The web as an information source on informetrics? A content analysis

Judit Bar-Ilan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


This article addresses the question of whether the Web can serve as an information source for research. Specifically, it analyzes by way of content analysis the Web pages retrieved by the major search engines on a particular date (June 7, 1998), as a result of the query "informetrics OR informetric." In 807 out of the 942 retrieved pages, the search terms were mentioned in the context of information science. Over 70% of the pages contained only indirect information on the topic, in the form of hypertext links and bibliographical references without annotation. The bibliographical references extracted from the Web pages were analyzed, and lists of most productive authors, most cited authors, works, and sources were compiled. The list of references obtained from the Web was also compared to data retrieved from commercial databases. For most cases, the list of references extracted from the Web outperformed the commercial, bibliographic databases. The results of these comparisons indicate that valuable, freely available data is hidden in the Web waiting to be extracted from the millions of Web pages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-443
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2000
Externally publishedYes


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