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Web Metrics for Library and Information Professionals

Jan 2014 | 192pp

Paperback
9781856048743
Price: £54.95
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9781783300686
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Web Metrics for Library and Information Professionals

David Stuart

A practical guide to using web metrics to measure impact and demonstrate value.

The web provides an opportunity to collect a host of different metrics, from those associated with social media accounts and websites to more traditional research outputs. This book is a clear guide for library and information professionals as to what web metrics are available and how to assess and use them to make informed decisions and demonstrate value. As individuals and organizations increasingly use the web in addition to traditional publishing avenues and formats, this book provides the tools to unlock web metrics and evaluate the impact of this content.

Key topics covered include:

  • Introduction to web metrics
  • Bibliometrics, webometrics and web metrics
  • Data collection tools
  • Evaluating impact on the web
  • Evaluating social media impact
  • Investigating relationships between actors
  • Exploring traditional publications in a new environment
  • Web metrics and the web of data
  • The future of web metrics and the library and information professional.  

Readership: This book will provide a practical introduction to web metrics for a wide range of library and information professionals, from the bibliometrician wanting to demonstrate the wider impact of a researcher’s work than can be demonstrated through traditional citations databases, to the reference librarian wanting to measure how successfully they are engaging with their users on Twitter. It will be a valuable tool for anyone who wants to not only understand the impact of content, but demonstrate this impact to others within the organization and beyond.

1. Introduction

  • Metrics   
  • Indicators   
  • Web metrics and Ranganathan’s laws of library science   
  • Web metrics for the library and information professional   
  • The aim of this book   
  • The structure of the rest of this book  

2. Bibliometrics, webometrics and web metrics   

  • Introduction   
  • Web metrics   
  • Information science metrics   
  • Web analytics   
  • Relational and evaluative metrics   
  • Evaluative web metrics   
  • Relational web metrics   
  • Validating the results   
  • Conclusion     

3. Data collection tools   

  • Introduction   
  • The anatomy of a URL, web links and the structure of the web   
  • Search engines 1.0   
  • Web crawlers   
  • Search engines 2.0   
  • Post search engine 2.0: fragmentation   
  • Conclusion     

4. Evaluating impact on the web   

  • Introduction   
  • Websites   
  • Blogs   
  • Wikis   
  • Internal metrics   
  • External metrics   
  • A systematic approach to content analysis   
  • Conclusions     

5. Evaluating social media impact   

  • Introduction   
  • Aspects of social network sites   
  • Typology of social network sites   
  • Research and tools for specific sites and services
  • Other social network sites   
  • General social media impact   
  • Sentiment analysis   
  • Conclusion     

6. Investigating relationships between actors   

  • Introduction   
  • Social network analysis methods   
  • Sources for relational network analysis   
  • Conclusions    

7. Exploring traditional publications in a new environment   

  • Introduction   
  • More bibliographic items   
  • Full text analysis   
  • Greater context   
  • Conclusion    

8. Web metrics and the web of data   

  • Introduction   
  • The web of data   
  • Building the semantic web   
  • Implications of the web of data for web metrics   
  • Investigating the web of data today   
  • SPARQL   
  • Sindice   
  • LDSpider – an RDF web crawler   
  • Conclusions    

9. The future of web metrics and the library and information professional   

  • How far we have come   
  • The future of web metrics   
  • The future of the library and information professional and web metrics.

"Web Metrics for Library and Information Professionals by David Stuart (Researcher in the Centre for e-Research at King's College London) is a 192 page compendium that provides librarians with an informative and practical introduction to web metrics, bibliometrics, webometrics, and data collection tools. Web Metrics for Library and Information Professionals will enable librarians to evaluate social media impact, web impact, relationships between entities on the web; and explore traditional publications in a new cyberspace environment. Of special note is Stuart's commentary on the future of web metrics and the library professional. A seminal work of impressive scholarship, Web Metrics for Library and Information Professionals is very highly recommended for practicing librarians in community, academic, corporate, and governmental library systems, as well as informational professionals charged with the responsibility for gathering, analyzing, interpreting, and reporting web metrics."
- Midwest Book Review

"Does Web Metrics for Library and Information Professionals provide a strong foundation for LIS professionals to explore the nature and potential of web metrics as a tool for building better web-based information services? The answer is unequivocally yes, and the book is recommended."
- Archives and Manuscripts

"...a very interesting book that covers a range of technical areas. For anyone interested in bibliometrics who wants to better understand how the web presents both challenges and opportunities to the information science community then this is a great introduction. The author is clearly knowledgeable about metrics and makes some useful connections between the applied and research worlds. Any information professional or student wanting a considered overview of some of the key metrics for providing information services in a digital world would be advised to read it."
- Elucidate

 

Dr David Stuart is a researcher in the Centre for e-Research (CERCH) at King’s College London, and an honorary research fellow in the Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group at the University of Wolverhampton, where he was previously Web 2.0 Research Fellow. He has a PhD in information science and regularly writes about library and information science topics for professional journals and magazines. His previous book Facilitating Access to the Web of Data was published by Facet Publishing in 2011.

1. Introduction

This first chapter provides an introduction to the webmetrics for library and information professionals and an overview of the rest of the book.

2. Bibliometrics, webometrics and web metrics

Chapter 2 looks more closely at the variety of metrics that have been adopted within the library community and how they relate to web metrics. Areas such as bibliometrics have an established history within the field and have faced many of the objections that may be levelled against web metrics. While recognizing these limitations, the chapter emphasizes the potential of a wide range of metrics to the community of library and information professionals, as well as the importance of measuring what is important to librarians, and the lessons that may be learnt from the traditional media environment and applied to the web.

3. Data collection tools

Web metrics are heavily reliant on the tools and data that are available, and Chapter 3 considers how these tools have developed and changed over the past two decades in the area of webometrics. There have been four distinct periods of webometric research, as researchers have adjusted to the changing nature of the web and the tools available for investigating it. These periods provide insights into the limitations of web metrics that are caused by the structure of the web and those that are caused by the changing nature of the tools, and potential changes that may occur in the future.

4. Evaluating impact on the web

Despite the rise in third-party social media services, self-hosted content continues to be an important part of many libraries’ web presence, as well as a potential source of information about other organizations and society more generally. Chapter 4 considers metrics for measuring the impact of websites, blogs and other hosted content, from the use of analytic services, to references on the web. It also discusses the use of content analysis to gather additional insights into this highly unstructured data source.

5. Evaluating social media impact

Third-party social media services have an increasingly important role in the hosting of content, providing opportunities for the establishment of new metrics and new problems for data collection. Chapter 5 considers the types of metrics that should be considered for different types of social network sites, and the potential adoption of sentiment analysis enabled by the ever more structured content.

6. Investigating relationships between actors

Web metrics are not restricted to evaluative purposes, but may also be used to provide relational insights on the web and the social web. Chapter 6 considers some of the tools and techniques that are available for mapping and analysing the relationships between online entities.

7. Exploring traditional publications in a new environment

As new genres of online media grow in importance, traditional bibliographic items continue to be the most significant part of most librarians’ work, whether the traditional hard copy format on the shelves, or an electronic version thereof. However, new technologies provide new avenues for the investigation of the impact of traditional formats, whether mentioning texts online, or counting the number of document downloads or bookmarks in Mendeley’s reference manager.

8. Web metrics and the web of data

The web is moving from a web of documents to an ever more semantic web. Not only are library repositories expected to host raw data as well as documents, but websites are increasingly marking up data within web pages. This requires the development of new metrics if we are to understand the data that is being made available and the impact that it is making. This chapter discusses some of the challenges that need to be overcome, and some potential solutions. 

9. The future of web metrics and the library and information professional

The future is likely to bring the introduction of new technologies, increased pressure on library budgets, and a greater emphasis on the use of metrics. The final chapter discusses the challenges and issues this raises for librarians and offers some potential solutions so that librarians can meet future challenges with confidence.