The World Wide Web of Science: Emerging Global Sources of Expertise
16 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2009
Date Written: March 1, 2006
The aim of this research project (ESRC RES-160-25-0031) was to assess whether and to what extent the Internet and the Web could be transforming access to sources of scientific expertise. There are competing theoretical perspectives, either for a concentration effect for the most heavily linked and accessed sites (driven by 'power laws' or a winner-takes-all effect) or for a greater diversification or 'democratization' of online resources. This led to a number of related questions, such as whether the Internet is associated with the use of more global versus local sources of expertise? Are there differences across disciplines? How central a role is the Internet playing in shaping access to information and expertise among scientists? In addition to these substantive questions, the project also sought to contribute to the development and application of Webmetric techniques, and their combination with in-depth interviews and focus groups. The project team found that this triangulation yielded greater insight into the role of the Internet in accessing different sources of expertise.
Keywords: internet, access to scientific information, webmetrics, knowledge
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation