Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Webometrics and Launching of UNIMAS New Look Webpage

I attended the launching of our new look website this morning by the Vice Chancellor (VC) at CTF1 UNIMAS.
I must say that UNIMAS is acutely aware as to how persons on the outside look at us. As the VC stated, nowadays a website is like the clothing on our back, if you dont have any you are naked. As Prof Nara added on, some however are clever.. their reality may not be as good as their appearance is (LOL).
Prof Nara highlighted some issues in Webometrics. Webometrics is just another tool to gauge how a website is, but somehow or rather it is now used as a ranking tool of universities, and as such we are forced to play the game. Many people outside of UNIMAS do not know how good we are actually, and many persons in UNIMAS do not tell others of how good they or the University is. We have persons who have done incredible research, published papers, and are worldwide acclaimed (except Sarawak) and nobody knows. No one knows how Webometrics measures a site (see pic below) but its based on 4 things and the percentage for these 4 variables just changed (no more as in the pic).
Thats why we had to upgrade our website, in order to play this game of ranking. The public just sees a ranking of 2000 plus in the world and go 'oh its a bad university' when all the ranking shows is the website issues of size (so the larger universities with more documents on the website will score higher), visibility (number of external links to us.. so pls, to all UNIMAS stakeholders, pls have a link to our website on your blog or website - TQ), rich files (documents - so we need to put up more documents but I really doubt we can 'fight' large universities) and scholar (depending on what is on Google Scholar and Scopus - which means we must follow their rules in uploading documents, which not everyone is keen to do so). But we must proceed or we will be left behind. There are other bodies too that we must meet their requirements for websites.. and our website has a 4 star rating but does anyone know or care?
The new UNIMAS website has more features as discussed in Sarawak Bloggers. Things like a few more language options (working on Arabic too), larger fonts choice, new sites for video and other uploads, search linked to Google - so u can search to microsite level, etc. However, if we do not consistently update the website with news of whats happening at UNIMAS, provide stories for the public to know of us, highlight the research and papers we have, then people will still not know of UNIMAS. That is the challenge. Hopefully this is the start of getting UNIMAS some new 'clothes' that actually depict the truth of UNIMAS standing in the world.
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