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Number of Hosts

Total

Normalized

212

10.6

55

11.5

34

10.6

456

12.1

1905

10.3

CA

647

32.4

0.9%

47%

CZ

89

18.5

1%

90%

NZ

39

12.2

0.1%

100%

UK

2515

66.9

7.6%

57%

US

8594

46.5

13.5%

9%

Number of External Inlinks

% of Pages Receiving

% of Links to Top

Total

Normalized

Links

Page

% of Government Hosts

Number of Different

Governments

Audit Offices

25% 20% 44% 18% 12%

15 10 10 25 7

11 8 7 20 2

Table 6. Inlink analysis of audit

offices’ websites.

vd (G) vV (G)

| ) ( m a x ) ( | ) ( d G V j d j c v c

This variation is then set into relation to the variation in a network of the same size with maximum centralization, that is a star- network:

Cd (G)

cd (G) ) ( * n d S c

From the definition the coefficient Cd takes values between 0 and 1 with one for a most centralized star–network.

The centralization measure can assist in the interpretation of our earlier measure of the datasets’ diameter and average distance. This is because there are basically two ways to achieve a low distance between pages as well as a large strongly connected component – either a website can be built by simply linking all pages directly to a hub page, or by linking every page to different relevant pages on the site. While both methods will reduce the average distance between pages, the former results in a highly centralized network, while the latter creates a much more distributed network. We note that New Zealand is the most centralized network. However, further analysis is needed to determine the nature of this centralization.

4.2 External Connectivity

The previous sections analyzed the internal structure of the websites in our sample. It is hoped that analysis of the internal structure can provide a quantitative measure of the navigability of the websites. However, such an analysis does not relate to the “nodality” of political science, a concept that is akin to the hubness and authoritativeness of a site. To do so, requires broadening the analysis beyond the website itself, by establishing what are the links between the websites in our sample and other websites. Note that in the following analysis, inlinks and outlinks refer to links that come from or go to a node that is not part of the website under study.

offices of large countries such as the United States, which have very high Internet penetration, and those audit offices that operate in smaller countries where less people have access to the Internet. Therefore we normalized the total number of incoming links to a website by the number, in millions, of Internet users in the country [34]. It is worth noting that this normalization is particular to governments online, in contrast to company websites for example. Although everyone can link to a national audit office’s website, regardless of whether they are a citizen of that particular country, the very function of these institutions is primarily of interest to citizens of that country. This is supported by the finding that the majority of external inlinks originate from websites within the same country domain (see Figure 3). After normalization, we observe that the UK is ranked highest, i.e. is most authoritative, followed by the US and CA.

A site that offers a variety of useful information is more likely to receive links to many of its pages, not just to its home page. We therefore measure the proportion of pages on a website receiving external links. We argue that the higher this value is, the more useful information is likely to be offered by the site. Additionally, we determined the proportion of external links pointing to the home page. We believe that a low proportion of links to a home page is better, as this probably indicates that external sites are pointing to specific, useful information on the site rather than pointing to an audit office as an institution. By this measure, we observe that all pointers to NZ are generic, while only about 9% of inlinks to the US point to the home page.

The total number of inlinks does not reveal their distribution. For example, all inlinks might originate from a single external site. We believe it is better if the inlinks come from a variety of external sources. We report the number of different hosts pointing to each site. Again, we normalize this measure by millions of Internet users in country. Interestingly, although the US exhibits by far the largest number of hosts the normalized measure suggests that both the UK and even CZ are in fact linked to by more different websites than the North American audit offices.

4.2.1 Inlink Analysis Following the common interpretation of a link as an endorsement, we look at number and type of links a website receives. The total number of inlinks, as reported in Table 6, can be interpreted as an indicator of a site’s visibility or authority. We observe that the number of inlinks is very high for the UK and US.

However, the total number of inlinks does not reflect the fact that some countries have a very much smaller population than others. We therefore believe that it is appropriate to normalize the number of inlinks to a website by the estimated size of the internet population of the associated country. Consider the audit

As we are interested in e-government, the links between different national governments are of interest as well as the external links within the national government of the country. These are tabulated in Table 6 and graphically illustrated in Figure 3. We see in Figure 3 that the websites in the sample differ in the proportion of inlinks originating from other government domains. Still, it can clearly be seen that the majority of websites pointing to an audit office is non-governmental, indicating that the relevance of these institution extends beyond the institutionalized political system. In fact, as one would hope, business interest is strong – about a third of inlink sources are commercial. Furthermore, national audit offices really seem to be ‘national’

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