The Web Structure of E-Government - Developing a Methodology for Quantitative Evaluation

May 2006

Petricek, P., Escher, T., Cox, I. J., & Margetts, H. (2006) The Web Structure of E-Government: Developing a Methodology for Quantitative Evaluation. 15th International World Wide Web Conference, Edinburgh, UK, 22-26 May.

by Vaclav Petricek (UCL Computer Science), Tobias Escher (UCL School of Public Policy),
Ingemar J. Cox (UCL Computer Science) and Helen Margetts (UCL and Oxford Internet Institute)

This paper has been presented at the E-Applications Track of the 15th International World Wide Web Conference in Edinburgh (23rd - 26th May 2006) and is also being published in the conference proceedings.

In the presentation we give an overview about the main findings of our project. It reports our metrics as calculated for the Foreign Offices of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. In addition it summarizes the results of our user study that included 135 subjects and which was conducted in order to analyse how well our metrics correlate with the performance of real users of these sites.

In the paper we describe preliminary work that examines whether statistical properties of the structure of websites can be an informative measure of their quality. Our aim is to develop a new method for evaluating e-government. E-government websites are evaluated regularly by consulting companies, international organizations and academic researchers using a variety of subjective measures. We aim to improve on these evaluations using a range of techniques from webmetric and social network analysis.
To pilot our methodology, we examine the structure of government audit office sites in Canada, the USA, the UK, New Zealand and the Czech Republic. We report experimental values for a variety of characteristics. These measures are expected to correlate with (i) the navigability of a website and (ii) with its “nodality” which is a combination of hubness and authority. There appears to be some correlation between the values measured and the league tables reported in the literature. However, this multi-dimensional analysis provides a richer source of evaluative techniques than previous work.

This publication is part of the Participation in Internet-mediated Interactions project.

Presentation: Web Structure of E-Government (updated 31.05.2006)823.97 KB
Paper: Web Structure of E-Government (updated 01.03.2006)1.36 MB


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