Showing posts from 2005


These days I am writing the first draft of my thesis since early morning to the late evening and after a day full of writing I like to browse the web for a few minutes as a break. This is quite funny; I research about the web, work with the web, write on the web, and take break by the web! The web is so informative and even a few minutes surfing of this huge ocean of information will provide you with a lot of interesting news. Sometimes we simply forget how amazing the web is and how lucky we are because of having the web. This is a great bonus for everyone. I am really happy that my PhD research is directly related to this fantastic phenomenon.
Anyway, I just came across another conference about the pedagogy in higher education. Like lifelong learning pedagogy is one of my favourite topics. I do not much about it and I would like to know more because I have always been fascinated by the educational aspects of my career as a librarian and my research as a web search researcher. I just …

New Paradigms for Libraries

The 8th International Bielefeld Conference with the title of “Academic Library and Information Services: New Paradigms for the Digital Age” is going to focus on some of the new functionalities of libraries and some areas of works for librarians in 21st century. In the website of the conference there are interesting comments on this issue including:
“Librarians need to facilitate better access to the whole range of information available on the Web, including material found in digital libraries, institutional repositories, Virtual Learning Environments, mailing lists and weblogs … Librarians will have a role as developer, provider or agent”. This is the link to the Bielefeld Conference.

Lifelong Learning

Lifelong learning is one of my favourite subjects and I would like to follow the current issues on this field. The 4th International Lifelong Learning Conference will be held at the Central Queensland University in June 2006. For more details you can look at the conference website and also this map for sub-topics. Now, how lifelong learning does relate to the invisible web? You should answer this question. If you do not know feel free to ask me because I know how it does.

Digital Data: Curation & Longevity

One of the issues that usually remain rather invisible in online information management is preservation of the current electronic information for future. We basically are concerned about how to locate and organize the information resources but what about the preservation and adding value to these resources in long term? Who knows when and how the current storage devices may change in future and how long we can retrieve online documents via the existing devices. Perhaps “Digital Curation Centre” is a good place to explore more about this issue.

The phrase “Digital curation” has been defined in this website as: “Digital curation is all about maintaining and adding value to a trusted body of digital information for current and future use; specifically, we mean the active management and appraisal of data over the life-cycle of scholarly and scientific materials. To find out more follow this link.


I always like the idea of developing subject gateways which focus on a specific area of research or practice. It really does not matter which area is covered by these gateways; I am interested in the idea of specificity in subject gateways, where you see a lot about a little and NOT a little about a lot! You can have a feeling of control on a topic which reduces your anxiety of information overload. Luckily, there are plenty of these subject gateways available on the web. For example, recently the new version of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography became available. According to this website: “The Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography (SEPB) presents selected English-language articles, books, and other printed and electronic sources that are useful in understanding scholarly electronic publishing efforts on the Internet”. This selective bibliography presents over 2,560 articles, books, and other printed and electronic sources that are useful in this area.

My Poster Story

I have recently published a brief piece of writing about my experience of attending a poster competition at the University of Leeds in May 2005. This short article that I have called it “How Could I Win?” was published in the University of Sheffield’s International Student Newsletter, Issue 53, November 2005, page 4. Here is a selection of the article: “…I was one of the fifteen research students form the University of Sheffield who took part in the competition. I really enjoyed attending there and I also learned a few things that are valuable to remember. Firstly, I learned what features a successful poster should possess. At the beginning I supposed it shouldn’t be very difficult to develop a poster to summarize my research project for the public. Nevertheless, very soon I realized it is not as easy as I initially supposed. First of all, I had to avoid any technical term. However, when you are explaining a specialized issue using the terminology of your research topic seems inevitab…

How Big Is the Indexable Web?

According to the result of a recent study carried out by Antonio Gulli and Alessio Signorini the size of the indexable web is estimated to be more than 11.5 billion pages. They reported this result at the special interest tracks and posters of the 14th international conference on World Wide Web in Chiba, Japan, May 2005. The full document is available here.


Just a link to the "The World Summit on the Information Society". It is good to visit this website at least in the last day of the conference.

New Way of Ranking for Universities

There are many methods to rank universities around the world. One of the new methods is looking at their websites to measure the patterns of the hyperlinks to and from them. This new idea of ranking which seems quite reasonable to me comes from Webometrics. I’ll write about the Webometrics later on and for now just invite you to have a look at the ranking here.

The website introduces the whole idea of their ranking system as follow:
“The ranking is based on a combined indicator that takes into consideration the volume of the published material on the web, and the visibility and impact of these webpages measured by the sitations (site citations) or links they received (inlinks). It is derived from the Web Impact Factor, build on the same idea as the bibliographic databases based Impact Factor of the Journal Citation Reports published by the Institute of Scientific Information, now Thomson Scientific.”


This is just a quick link to a meta-search engine called ProFusion powered by Intelliseek company. ProFusion provides its users with deeper search realm over the web. I’ll write more about this search tools later on because this is one the search facilities related to the invisible web and interestingly when you search the invisible web term in Google, ProFusion is one of the first retrieved items. Actually, I should write about it much earlier, but I don’t know for whatever reason I put it off. Anyway, I have further details about ProFusion but I would like you visit it first and if you like try its search ability, then I’ll write my ideas.

Broken Links (Linkrot)

Broken links, dead links or Linkrot are those URLs which are not available anymore and lead to nowhere. This problem might happen for many reasons. For example, they probably have moved form their original place or have been replaced by new information. This can be a very important issue for everybody who uses the web. In fact, broken links are one of the major parts of the opaque web as well. If you have a favourite links collection on your own web browser you probably have already noticed that how quickly these links getting out of date and you need to keep your list up-to-date constantly.

Librarians and the Invisible Web

Librarians and information professionals are responsible for classification of information resources and enhancing the level of information accessibility for end users. Regardless the type and format of the resources dissemination of information and making link between users and their information needs are major concerns of people who work as librarians or information experts. Web facilities provide them to play their important role in new format and of course with new perspectives and more effectiveness. As I have already mentioned it, developing subject gateways, portals and any other type of web-based access sources are very helpful in reducing the level of invisibility of information on the Web. Here is a website which shows a successful example of librarians’ role in the electronic environment. Topsy N. Smalley a librarian at Cabrillo College in California who has developed a website acting as a useful gateway of information to many information resources is a good example of the …

Old Entries

Recently I was thinking how I can bring my old Weblog back to the web. Of course, it will never be the same because what I have written in 2003 might be a bit out-of-date today. However, these old entries are the history of my blogging experience I would like to keep them somehow. As I said in the first entry in the new Weblog I have been developing my Weblog about the invisible web since August 2003 and in June 2005 it disappeared from the web because of a technical problem. Anyway, I suppose the easiest way is to gradually upload the old entries here. Although I do not have the back up of all the entries, I have some of them. So, this is the first one.


Welcome to the Invisible Web Weblog ( Published in 21 August 2003)

This is my first piece of writing for this Weblog. Naturally, at the first entry I should say who I am and what I decide to publish here. O.K, first of all please let me to introduce myself. I am a PhD research student in the department of Infor…

Going beyond Google

CILIP is going to hold a workshop about the invisible web called Going beyond Google in 25 October 2005 in London. For more details please follow this link.

Workshop in Manchester

Yesterday I attended a very useful workshop at the University of Manchester. The Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC) held the workshop called "Re-using Qualitative Data".

Away Day Workshop

I attended a very interesting workshop today at the university from 9:00 in the morning to 4:00 in the afternoon. It was a workshop called “Away Day” for PhD students in our department. It was a good opportunity to learn new things and see new research students.

Ongoing Data Collection

These days I am terribly busy with the final stages of my data collection …

My Homepage

I made some changes in my homepage recently and added a few new items on it. This is my homepage, Yazdan Mansourian Homepage.


The fourth issue of Webology just came out and the journal became one year old. As one of the editorial members of the journal I am personally happy because of its rapid progress over the last year. In this issue I have published the transcription of an interview with one of the senior researchers in the area of web search research.

Mansourian, Y. (2005). "The Past, Present and Future of Web Search Research: An Interview with Dr. Amanda Spink". Webology, 2 (2), Article 15. Available at:

Anchor Text

I attended a very interesting seminar on Tuesday 9 August. David Hawking from CSIRO ICT Centre of Canberra, Australia came to our department to deliver a presentation for people in IS and Computer Deptartment. The seminar was about the anchor text and how useful it might be. Basically the results of his studies confirmed that the anchor text plays an important role on the retrievability of webpages which is much greater that you might imagine. With my great surprise the result of his study confirmed that anchorb text contributes more to web search effectiveness than expensive metadata does. He believed the contents of pages are good enough to show the topics of WebPages for a more relevant retrieve and the web does not need metadata that much. In particular, a little effect of metadata on the increasing the searchability of WebPages does not justify its high expenses.

Recent Presentations

Recently I delivered two presentations based on my PhD research in two conferences. The first one was in Leeds and the second one in Stockholm. The bibliographic information of these two presentations are:

- Mansourian, Yazdan. (2005). Identifying effective factors on the level of information visibility for end users on the web environment, Doctoral Forum ISSI 2005 (10th International Conference of the International Society for Scientometrics and Informatics). Stockholm, Sweden, Sunday 24 July 2005.

- Mansourian, Yazdan. (2005). Enhancement of Information Seeking Efficiency in the Electronic Resources. 13th Iranian Researchers Conference in Europe. The University of Leeds, Leeds, UK, Saturday 2 July 2005. [Online]

Why I am Here

I used to have a nice weblog over the last two years (between August 2003 to June 2005). My old weblog looked like this and it was about my PhD research which is the Invisible Web. However, for a technical reason the server which was its host went off forever and my weblog disappeared from the web. There were more than 170 entries about the phenomenon of the Invisible Web that I had written over the last two years. I liked my weblog very much because it was my learning journal as well and I could see the progress of my research over there. In addition, it was a real hub on this topic and I made hundreds of links to the related materials. Sadly, all these useful materials disappeared now. Unfortunately, I have just backup of a few entries and the remaining left on the invisible web now. I made this weblog here temporarily to find a solution for this problem and then looking for a new permanent home for the invisible web weblog.