• Which academic subjects have most online impact? A pilot study and a new classification process

      Thelwall, Mike; Vaughan, Liwen; Cothey, Viv; Li, Xuemei; Smith, Alastair G. (MCB UP Ltd, 2003)
      The use of the Web by academic researchers is discipline-dependent and highly variable. It is increasingly central for sharing information, disseminating results and publicising research projects. This pilot study seeks to identify the subjects that have the most impact on the Web, and look for national differences in online subject visibility. The highest impact sites were from computing, but there were major national differences in the impact of engineering and technology sites. Another difference was that Taiwan had more high impact non-academic sites hosted by universities. As a pilot study, the classification process itself was also investigated and the problems of applying subject classification to academic Web sites discussed. The study draws out a number of issues in this regard, having no simple solutions and point to the need to interpret the results with caution.