CT: Traditionally, the quality of universities and their research are compared using measures such as numbers of published papers, especially those in peer-reviewed journals with high impact factors, and numbers of times that those papers are cited. But such measures do not give the whole picture.
In the days of print-only journals there was no good way to evaluate how many times such papers were actually looked at. The web, however, has changed all that: websites and search engines gather extensive data on page downloads and the relative importance of sites. In other words, they can reveal which papers are read the most and where they are from, as well as the popularity of other, less formal resources on universities’ websites. Of course, the web is much too big and diverse for such results to neatly pop up in a straightforward search. Instead, finding this information has given birth to a whole new field of research, cybermetrics, which is sometimes given the narrower but popular name of webometrics.
Cybermetrics is devoted to the quantitative description of the internet. That means not only the content available on the web (including that in databases, the invisible or deep web), but also the computer-mediated communication (messages exchanged in forums, data for escience), the structure of the physical and virtual networks and even the behaviour of users, amongst other similar topics.
S: http://www.researchinformation.info/features/feature.php?feature_id=149 (last access: 25 February 2015)
N: 1. From cyber (as an element in word formation, ultimately from cybernetics (q.v.); it enjoyed explosive use with the rise of the Internet early 1990s) and metrics (“study of meter,” 1892, variant of metric (n.); also see -ics).
2. The study of the quantitative aspects of the construction and use of information resources, structures and technologies on the whole Internet drawing on bibliometric and informetric approaches.
S: 1. OED – http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=cyber&searchmode=none; http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=metrics&searchmode=none (last access: 25 February 2015). 2. TERMIUMPLUS.