Webometric Analyst is a free Windows-based program for analysis of altmetrics, citations, social media analysis, and webometrics, including link analysis. Practitioners can find where their digital objects and digital collections are being linked to, or run reports for text strings such as repository name, digital object name, or collection name. Reports come in the form of lists that can be saved as text files or spreadsheets. Webometric Analysts can also generate network diagrams of the links between a collection of web sites. Links to digital objects and collections may imply use/reuse, but sources will need to be manually inspected to determine the function of the use/reuse.
Practitioners should follow the practices laid out in the “Ethical considerations and guidelines for the assessment of use and reuse of digital content.” The Guidelines are meant both to inform practitioners in their decision-making, and to model for users what they can expect from those who steward digital collections.
The Webometric Analyst software was created by and is freely available from the University of Wolverhampton (UK). However, some searches require the purchase of and access to a Microsoft Cognitive Services Bing Web Search V7 Key which may be rendered through a free Microsoft email account. According to Microsoft, they collect a wide range of user data based on direct user input, third-party sources, and through automated technologies such as cookies and “web beacons.” This data includes a) personally identifiable data about users such as name, email address, postal address, phone number, social media handle, usernames and passwords, password hints and similar security information, demographic data and payment data, b) device and usage data, including browse history, IP address, and device configuration, and c) content, including all communications (audio, video, text), video or recordings, feedback and ratings, and traffic data.
Case Study: Using link analysis to evaluate the impact of digital collection content
Eccles, Thelwall, and Meyer developed a case study to determine if link analysis using Webometric Analyst would allow practitioners to measure the impact of a digital resource. The researchers started with the assumption that placing web links for digital collections on external pages denoted intellectual impact, since links “indicate awareness and uptake.” Querying the root URL pages for specified digital collections, including the British Library Archival Sound Recordings and the UK Data Archive, the researchers compiled links to external websites that include the quiered URL. They also compiled results for a set of “competitor” websites to make a comparison possible. They found that this method was best suited for digital collection websites that have stable URLs that have not changed over time. They also found that this approach was able to identify a variety of external websites that referenced some of the queried pages, which catered to a variety of audiences (including scholars, bloggers, and genealogists).
Eccles, K. E., Thelwall, M., & Meyer, E. T. (2012). Measuring the web impact of digitised scholarly resources. Journal of Documentation, 68(4), 512-526.