Webometric Analysis of Deemed University Websites in India.

Author:Jeyshankar, R.
  1. Introduction

    The great technological revolution has brought in vast amount of and nearly unlimited accessibility of information. The user and his/her ability to shift through the vast sea of information has become the primary research focus in the twenty-first century. Information and knowledge present powerful tools for the advancement of personal and communal life; knowledge of positive use is imperative. The websites of higher education institutions play a major role in communicating the world by providing useful and current information. The interdisciplinary nature of the field of Library and Information Science has caused some of the issues related to information science to be directed at related fields: technology for those involved in computer science and information systems and administration for people engaged in management and organization. Now a days the university websites play the vital role for all the aspects so this study mainly concentrate the deemed university websites in India.

    The term webometrics is a coinage from two modern English words, "web" and "metric". The word web is a short form of WWW. It is the study of the quantitative aspects of the construction and use of information resources, structures and technologies on the WWW drawing on Bibliometrics and Informetrics approaches.

    The term webometrics was first coined by Almind and Ingwersen in the year 1997. It is further expanded as "the study of web-based content with primarily quantitative methods for social science research goals using techniques that are not specific to one field of study", which emphasizes the development of applied methods for use in the wider social sciences. The purpose of this definition was to help publicize appropriate methods outside of the information science discipline rather than to replace the original definition within information science. Similar scientific fields are Bibliometrics, Informetrics, Scientometrics, Virtual ethnography, and Web mining.

    The idea of applying bibliometric techniques to the web was proposed by Almind and Ingwersen (1997). According to them should be defined as the ratio of links made to a website, to the number of pages at the website. Ingwersen distinguished between:

    * The External link WIF, the ratio of external links to the number of pages.

    * The internal or Self WIF, the ratio of internal links within the site to number of pages.

    * The Revised WIF, the ratio of inlinks to the target site, to the number of pages at the site.

    In links from outside represent more effort to point to target pages, and thus contain more valuable information. However, it is not always easy to separate self links from inlinks Li (2003).

  2. Review of Literature

    The academic web is a global source of expertise and also a means to communicate scientific and cultural achievements (Aguillo, Granadino, Ortega, and Prieto, 2005). The impact of electronic publications is far larger than that obtained by traditional journals and books on paper. Websites are the most efficient and cheapest way for boosting all three academic missions: teaching, research and technology transfer. Lack of visibility on the web is leading to a worrying level of academic digital divide (Aguillo, Ortega and Fernandez, 2008). Jeyshankar & Ramesh Babu (2009) have examined websites of 45 universities in Tamil Nadu comprising of 27 state and 18 private universities. This study identifies the domain systems of the websites; analysis the number of WebPages, link pages and calculates the Simple Web Impact Factor, Self Link Web Impact Factor, External Link Web Impact Factor and Revised Web Impact Factor of the university websites in Tamil Nadu and ranks the websites as per the WIF. Reflects that some universities in Tamil Nadu have higher number of WebPages but correspondingly their link pages are very small in number and websites fall behind in their simple, self-link and external link web impact factor.

    There are three key aspects to be measured in the academic web: Size, that is, volume of information published. Visibility, the number of 'situations' (site citations & external inlinks) the domain receives; and popularity as the number of visits or visitors of the web pages (Aguillo, Ortega and Fernandez, 2008).

    Web links studies have been conducted by the scholars and information professionals all over the world since its introduction from Thelwall. Web link research in webometrics research started with Larson, Rousseau, and Almind and Ingweson. They highlighted their research with the citation counts focusing on the Web Impact Factor. Several subsequent studies by Ramesh Babu, Jeyshankar and Rao (2010), Rousseau (1997), and Lee and Park (2012) were carried out with many of them focusing on the Academic institutions like colleges and universities.

    Jeyshankar and Nachiappan (2018) were studied web sites of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) institutions in India. They covered 41 CSIR research institutions in India and establish a kind of ranking of websites of CSIR institutions in India by measuring their WIF. The researcher identified and classified the domain of CSIR institutes' websites in India; and calculated the Number of WebPages, link pages, self -link pages and external link pages of CSIR institutes' websites in India.; To calculate the Simple Web Impact Factor (WIF), Self link Web Impact Factor, External Web Impact factor and Revised Web Impact Factor of CSIR institutes" websites in India and rank them as per the WIF and To analyse the link network of the CSIR websites in India.

    A series of criteria are monitored, but only size (S) and visibility (V) are included in the final ranking. The model states that the ratio between both is 1:1, but in order to reflect the diversity of the academic contents, the size component is split into three to measure raw volume of pages, number of rich files (R), and number of papers collected by Google Scholar (Sc). The last two indicators are relevant as we intend to measure commitment to open access publication. According to the proposed model the ranking (WR) is obtained with the following formula:

    WR = 2*Rank (S)+Rank (R)+Rank (Sc)+4*Rank (V)

    The ratio combining the weights assigned to each element is (2+1+1):4 or 1:1 as intended. Other variants are also acceptable, but empirical tests show they provide results less comparable to other sources. In order to avoid size-related problems, search engines bias, and other factors, the absolute numbers collected were log-normalized, transformed in ordinals and then combined with the aforementioned formula for (WR) (Zitt and Filliatreau, 2007).

  3. Need for the Study

    Today website becomes in dispensable resources among the academic institutions, since it has convenience for transforming the information to the users. Web based indicators and web performance is way to measure to the academic performance of the university. Hence it is essential to measure the performances these academic websites. The metric studies paved way for measuring the websites, the emergence of webometrics enable to identify the performance of academic websites. Hence in this study the deemed university websites were analysed using the webometric principles of web link structure analysis i.e. internal link, external link and back link.

  4. Methods of Data Collection

    This study used Exalead (http://www.exalead.com/search/web/) search engine for collecting data. Exalead advanced web queries was used to find the approximate number of pages in each website that link to one another. The Exalead query is based upon the lexicon of the domain names of webpage URLs. The Exalead has been used to search and...

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