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Link and co-inlink network diagrams with URL citations or title mentions



Webometric network analyses have been used to map the connectivity of groups of websites to identify clusters, important sites or overall structure. Such analyses have mainly been based upon hyperlink counts, the number of hyperlinks between a pair of websites, although some have used title mentions or URL citations instead. The ability to automatically gather hyperlink counts from Yahoo! ceased in April 2011 and the ability to manually gather such counts was due to cease by early 2012, creating a need for alternatives. This article assesses URL citations and title mentions as possible replacements for hyperlinks in both binary and weighted direct link and co-inlink network diagrams. It also assesses three different types of data for the network connections: hit count estimates, counts of matching URLs, and filtered counts of matching URLs. Results from analyses of U.S. library and information science departments and U.K. universities give evidence that metrics based upon URLs or titles can be appropriate replacements for metrics based upon hyperlinks for both binary and weighted networks, although filtered counts of matching URLs are necessary to give the best results for co-title mention and co-URL citation network diagrams.