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Abstract

Author Cocitation Analysis (ACA) and Web Colink Analysis (WCA) are examined as sister techniques in the related fields of bibliometrics and webometrics. Comparisons are made between the two techniques based on their data retrieval, mapping, and interpretation procedures, using mathematics as the subject in focus. An ACA is carried out and interpreted for a group of participants (authors) involved in an Isaac Newton Institute (2000) workshop—Singularity Theory and Its Applications to Wave Propagation Theory and Dynamical Systems—and compared/contrasted with a WCA for a list of international mathematics research institute home pages on the Web. Although the practice of ACA may be used to inform a WCA, the two techniques do not share many elements in common. The most important departure between ACA and WCA exists at the interpretive stage when ACA maps become meaningful in light of citation theory, and WCA maps require interpretation based on hyperlink theory. Much of the research concerning link theory and motivations for linking is still new; therefore further studies based on colinking are needed, mainly map-based studies, to understand what makes a Web colink structure meaningful.