Taxonomy of webometrics tools

Isidro F. Aguillo isidro.aguillo at CCHS.CSIC.ES
Thu Jan 7 11:07:05 EST 2010

Measuring the institution’s footprint in the web

Isidro F. Aguillo
Address to request of reprints: isidro.aguillo at

Library Hi Tech, Vol. 27 No. 4, 2009. pp. 540-556

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide an alternative, 
although complementary, system
for the evaluation of the scholarly activities of academic 
organizations, scholars and researchers, based
on web indicators, in order to speed up the change of paradigm in 
scholarly communication towards a
new fully electronic twenty-first century model.
Design/methodology/approach – In order to achieve these goals, a new set 
of web indicators has
been introduced, obtained mainly from data gathered from search engines, 
the new mediators of scholarly
Findings – It was found that three large groups of indicators are 
feasible to obtain and relevant for
evaluation purposes: activity (web publication); impact (visibility) and 
usage (visits and visitors). As a
proof of concept, a Ranking Web of Universities has been built with 
Webometrics data. There are two
relevant findings: ranking results are similar to those obtained by 
other bibliometric-based rankings; and
there is a concerning digital divide between North American and European 
universities, which appear in
lower positions when compared with their USA and Canada counterparts.
Research limitations/implications – Cybermetrics is still an emerging 
discipline, so new
developments should be expected when more empirical data become available.
Practical implications – The proposed approach suggests the publication 
of truly electronic
journals, rather than digital versions of printed articles. Additional 
materials, such as raw data and
multimedia files, should be included along with other relevant 
information arising from more informal
activities. These repositories should be Open Access, available as part 
of the public web, indexed by
the main commercial search engines. It is expected that these actions 
could generate larger web-based
audiences, reduce the costs of publication and access and allow third 
parties to take advantage of the
knowledge generated, without sacrificing peer review, which should be 
extended (pre- and post-) and
expanded (closed and open).
Originality/value – A full taxonomy of web indicators is introduced for 
describing and evaluating
research activities, academic organizations and individual scholars and 
scientists. Previous attempts for
building such classification were incomplete and did not take into 
account feasibility and efficiency.

Isidro F. Aguillo, HonPhD
Cybermetrics Lab
Albasanz, 26-28, 3C1. 28037 Madrid. Spain

Ph. 91-602 2890. Fax: 91-602 2971

isidro.aguillo @

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