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Indirect estimation of quality in academic and R&D websites using indexes of the effort needed to build, organise and maintain the webpages

AutorAguillo, Isidro F.
Palabras claveAcademic websites
Web indicators
Fecha de publicaciónoct-2003
CitaciónAoiR 4.0 Broadening the Band, Toronto (Canada)
ResumenA great effort is needed to create and maintain a website. If an academic or research related site is involved, the issues related to the correct arrangement of the information and the quality of the contents are key for the success of the web publication. Many scientists are already publishing webpages, extending the concept of personal page to become mini-portals with large directories of resources, small repositories of documents, data or software and other specialised services. This extra work is not really recognised in any evaluation of scientific output, but it is becoming more important as more aspects of the scientific activities are shown and a greater audience is reached.
Taking into account the huge effort devoted to build a website, it could be interesting describing it by means of quantitative indicators. It can be possible to consider not only amount of information provided, but also the complexity of the organisation of the site, the diversity of relationships established by means of hypertext links and the devotion needed for periodic updating of such contents. These figures can be interpreted as a way to a formal quality evaluation of the website and it can be interesting to correlate them with the other indicators of quality currently available.
The proposal intends to measure the characteristics of the institutional domains of 100 randomly selected institutions of the world research list provided by the ISI Essential Indicator database. The number of citations to papers published by authors located in those institutions can be considered a measure of impact in standard scientometrics, a good approximation to quality measurement. Several web measurements will be calculated for each one of these institutional domains including counting objects, estimating their size, the degree of connectivity of the system and the complexity of the pages. Combining these values into a unique effort index will allow comparison with scientometric indexes.
However, the paper does not only focus on the comparability of these global effort indicators with the more traditional scientometric ones, but its aim is also to discover correlations among individual webometric indicators and scientific output values trying to understand the meaning of the new indicators and their possible uses for describing and evaluating R&D activities not leading to formal paper publications. A final discussion about extension of the web indicators to other non-research related areas is included.
Aparece en las colecciones: (CCHS-IEDCYT) Comunicaciones congresos
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