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The Deployment and Impact of LibGuides at Public Universities in South Africa
Webometrics techniques were used to establish the extent of deployment and impact of LibGuides at public universities in South Africa using their content, usage, and views. There are 1,166 LibGuides hosted by 16 universities, and published by 299 owners in South Africa giving the country a 0.22% of the world's share of LibGuides, and a 0.22% share of the world's LibGuides owners. Each LibGuide owner in the country owns almost four LibGuides. Close to 70% of public universities in South Africa own LibGuides. The University of the Witwatersrand has more LibGuides than any other university followed by the Universities of Cape Town, South Africa, Johannesburg, Stellenbosch, and others. 68.4% of LibGuides in South Africa are faculty and department LibGuides followed by “how to” guides (8.94%). Another finding was that the Ranking Web of Universities correlates moderately with the university rankings by number of LibGuides in the country meaning that LibGuides may play some role in enhancing or at least proving the extent of a university's Web presence and visibility. The views data shows mixed results as North-West University (NWU) views have increased by close to 571% between 2014 and 2015 while those of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) were inconsistent. The combined CPUT and NWU LibGuides cost R0.56 per view, all other factors such as the time and effort it takes to create LibGuides excluded. The results of this study can be used by libraries to demonstrate the value of LibGuides to academic libraries. Therefore, the continued subscription to LibGuides by academic libraries is supported.