Web Search Volume as a Predictor of Academic Fame: An Exploration of Google Trends
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Association for Information Science and Technology
WebometricsWeb search volumeGoogle trendsUniversity rankings
Vaughan, L.; Romero-Frías, E. Web Search Volume as a Predictor of Academic Fame: An Exploration of Google Trends. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 65(4): 707-720 (2014). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/48879]
PatrocinadorThis study is part of a larger project of Web data mining for business intelligence funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
Searches conducted on Web search engines reflect issues of interest to users and to society in general. Google Trends, which provides information about the queries searched by users of the Google Web search engine, is a rich data source from which a wealth of information can be mined. We investigated the possibility of using Web search volume data from Google Trends to predict academic fame. As queries are language dependent, we studied universities from two countries with different languages, the U.S. and Spain. We found a significant correlation between the search volume of a university name and the university’s academic reputation or fame. We also examined the effect of some Google Trends features, namely limiting the search to a specific country or topic category, on the search volume data. Finally, we examined the effect of university sizes on the correlations found to gain a deeper understanding of the nature of the relationships.