• Automated Web issue analysis: A nurse prescribing case study

      Thelwall, Mike; Thelwall, Saheeda; Fairclough, Ruth (Elsevier, 2006)
      Web issue analysis, a new automated technique designed to rapidly give timely management intelligence about a topic from an automated large-scale analysis of relevant pages from the Web, is introduced and demonstrated. The technique includes hyperlink and URL analysis to identify common direct and indirect sources of Web information. In addition, text analysis through natural language processing techniques is used identify relevant common nouns and noun phrases. A case study approach is taken, applying Web issue analysis to the topic of nurse prescribing. The results are presented in descriptive form and a qualitative analysis is used to argue that new information has been found. The nurse prescribing results demonstrate interesting new findings, such as the parochial nature of the topic in the UK, an apparent absence of similar concepts internationally, at least in the English-speaking world, and a significant concern with mental health issues. These demonstrate that automated Web issue analysis is capable of quickly delivering new insights into a problem. General limitations are that the success of Web issue analysis is dependant upon the particular topic chosen and the ability to find a phrase that accurately captures the topic and is not used in other contexts, as well as being language-specific.