Assessing the web connectivity of research groups on an international scale.
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The purpose of this paper is to claim that it is useful to assess the web connectivity of research groups, describe hyperlink‐based techniques to achieve this and present brief details of European life sciences research groups as a case study. Design/methodology/approach A commercial search engine was harnessed to deliver hyperlink data via its automatic query submission interface. A special purpose link analysis tool, LexiURL, then summarised and graphed the link data in appropriate ways. Findings Webometrics can provide a wide range of descriptive information about the international connectivity of research groups. Research limitations/implications Only one field was analysed, data was taken from only one search engine, and the results were not validated. Practical implications Web connectivity seems to be particularly important for attracting overseas job applicants and to promote research achievements and capabilities, and hence we contend that it can be useful for national and international governments to use webometrics to ensure that the web is being used effectively by research groups. Originality/value This is the first paper to make a case for the value of using a range of webometric techniques to evaluate the web presences of research groups within a field, and possibly the first “applied” webometrics study produced for an external contract.