The Internet offers the possibility to create networks of websites, and with the capabilities of online communication it can strength the links between institutions that are geographically distant. While this could bring distant institutions together it can also pose a challenge to the networks on the real world which are trying to cope with it by means of their websites, newsletters, list of links and projects. It is also expected that each institutional website can develop a good link network by means of its strategies of communication, and of the information quality it offers. But what is the virtual map of a network? Is it really different from an expected geographical or language map? In what sense the Internet is really crossing the distance barrier? Using webometrics methodologies we approached the issue of the network relationship between science centres and museums with a selected set of 46 websites affiliated to ECSITE (European Network of Science Centres and Museums) using as a criteria the number of links received by each website. These websites were subjected to a Boolean search on the AltaVista Search Engine (www.altavista.com) using the method of site co-citation analysis to create a co-citation matrix. On this matrix we represent the number of pages that have links pointed to a pair of websites. A clustering graphic was built up showing the visual relations among these websites. We could than evaluate the influence of real world geographical and language distribution patterns in establishing this network, and the analyses of the results indicates these kind of influences on clustering formation among the websites studied. We also compare these study with previouly published results from Latin-American science centres and museums websites* in wich language played a prominent role in cluster formation. The generation of these Internet maps can be of great use to understand if the Internet expectations are being accomplished.

 

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 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Site co-citation analysis of a set of Ecsite science centres and museums websites
An example of webometrics applied to PCST institutions

Fabio Gouveia   Fundação Oswaldo Cruz

Eleonora Kurtenbach   Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

The Internet offers the possibility to create networks of websites, and with the capabilities of online communication it can strength the links between institutions that are geographically distant. While this could bring distant institutions together it can also pose a challenge to the networks on the real world which are trying to cope with it by means of their websites, newsletters, list of links and projects. It is also expected that each institutional website can develop a good link network by means of its strategies of communication, and of the information quality it offers. But what is the virtual map of a network? Is it really different from an expected geographical or language map? In what sense the Internet is really crossing the distance barrier? Using webometrics methodologies we approached the issue of the network relationship between science centres and museums with a selected set of 46 websites affiliated to ECSITE (European Network of Science Centres and Museums) using as a criteria the number of links received by each website. These websites were subjected to a Boolean search on the AltaVista Search Engine (www.altavista.com) using the method of site co-citation analysis to create a co-citation matrix. On this matrix we represent the number of pages that have links pointed to a pair of websites. A clustering graphic was built up showing the visual relations among these websites. We could than evaluate the influence of real world geographical and language distribution patterns in establishing this network, and the analyses of the results indicates these kind of influences on clustering formation among the websites studied. We also compare these study with previouly published results from Latin-American science centres and museums websites* in wich language played a prominent role in cluster formation. The generation of these Internet maps can be of great use to understand if the Internet expectations are being accomplished.

 

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