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Title: Evaluating the Visibility and Accessibility of Universities Websites in the Muslim World
Authors: Ahmad Bakeri Abu Bakar, Prof. Dr.
Issue Date: 17-Nov-2011
Publisher: International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)
Abstract: Although there are some criticisms by some parties in respect of the criteria used by Times Higher Education in ranking World universities annually it has been proven that the top notched universities occupied almost the same position yearly. For example in 2009 the top three universities in the world arranged according to their positions were Harvard University, University of Cambridge and Yale University. In 2008, the top three universities were Harvard University, Yale University and University of Cambridge. While in the lowest tier although there is some visible volatility, generally speaking, they also exhibit similar pattern as the top rank counterparts . In the Muslim World there is only one university that is listed in the top 200 of world universities for the year 2010/2011. The Alexandria University in Egypt occupies the position of 147 in this list. It is useful to find out whether it is highly visible and accessible as compared to other clusters of universities in the Muslim world. All these universities whether they are occupying the top or lowest positions have a common feature in having university websites. With the introduction of the World Wide Web and graphical browsers in the 1990s the Internet has become widely accessible and many people have grabbed the idea of using it for their multifarious purposes and agenda. They have established all types of websites to foster their mission and visions. They recognize that Internet can enhance their scale of communication through the websites as the Internet is capable of delivering large quantities of information in a speedy manner to the public. All universities in the world have taken advantage of this phenomena by having their own websites. It is envisaged that universities websites do partake in the success or failure of universities to market their programs to the world at large. Perceptions of scholars as to the quality of programs offered by universities could be judged from universities websites. Their judgment might be swayed by what are available in the websites. As Conway and Dorner (2004) pointed out “a party may be providing large amounts of information on its website, but if this information is difficult to find, its usefulness will be reduced. Likewise, a website may offer a high level of interactivity, but if a user cannot access the site it will count for little.” The crux of the problems lies in the visibility and accessibility of those websites. What needs to be addressed is whether there are differences in terms of visibility and accessibility of the websites representing the clusters of universities in the Muslim World. As these websites are around for quite sometimes already it is therefore appropriate to question on how effective are those websites. A study should be conducted to explore the differences.
Description: This paper was presented at the 6th World Congress of Muslim Librarians and Information Scientists 2011 (WCOMLIS 2011), held on the 16-17th November 2011, at the Cultural Activity Centre, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM).
Appears in Collections:Kertas Kerja Persidangan /Seminar

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