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Next: Future Research Up: Bibliometrics of the Previous: Results and Discussion


The exponential growth of the WWW, its diversity and uncontrolled nature, has led some critics to characterize it as a vast cybernetic wasteland where random bits of information might be located by chance browsing.

The results of this experiment in applying cocitation analysis methods to the WWW seem clear. The method produced quite reasonable and comprehensible clusterings of WWW sites that had topical similarities. Although this is only one preliminary examination of a single field, I believe that it shows that the method does work using the hypertext linkages of the WWW, much in the same way as it works using journal or author cocitation in the scholarly literature of a field. This is an exciting and provocative discovery. It would seem to indicate that a ``new'' tool for mapping the intellectual terrain of the WWW is now available for scholars seeking to define and map this terrain.

Ray Larson
Mon Jul 29 09:00:12 PDT 1996