"From Bibliometrics to Webometrics: A Case Study"
The field of bibliometrics is concerned with conducting quantitative analyses of documents, traditionally printed ones such as books and journal articles. For this Impact Factor (IF) is used. On the other hand, Webometrics is the application of informetric and other quantitative techniques to the study of the Web. One of the most popular measures for this is the Google PageRank (PR). We attempt in this paper to compare these indices in complexity related research field. This has become particularly important in the recent years with the advent of many web-based publication activities where there is no scope of formal print version (and hence of IF). On the other hand, many print-only publications have set up web sites and on-line versions for readers (hence, there is PR of them). Particularly, we shall discuss the relative importance of such sites with the example of the Complexity Digest (ComDig)- a weekly publication of complexity related excerpts and links with data available since 1999. For this purpose, we collected both IF (2001) and PR of 24 journals. The objective was to study whether a journal with high (low) impact factor attract more visitors to its online version and thus gather a higher (lower) PR. We plotted the (IF/PR) for each journal and could not find any visible relation between IF and PR- although expected. Apart from other factors for these, the very way PR is calculated casts some doubt. We then attempt to compare the PR of some of the most widely known complexity related web sites. We also analyzed the pattern of the visits to the ComDig site both manually and algorithmically. We thoroughly investigated the incoming links to the ComDig site, keeping in mind the fact that the incoming links (‘votes’) increase the PR as explained by Google. We also describe outward links, that also count as important factor in PR calculation. Finally, we discuss more content based activities that are not directed to a higher PR only and which include of incoming and outgoing links. These may lead to new evaluation system of web citation metric -different from PR.