Online from: 1977
Subject Area: Library and Information Studies
Options: To add Favourites and Table of Contents Alerts please take a Emerald profile
|Title:||The visibility of health web portals for teens: a hyperlink analysis|
|Author(s):||Leanne Bowler, (School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA), Wan-Yin Hong, (School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA), Daqing He, (School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)|
|Citation:||Leanne Bowler, Wan-Yin Hong, Daqing He, (2011) "The visibility of health web portals for teens: a hyperlink analysis", Online Information Review, Vol. 35 Iss: 3, pp.443 - 470|
|Keywords:||Adolescents, Health information, Hyperlinks, Portals, Visibility, Web portals, Web sites, Webometrics|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/14684521111151469 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – The purpose of this study was to analyse the hyperlinks leading to six teen health websites in order to assess the visibility of teen health web portals as well as to discover which websites refer teens to reliable health information.
Design/methodology/approach – An environmental scan of the web was conducted to find sample health websites for teens. Inlink data was gathered using Google Webmaster Tools, and the inlink sources were classified by the type of creator.
Findings – The teen health websites in this study had a low level of visibility on the web compared to general health web portals (such as Medline Plus, for example) and a weak level of referrals from health-related groups compared to other organisations such as schools and public libraries. Many non-healthcare related websites are linking to teen health information, demonstrating that teens' health information needs are being met by sources that lack expertise in health care.
Research limitations/implications – Due to the small sample of six websites, generalisations beyond the context of the study are difficult to infer. The Google Webmaster inlink tool does not guarantee 100 per cent coverage and some inlinks may not have been captured by the tool, although this number is most likely minimal. The results of this study present a snapshot rather than an all-inclusive view of the visibility of teen health websites and offer a starting point for further investigation.
Practical implications – The weak network of inlinks leading from reliable health care providers is a lost opportunity for health care professionals to reach young people.
Social implications – Due to the weak network of inlinks from reliable health information sources, teens may not be accessing accurate and reliable health information. This could have a potential cost in terms of health outcomes.
Originality/value – The study investigates health information for teens, a population that increasingly uses the web as a source for health information. The authors used an approach that has not been used before in the study of teens and health information on the web.
To purchase this item please login or register.
Complete and print this form to request this document from your librarian