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:: urbansheep
urbansheep

[ L ] What is this link doing here? Identifying reasons for academic hyperlink creation

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What is this link doing here? Beginning a fine-grained process of identifying reasons for academic hyperlink creation

Analogies between Web links and citations have been used in information retrieval to improve search engine query matching and in information science to develop link metrics for academic and other Web spaces.

The purpose of this paper is to begin a fine-grained process of differentiating between creation motivations for links in academic Web sites and citations in journals on the basis that they are very different phenomena. A sample of 100 random inter-site links to UK university home pages was used as a starting point for a qualitative exploration and four new types of motivation are postulated.

The term 'ownership' is coined for links acknowledging authorship or co-authorship of a resource, 'social' for links with a primarily social reinforcement role, 'general navigational' for those with a generalinformation navigation function and 'gratuitous' for those that serve no communication function at all. It is argued that all of these form a role unique to the Web, albeit in varying degrees. Compared to citer motivations they are relatively trivial and instead of being primarily socio-cognitive, none are cognitive and the gratuitous are not even social.

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