Through the eyes of Mike Thelwall
About the author , Professor, University of Wolverhampton
PhD degree in Mathematics
Research in quantitative methods to analyze web.
Well-known webometrics researcher
Influenced by: Arasu, Berners-Lee, Bjorneborn,
Cronin, Kling, Lawrence, Spink, Vaughan.
Tomas C. Almind and Peter
Ingwersen coined this term in 1997.
Webometrics involves the quantitative
studies of web phenomenon. 
Mike Thelwall leads the Statistical
Cybermetrics Research Group.
SEARCH ENGINE EVALUATION
070201009998 0603 04 05
SEARCH ENGINE EVALUATION
070201009998 0603 04 05
Can personal web ...
GIVING SOME SHAPE
TO THE FIELD
Web: an Opportunity;
Bibliometrics: an Inspiration
New medium for dissemination and
promoting scholarly research. 
Conversion of entire publishing cycle
to the Internet.
Broad range of research artifacts
(presentations, patents, web sites).
Hyperlinks can be seen as citations. 
Comparing with ISI database:
Web is timelier and can help start
writing about the project without
waiting till the work gets published.
Web is free to access whereas not
everyone can afford access to ISI.
Online papers cited more than
their offline counterpartsLawrence cited
For a discipline-specific set of
journals indexed by ISI, a
significant correlation between the
inlink counts and ISI’s impact
factorVaughen and Hysen (2002) cited in .
Cannot replace Bibliometrics.
Reveal different aspects of
scholarly impact .
Reveal new facets of public
attitudes to academic research.
Webometrics is a subset of
Towards a theory for
Call for conceptualization
Bates (2007) places this field at the
right side of the spectrum and
presents it as a science of
information evolving from
Call for formalizing
Web node diagramBjorneborn and
Ingwersen, in press cited in .
Document models- Top-level
domain, site, directory, page .
Definition Bjorneborn & Ingwersen, in press :
“Webometrics is the study of quantitative
aspects of the construction and use of
information resources, structures and
technologies on the Web.”
Terminology  :
Inlink, Outlink, reciprocally linked,
transversal outlink, isolated, co-outlink, co-
Digging into the details
Units of analysis: links and server log files
Web impact factor (Informal
Inlinks, Outlinks, Contents (impact,
trust, visibility, topic similarity .)
Avg web page size, avg use of
technologies (describing the web  ).
Data Collection: Crawlers, Search
Web content analysis
Web link analysis
Web usage analysis
Web technology analysis.
Web citation analysis 
Author’s finding on Link Analysis &
Links b/w universities correlate significantly
with their research productivity  .
To find the relationship between inlink
counts and the research of host university, it
is appropriate to classify the pages and use
directory model  .
Hyperlinks are rarely used for evaluation
because of the variety of link creation
Promotion, funding and tenure decisions,
university health checks, proximity measures,
international info flows, evolution of research
Other Applications of Webometrics
Web mining, web topology, web clustering 
Analysis of page and search result changes. 
Analysis of Web 2.0 phenomenon
WORDS OF CAUTION!
Research Productivity is different
from web visibility
Search engines have broader coverage
than web crawlers
Evaluation and Prediction
Web: Diversity, size, incompleteness,
looseness and lack of quality control. 
Hyperlinks: Limited extent to which
useful information about scholarly
communication can be extracted  .
Technology: Difficulties in identifying
web pages, because of HTML itself  .
Concept of document: A page may
have multiple docs; & many pages may
be used for a single doc.
Future Implications 
Longitudinal approaches to cope up
with the changing nature of the Web.
More work on analyses of Web 2.0 and
Link Analysis Related
Theory of linking
Framework for interpreting results
Triangulation methods (classification
of pages and links and correlation tests)
Web interface for testing interlinking
Link analysis can be used for fast pilot
studies to identify areas for follow-up
Why read Mike Thelwall
Total number of publications: 102
Citations received: 799
Cybermetrics Lab, CSIS,
ranking of world
universities  .
1. Thelwall, M. (2002). Research dissemination and invocation on the web. Online Information Review,
26(6), 413-420. 2.
2. Thelwall, M., & Harries, G. (2003). The connection between the research of a university and counts
of links to its web pages: An investigation based upon a classification of the relationships of pages
to the research of the host university. Journal of the American Society for Information Science &
Technology, 54(7), 594-602.
3. Thelwall, M., & Harries, G. (2004a). Can personal web pages that link to universities yield
information about the wider dissemination of research? Journal of Information Science, 30(3), 240-253.
4. Thelwall, M., & Vaughan, L. (2004b). Webometrics: An introduction to the special issue. Journal of
the American Society for Information Science & Technology, 55(14), 1213-1215.
5. Thelwall, M., Vaughan, L., & Bjorneborn, L. (2005). Webometrics. Annual Review of Information
Science & Technology, 39, 81-135.
6. Thelwall, M. (2006). Interpreting social science link analysis research: A theoretical framework.
Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology, 57(1), 60-68.
7. Thelwall, M. (2008). Bibliometrics to webometrics. Journal of Information Science, 34(4)
9. Web of science Database
11. Bates, Marcia. 2007. Defining the information disciplines in encyclopedia development.
Information Research 12(4). Accessed at: http://informationr.net/ir/12-4/colis/colis29.html