S&T, Web and Information Society Indicators: Building a new scenario
Author(s)Aguillo, Isidro F.
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AbstractThere is a growing interest in the EU in developing more and better indicators for the Information Society. The current group of statistics available for the R&D activities has been expanded and improved but they are largely excluding most of the Internet activities. The greatest concern is about the description and evaluation of the scientific knowledge generated in the Webspace. The web contents could provide new light in the understanding of the formal and informal scholar and scientific communication is taking place in the Information Society.
The enlarged EU provides an excellent opportunity to test the usefulness of the web indicators for describing meaningful patterns if both traditional scientometric and new Information Society indicators are involved. A series of web indicators is proposed including definitions, the problems faced for obtaining them, several proposed applications and the shortcomings of their use.
Three large groups are considered: size, visibility and popularity. The data are obtained by indirect methods using commercial search engines to extract the figures for each measurement. The data for the universities of the 25 EU countries were collected from their institutional web presence. Over 2000 universities with web presence were identified in 25 different countries. Using Google and Yahoo data, the web size, visibility and impact indicators were calculated for each university. Popularity relative ranking were built using Alexa listings. The results were presented in different levels of geographical aggregation and listings of institutions with the highest values are showed. Data about other scientometric and telecom indicators were collected from public sources including EU and international organizations. The results show a correlation among web indicators and others related with scientific competence, productivity and impact of the universities involved. Open universities are specially favoured by the popularity indicator while visibility combined with size is a good indicator for academic performance.
In: Proceedings [of the] 8th Science and Technology Indicators Conference, Leiden (The Netherlands).