All Knowledge Base Articles

What is webometrics?

Webometrics is (a) a set of quantitative techniques for tracking and evaluating the impact of web sites and online ideas and (b) the information science research field that developed these ideas. Webometric techniques include link analysis, web mention analysis, blog analysis and search engine evaluation, but from the perspective of digital library evaluation the main method is link analysis.

How do I collect user feedback?

There are a variety of ways in which resources can set up channels to receive feedback.  These include (but are not limited to):

Focus groups: A short bibliography

Focus groups: Methodology

Adams, A. B., A (2002). 'Digital Libraries in Academia: Challenges and Changes', Digital Libraries: People, Knowledge, and Technology. Berlin/Heidelberg, Springer. 2555: 392-403.

Agar, M. and J. MacDonald (1995). 'Focus groups and ethnography', Human Organization 54(1): 78-86.

Barbour, R. S. and J. Kitzinger (1999). Developing focus group research: politics, theory and practice, Sage.

Interviews: A Short Bibliography

Interviews: Methodology

Berg, B. (2001). Qualitative research methods for the social sciences, Allyn & Bacon.

Briggs, C. (1986). Learning how to ask: A sociolinguistic appraisal of the role of the interview in social science research, Cambridge University Press.

Foddy, W. (1994). Constructing questions for interviews and questionnaires: theory and practice in social research, Cambridge University Press.

Surveys for Evidence of Impact

One common way to gauge awareness of a resource and to ask questions of the users of a resource is to field a survey.  Care must be taken, however, because of the survey fatigue that many Internet users experience as they are repeatedly asked for their views on various websites.  In addition, most users have been taken to very poorly designed surveys on numerous occasions and may be leery of your survey if it appears to be poorly designed or amateurish.

Survey Research: A Short Bibliography

Dillman, D. A. (2007).Internet and interactive voice response surveys (Chapter 11). In Mail and Internet surveys: the tailored design method (2nd edition). Wiley: New York; Chichester.

Couper, M. 2000. ‘Web surveys: a review of issues and approaches’. Public Opinion Quarterly 64:464-494. Available at

TIDSR Survey on the Use of Digitised Resources

The attached Word and PDF files are a sample survey from the OII-JISC TIDSR project.  This survey was designed in late 2008 and administered in February and March of 2009.  It was an opportunistic survey (ie., not a random sample) gathered by announcing the survey to a number of relevant e-mail lists.

This survey was designed with several goals in mind.

What is referrer analysis?

Referrer analysis is a process by which you can determine more specifically how a digital resource is being used. You can find out, for example, if a collection or site is being used in a taught course or if a resource recommended by an academic library. Referrer analysis makes use of several webometric methods, including web log analysis and link analysis.

For a detailed guide and examples, see the attached report.

SCA Audience Analysis Toolkit

The Audience Analysis Toolkit:

The Strategic Content Alliance (SCA) commissioned Curtis and Cartwright to develop an Audience Analysis Toolkit for public sector bodies.

The Audience Analysis Toolkit is now available to download as pdf files at the following link:

About the SCA:

How do I run a webometric link analysis using LexiURL Searcher?

A link analysis can be conducted once a web site has been created and should be conducted periodically, such as every six months, to identify changes in the results over time. Two things are needed to start the link analysis: software and a list of comparable web sites. The link analysis software LexiURL Searcher is recommended here and described below, although it only runs on Windows.

What is LexiURL Searcher?