There have been no attempts that I have been able to discover to map the intellectual structure of WWW (or its sub-domains within particular disciplines), other than to use rather traditional manual categorization, as in WWW ``bibliographies'' like the Yahoo service. Even though the usage statistics referenced above show that much WWW use is carried out by students and researchers for the purposes of ``non-commercial'' information seeking, there appear to have been no attempts to apply the sort of analysis developed for citation and cocitation analysis to this vast and growing hypertext network. The notion of citation is fundamental to both the scholarly enterprise and to hypertext networks where it provides the primary mechanism for connection and traversal of the information space (or ``cyberspace'').
Citation analysis was developed in information science as a tool to identify core sets of articles, authors, or journals of particular fields of study. Cocitation analysis has been used to map the topical relatedness of clusters of authors, journals or articles (see [White & McCain1989] for a review of these techniques). It can provide a mapping of the intellectual structure of a disciple, showing significant clustering of topically related authors [White & Griffith1981]. This type of analysis has been shown to be effective in a broad range of disciplines, ranging from author cocitation analysis of scientific subfields [Bayer et al.1990] to journal cocitation analysis of Economics [McCain1991] and Marine Sciences [McCain1992].
The meaning and significance of citation may be quite different in these two environments (scholarly publishing and the WWW), and will be revisited later. The question addressed in this research is whether the types of intellectual mapping of disciples made possible with citation indexes like Science Citation Index (SCI) and cocitation techniques might be applied to charting the contents of cyberspace. If we assume that the WWW is a prototype of the distributed digital libraries of the future, it would be helpful to know if the tools and techniques developed for the analysis of intellect structure in paper-based libraries will be able to make the transition to this network-based environment[Wilensky1995]. The remainder of this paper is concerned with an exploratory cocitation analysis using services and information of the WWW.