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Wolverhampton Intellectual Repository and E-Theses > Research Institutes > Research Institute in Information and Language Processing > Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group > Interpreting social science link analysis research: A theoretical framework

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2436/27334
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Title: Interpreting social science link analysis research: A theoretical framework
Authors: Thelwall, Mike
Citation: Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 57 (1): 60-68
Publisher: Wiley
Journal: Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Issue Date: 2006
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2436/27334
DOI: 10.1002/asi.20253
Additional Links: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/112127295/abstract
Abstract: Link analysis in various forms is now an established technique in many different subjects, reflecting the perceived importance of links and of the Web. A critical but very difficult issue is how to interpret the results of social science link analyses. It is argued that the dynamic nature of the Web, its lack of quality control, and the online proliferation of copying and imitation mean that methodologies operating within a highly positivist, quantitative framework are ineffective. Conversely, the sheer variety of the Web makes application of qualitative methodologies and pure reason very problematic to large-scale studies. Methodology triangulation is consequently advocated, in combination with a warning that the Web is incapable of giving definitive answers to large-scale link analysis research questions concerning social factors underlying link creation. Finally, it is claimed that although theoretical frameworks are appropriate for guiding research, a Theory of Link Analysis is not possible.
Type: Article
Language: en
Keywords: Link analysis
Social sciences
Research methods
Analytic models
ISSN: 15322882
15322890
Appears in Collections: Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group
Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group

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