Vreeland, Law libraries in hyperspace: A citation analysis o f World Wide Web sites
gwhitney at UTKUX.UTCC.UTK.EDU
Tue May 16 18:30:50 EDT 2000
Commentary from M. Meher, ISI
E-Mail for Robert C. Vreeland : vreeland at email.unc.edu
TITLE: Law libraries in hyperspace: A citation analysis of World Wide Web
AUTHOR: Vreeland RC
JOURNAL: LAW LIBRARY JOURNAL 92: (1) 9-25 WIN 2000
Document type: Review Language: English Cited References: 104
Times Cited: 0
Vreeland RC, Univ N Carolina, Ctr Publ Televis, Res Triangle Pk, NC USA.
Univ N Carolina, Ctr Publ Televis, Res Triangle Pk, NC USA.
Univ N Carolina, Law Lib, Chapel Hill, NC USA.
AMER ASSN LAW LIBRARIES, CHICAGO
Copyright © 2000 Institute for Scientific Information
Please visit their website at www.isinet.com
It is unfortunate that an interesting article like this one does not include
an abstract. However, the "Summary of Results" and "Applications of This
Research" are somewhat helpful. The abstract of this paper is but one
sentence but it is a powerful conclusion.... "Mr. Vreeland suggests the use
of citation analysis as an appropriate objective standard for measuring and
evaluating law library Web sites."
SUMMARY OF RESULTS:
"The presence of the 80/20 distribution for library site luminosity, while
interesting as a bibliometric phenomenon, is something of a disappointment.
It indicates that a small portion of sites are providing most of the labor
and thought for the entire community. One author, finding similarly small
percentages of highly useful sites, concluded that half of the servers in
his subject area "designed, financed, constructed and maintained in all
parts of the world could be safely switched off, not only without any loss
to anyone, but actually to the great benefit of all serious Net users."
Perhaps many of the less impressive pages exist only because of the 'gold
rush' mentality, which encourages a sense of false urgency. There appears
to be a widespread belief that a presence on the Web (even a poor one) is
better than having no presence at all." However, having a Web site that no
one uses is functionally equivalent to having no site at all."
APPLICATION OF THIS RESEARCH
'Currently information of this nature is of use primarily to library
webmasters. However, these research methods could increase in importance
if, as some have suggested, the ABA elects to pay more attention to
electronic services in its evaluations of law libraries. Although ABA
accreditation standards now recognize electronic resources as part of a
library collection, no particular provision has been made for the evaluation
of Internet resources, except in the context of distance learning.
Traditional ABA measures have dealt with the size of library collections,
but on the internet, the marginal cost of increasing "collection" size is
very close to zero, so substantial differences in the extent of Web site
coverage will not be reflected in traditional economic data. The citation
analysis methods proposed in this article provide a more effective tool for
evaluating the quality of Web sites."
Figure 4 contains a list of the most "Most Visible External URLs" that are
linked at least 30 times, while Figure 5 is a ranked listing by visibility.
The article contains 107 footnotes most of which are accompanied by the
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