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Original Article

The Webometric Status of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran

Behjat Taheri, Roghayeh Ghazavi, Arash Zahed, Zahra Otroj, Elahe Mazaheri, Nayere-Sadat Soleimanzade-Najafi.

Background: Webometrics refers to the quantitative study of science production, application, structure and technology in the cyber environment. Impact analysis, website collaboration, and recognition of core websites are regarded as the most practical advantages of webometrics. Furthermore, webometrics is applied in ranking studies for universities and academic institutes. This serves as an internationally approved means of academic ranking worldwide. Our study aimed to evaluate the webometric status of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences (IUMS) and its place in the Webometric Ranking of World Universities. We also tried to comment on how to improve the university’s webometric rank at national, regional, and international levels. Material and Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study including all websites of Iranian universities. Census sampling was applied to cover all Iranian university websites. Then the websites were evaluated according to the latest criteria for the international webometric ranking methodology (Cyberometric Lab, July 2012) and their webometric rank at the international level as well as the changes in the rank between July 2012 and January 2013 were analyzed. The webometric rank of IUMS was compared with other medical universities at different levels as well. Findings: According to the findings, from July 2012 to January 2013, IUMS webometric rank improved by 707, 5 and 2 at international, national and ministerial levels, respectively. Moreover, the rank of IUMS for openness rose from 4477 to 193 during the mentioned period (∆ 4284). In excellence, the university rank did not change sensibly (1537 /1538). In the same period, the rank in presence shifted from 1137 to 1091. Meanwhile, growth in website impact was negative as the university impact rank declined from 3369 to 3393. Conclusion: It seems that impact as the most influential ranking indicator fails to grow proportionately as other factors of IUMS website. This is potentially due to the content language (Farsi) which is an important barrier to easy retrieval of information by non-Farsi speakers. However, the scientific content and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) standards of the website need serious improvement.

Key words: webometrics ranking system, Isfahan University of medical sciences

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