ABSTRACT: Web link-based relationships among top European universities
In this paper, an analysis of interlinking between 100 major European universities is given. Since websites contain links to webpages for other organizations, they may reveal the strongest relationships established between two organizations. This analysis of web links allowed us to determine the different behaviours among the universities with regard to incoming or outgoing web links; some universities had significantly greater incoming than outgoing activity. In general, there was a low level of interaction between the universities studied. Also, we observed the existence of geographic–linguistic patterns in establishing links. Five primary nuclei or blocks of universities can be identified: the group composed almost exclusively of universities from the UK; the group composed in large part of German universities, along with some from Switzerland and Austria; the cluster of universities from Mediterranean countries, including various French universities; the group of Belgian and Dutch universities, along with some from French-speaking Switzerland; and finally, the group made up of universities from the Nordic countries. Although there are some universities that overlap with several groups or clusters, the overall design is rather clear. On the other hand, the whole picture seems to agree with the results of other studies based on bibliographic co-authorship production.