A comparison of sources of links for academic Web impact factor calculations
AbstractThere has been much recent interest in extracting information from collections of Web links. One tool that has been used is Ingwersen¿s Web impact factor. It has been demonstrated that several versions of this metric can produce results that correlate with research ratings of British universities showing that, despite being a measure of a purely Internet phenomenon, the results are susceptible to a wider interpretation. This paper addresses the question of which is the best possible domain to count backlinks from, if research is the focus of interest. WIFs for British universities calculated from several different source domains are compared, primarily the .edu, .ac.uk and .uk domains, and the entire Web. The results show that all four areas produce WIFs that correlate strongly with research ratings, but that none produce incontestably superior figures. It was also found that the WIF was less able to differentiate in more homogeneous subsets of universities, although positive results are still possible.
CitationThelwall, M. (2002), "A comparison of sources of links for academic Web impact factor calculations", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 58 No. 1, pp. 66-78.
PublisherMCB UP Ltd
JournalJournal of Documentation
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published by MCB UP Ltd in Journal of Documentation on 01/02/2002, available online: https://doi.org/10.1108/00220410210425412 The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.