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A social science approach for interpreting hyperlink analyses

Date & Time:
16:00:00 - 17:30:00,
Wednesday 8 December, 2004


Various different forms of hyperlink analysis have been developed in a range of different disciplines, drawing upon different research techniques and tackling widely different research questions. In this talk I will set out a framework for social science hyperlink analyses. The purpose of the framework is to learn from the results of previous studies and to serve as a starting point for the development of new approaches.

The potential of hyperlink analysis is that it can exploit an easily accessible source of information, web links, which can be used to cast light on a wide range of human activities that have online reflections or components. This promise does not come without problems, however, and a particular concern is to ensure that quantitative link data are interpreted in a grounded manner.

In addition to covering theoretical issues and reviewing previous research, the talk will give practical guidelines for conducting hyperlink research, particularly as part of wider social sciences investigations.

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  • Professor Mike Thelwall
  • Name: Professor Mike Thelwall
  • Affiliation: University of Wolverhampton
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  • Bio: Mike Thelwall is a professor of information science at the University of Wolverhampton, where he heads the Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group. His research involves developing tools and methods to investigate online phenomena relating to networks, primarily through web links but also through types of text analysis. A book, Link Analysis: An Information Science Approach, is due to be published in December 2004 by Academic Press, giving detailed instructions and advice to help researchers to conduct hyperlink analyses. As part of his web network analysis research, Mike is currently a member of two EU-funded projects, Web Indicators for Science, Technology and Innovation Research (WISER) and Critical Events in Evolving Networks (CREEN).