new and emerging technologies for libraries in social spaces.
This lecture presents an overview of the Web analytics process, with a focus on providing insight and actionable outcomes from collecting and analyzing Internet data. The lecture first provides an overview of Web analytics, providing in essence, a condensed version of the entire lecture. The lecture then outlines the theoretical and methodological foundations of Web analytics in order to make obvious the strengths and shortcomings of Web analytics as an approach. These foundational elements include the psychological basis in behaviorism and methodological underpinning of trace data as an empirical method. These foundational elements are illuminated further through a brief history of Web analytics from the original transaction log studies in the 1960s through the information science investigations of library systems to the focus on Websites, systems, and applications. Following a discussion of on-going interaction data within the clickstream created using log files and page tagging for analytics of Website and search logs, the lecture then presents a Web analytic process to convert these basic data to meaningful key performance indicators in order to measure likely converts that are tailored to the organizational goals or potential opportunities. Supplementary data collection techniques are addressed, including surveys and laboratory studies. The overall goal of this lecture is to provide implementable information and a methodology for understanding Web analytics in order to improve Web systems, increase customer satisfaction, and target revenue through effective analysis of user-Website interactions. Table of Contents: Understanding Web Analytics / The Foundations of Web Analytics: Theory and Methods / The History of Web Analytics / Data Collection for Web Analytics / Web Analytics Fundamentals / Web Analytics Strategy / Web Analytics as Competitive Intelligence / Supplementary Methods for Augmenting Web Analytics / Search Log Analytics / Conclusion / Key Terms / Blogs for Further Reading / References
Webometrics is concerned with measuring aspects of the web: web sites, web pages, parts of web pages, words in web pages, hyperlinks, web search engine results. The importance of the web itself as a communication medium and for hosting an increasingly wide array of documents, from journal articles to holiday brochures, needs no introduction. Given this huge and easily accessible source of information, there are limitless possibilities for measuring or counting on a huge scale (e.g., the number of web sites, the number of web pages, the number of blogs) or on a smaller scale (e.g., the number of web sites in Ireland, the number of web pages in the CNN web site, the number of blogs mentioning Barack Obama before the 2008 presidential campaign). This book argues that it can be useful for social scientists to measure aspects of the web and explains how this can be achieved on both a small and large scale. The book is intended for social scientists with research topics that are wholly or partly online (e.g., social networks, news, political communication) and social scientists with offline research topics with an online reflection, even if this is not a core component (e.g., diaspora communities, consumer culture, linguistic change). The book is also intended for library and information science students in the belief that the knowledge and techniques described will be useful for them to guide and aid other social scientists in their research. In addition, the techniques and issues are all directly relevant to library and information science research problems. Table of Contents: Introduction / Web Impact Assessment / Link Analysis / Blog Searching / Automatic Search Engine Searches: LexiURL Searcher / Web Crawling: SocSciBot / Search Engines and Data Reliability / Tracking User Actions Online / Advaned Techniques / Summary and Future Directions
In recent years there has been an increasing demand for research evaluation within universities and other research-based organisations. In parallel, there has been an increasing recognition that traditional citation-based indicators are not able to reflect the societal impacts of research and are slow to appear. This has led to the creation of new indicators for different types of research impact as well as timelier indicators, mainly derived from the Web. These indicators have been called altmetrics, webometrics or just web metrics. This book describes and evaluates a range of web indicators for aspects of societal or scholarly impact, discusses the theory and practice of using and evaluating web indicators for research assessment and outlines practical strategies for obtaining many web indicators. In addition to describing impact indicators for traditional scholarly outputs, such as journal articles and monographs, it also covers indicators for videos, datasets, software and other non-standard scholarly outputs. The book describes strategies to analyse web indicators for individual publications as well as to compare the impacts of groups of publications. The practical part of the book includes descriptions of how to use the free software Webometric Analyst to gather and analyse web data. This book is written for information science undergraduate and Master’s students that are learning about alternative indicators or scientometrics as well as Ph.D. students and other researchers and practitioners using indicators to help assess research impact or to study scholarly communication.
In recent years there has been an increasing demand for research evaluation within universities and other research-based organisations. In parallel, there has been an increasing recognition that traditional citation-based indicators are not able to reflect the societal impacts of research and are slow to appear. This has led to the creation of new indicators for different types of research impact as well as timelier indicators, mainly derived from the Web. These indicators have been called altmetrics, webometrics or just web metrics. This book describes and evaluates a range of web indicators for aspects of societal or scholarly impact, discusses the theory and practice of using and evaluating web indicators for research assessment and outlines practical strategies for obtaining many web indicators. In addition to describing impact indicators for traditional scholarly outputs, such as journal articles and monographs, it also covers indicators for videos, datasets, software and other non-standard scholarly outputs. The book describes strategies to analyse web indicators for individual publications as well as to compare the impacts of groups of publications. The practical part of the book includes descriptions of how to use the free software Webometric Analyst to gather and analyse web data. This book is written for information science undergraduate and Master’s students that are learning about alternative indicators or scientometrics as well as Ph.D. students and other researchers and practitioners using indicators to help assess research impact or to study scholarly communication.
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