From Webometrics to Altmetrics: One and a Half Decades of Digital Research at Wolverhampton

Jonathan M. Levitt, Mike Thelwall

Abstract


This article describes and summarises the contributions of the Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group (SCRG) at the University of Wolverhampton in the UK to the information science specialisms of Webometrics and altmetrics. In both cases the group created free computer programs for data gathering and analysis. In Webometrics the SCRG developed counting methods for hyperlink analysis and assessed them for collections of different types of website. In addition, it also developed methods for automatically gathering and analysing text on a large scale, both for web citation analysis and for more general social science purposes. It also developed two Webometric theories. In altmetrics, the SCRG analysed the validity of a range of indicators, including counts of tweets and Mendeley readers for academic articles, finding evidence that they associated with citation counts and hence that they had value as altmetrics. The dual purposes of this paper are to give an overview of a range of methods and free tools for Webometrics and altmetrics, and to give a historical overview of the evolution of one information science research group in the hope that others can learn from its successes and failures.

Keywords: altmetrics, webometrics, scientometrics.

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