• Motivations for academic web site interlinking: evidence for the Web as a novel source of information on informal scholarly communication

      Wilkinson, David; Harries, Gareth; Thelwall, Mike; Price, Liz (Sage, 2003)
      The need to understand authors’ motivations for creating links between university web sites is addressed by a survey of a random collection of 414 such links from the ac.uk domain. A classification scheme was created and applied to this collection. Obtaining inter-classifier agreement as to the single main link creation cause was very difficult because of multiple potential motivations and the fluidity of genre on the Web. Nevertheless, it was clear that, whilst the vast majority, over 90%, was created for broadly scholarly reasons, only two were equivalent to journal citations. It is concluded that academic web link metrics will be dominated by a range of informal types of scholarly communication. Since formal communication can be extensively studied through citation analysis, this provides an exciting new window through which to investigate a facet of a previously obscured type of communication activity.