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One of the many significant affordances of the Internet is its ability to enable one website to link directly to another website, webpage, file, or document through hyperlinks. This entry first conceptualizes hyperlinks in two ways and introduces the concept of hyperlink networks. It then discusses factors that influence hyperlinking choices and network theories that have been used to study hyperlinks. Finally, based on emergent hyperlink research, it suggests several areas for future research.

Advancements in Internet technologies have motivated social science researchers across a variety of fields, including communications, political science, informatics, sociology, and geography, to study the structures and social implications of hyperlinks. Using the network terminology, a hyperlink is a directed link between two entities and the nodes are usually websites, representing a ...

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