How did university departments interweave the Web: A study of connectivity and underlying factors

Chaomei Chen, Julian Newman, Rhona Newman, Roy Rada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents two studies of the use of the WWW in Scottish universities and American land-grant universities. First, we investigated the relationship between the organisational profile of a university department in Scotland and its structural connectivity on the WWW. A Spearman rank order correlation analysis revealed a number of strong correlation relationships between structural connectivity measures and the organisational profile based on research assessment exercise ratings, teaching quality assessments, student-staff ratios and funding levels. Linkage patterns from 13 Scottish academic sites to commercial sites in Britain and America highlighted the impact of culture and the appropriateness of information technologies on the acceptance of the WWW. The second study is a content survey of WWW-based education activities in American land-grant universities to investigate successful applications of these enabling techniques in education. The two studies together highlighted cultural, political and technological interactions in the use of the WWW.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-373
Number of pages21
JournalInteracting with Computers
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1998

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
In Britain, traditionally the main sources of research income for universities were the block grants from the University Funding Council (UFC) and Research Council (RC) grants. Since 1988, the system has undergone a radical change. The allocation of funding is made more as a function of performance. Funding is allocated according to criteria which are largely established by a periodic Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). The competitive nature of the public funding allocation process has a number of implications. In particular, a culture of interdisciplinary cooperation is becoming an increasingly significant factor in industrially relevant research and a culture of inter-university collaboration is encouraged.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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