IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Linking as voting: how the Condorcet jury theorem in political science is relevant to webometrics

Listed author(s):
  • George Masterton

    (Lund University)

  • Erik J. Olsson

    ()

    (Lund University)

  • Staffan Angere

    (Lund University)

Registered author(s):

    Abstract A webmaster’s decision to link to a webpage can be interpreted as a “vote” for that webpage. But how far does the parallel between linking and voting extend? In this paper, we prove several “linking theorems” showing that link-based ranking tracks importance on the web in the limit as the number of webpages grows, given independence and minimal linking competence. The theorems are similar in spirit to the voting, or jury, theorem famously attributed to the 18th century mathematician Nicolas de Condorcet. We argue that the linking theorems provide a fundamental epistemological justification for link-based ranking on the web, analogous to the justification that Condorcet’s theorems bestow on majority voting as a basic democratic procedure. The analogy extends to the practical limitations facing both kinds of result, in particular due to limited voting/linking independence. However, we argue, referring to the theoretical developments inspired by the jury theorem, that some of the pessimism expressed in the webometrics literature regarding the possibility of a “theory of linking” may be unjustified. The present study connects the two academic disciplines of webometrics in information science and epistemic democracy in political science by showing how they share a common structure. As such, it opens up new possibilities for theoretical cross-fertilization and interdisciplinary transference of concepts and results. In particular, we show how the relatively young field of webometrics can benefit from the extensive and sophisticated literature on the Condorcet jury theorem.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s11192-016-1837-1
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Springer & Akadémiai Kiadó in its journal Scientometrics.

    Volume (Year): 106 (2016)
    Issue (Month): 3 (March)
    Pages: 945-966

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:106:y:2016:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-016-1837-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s11192-016-1837-1
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springer.com

    Web page: http://akkrt.hu/

    Order Information: Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/11192

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as
    in new window


    1. Ladha, Krishna K., 1995. "Information pooling through majority-rule voting: Condorcet's jury theorem with correlated votes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 353-372, May.
    2. Spiekermann, Kai & Goodin, Robert E., 2012. "Courts of Many Minds," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(03), pages 555-571, July.
    3. Dietrich, Franz & Spiekermann, Kai, 2013. "Epistemic Democracy With Defensible Premises," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 29(01), pages 87-120, March.
    4. Dietrich, Franz, 2008. "The Premises of Condorcet's Jury Theorem Are Not Simultaneously Justified," Research Memorandum 012, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    5. Lloyd Shapley & Bernard Grofman, 1984. "Optimizing group judgmental accuracy in the presence of interdependencies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 329-343, January.
    6. Michael Schweinberger & Mark S. Handcock, 2015. "Local dependence in random graph models: characterization, properties and statistical inference," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 77(3), pages 647-676, 06.
    7. Serguei Kaniovski, 2010. "Aggregation of correlated votes and Condorcet’s Jury Theorem," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 69(3), pages 453-468, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:106:y:2016:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-016-1837-1. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)

    or (Rebekah McClure)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.