Mapping the UK Webspace: Fifteen Years of British Universities on the Web

Proceedings of WebSci, 2014

9 Pages Posted: 12 May 2014 Last revised: 13 May 2014

See all articles by Scott Hale

Scott Hale

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute

Taha Yasseri

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute

Josh Cowls

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute

Eric T. Meyer

UT Austin iSchool; University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute

Ralph Schroeder

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute

Helen Zerlina Margetts

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Date Written: May 10, 2014

Abstract

This paper maps the national UK web presence on the basis of an analysis of the \utt{.uk} domain from 1996 to 2010. It reviews previous attempts to use web archives to understand national web domains and describes the dataset. Next, it presents an analysis of the \utt{.uk} domain, including the overall number of links in the archive and changes in the link density of different second-level domains over time. We then explore changes over time within a particular second-level domain, the academic subdomain \utt{.ac.uk}, and compare linking practices with variables, including institutional affiliation, league table ranking, and geographic location. We do not detect institutional affiliation affecting linking practices and find only partial evidence of league table ranking affecting network centrality, but find a clear inverse relationship between the density of links and the geographical distance between universities. This echoes prior findings regarding offline academic activity, which allows us to argue that real-world factors like geography continue to shape academic relationships even in the Internet age. We conclude with directions for future uses of web archive resources in this emerging area of research.

Keywords: Information Interfaces and Presentation, Hypertext, Hypermedia, Group and Organization Interfaces, Web-based interaction, Human factors, Measurement

Suggested Citation

Hale, Scott and Yasseri, Taha and Cowls, Josh and Meyer, Eric T. and Schroeder, Ralph and Margetts, Helen Zerlina, Mapping the UK Webspace: Fifteen Years of British Universities on the Web (May 10, 2014). Proceedings of WebSci, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2435481

Scott Hale

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford OX1 3PG Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

Taha Yasseri

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/people/yasseri/

Josh Cowls

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford OX1 3PG Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

Eric T. Meyer (Contact Author)

UT Austin iSchool ( email )

Austin, TX
United States

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St Giles
Oxford, OX1 3JS
United Kingdom
01865 287210 (Phone)
01865 287211 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/people/?id=120

Ralph Schroeder

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Helen Zerlina Margetts

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford ( email )

1 St Giles
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk

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