13 of the World’s Top 20 Universities Misspell ”University” on Their Own Website

Sydney, Australia, July 7, 2009 – An analysis by enterprise website spell checking platform spellr.us has revealed that on average, 14.2% of web pages on the world’s most prestigious university websites contain at least one genuine spelling error.

The annual spellr.us Higher Education Online Content Survey found that these spelling mistakes ranged from obscure, easy to overlook slip-ups to obvious and embarrassing blunders.

The word “university”, for example, was misspelled by 13 of the world’s top 20 educational institutions. Other significant errors included Harvard Law School’s misspelling of “professor” on a primary navigation menu, and Ivy League neighbour Yale University’s misspelling of “Yale University” (see images below).

The survey results were gathered using spellr.us, which automatically examined the first 1000 pages of the world’s top 20 universities (as ranked by the Times Higher Education – Quacquarelli Symonds Report) for spelling errors, broken links and broken images.

McGill University had the fewest errors, with 34, and Duke University had the most, with 300. The top 5 misspelled words on the websites were “accommodation,” “technology,” “university,” harassment,” and “research.”

Kevin Garber, spellr.us General Manager, commented: “The average number of errors found on each site shocked us. A University’s website is often the first point of contact for prospective students and staff. Spelling errors can convey sloppiness and lack of attention to detail, which can detract from the message that a high quality education is on offer.

“And remember,” he continued, “we had our software examine only the first 1000 pages of each site. As most universities contain more than 1000 pages, it’s safe to assume that the results would have been even worse, had we analysed every page of each site. The errors spellr.us identified undoubtedly represent only a small percentage of total spelling errors.”

Garber did, however, explain that the number of errors was not necessarily due to lack of effort on the University’s part. “Without the right tools, spell checking a website is very tricky – often impossible. Content integrity on university websites can be particularly challenging because there are usually multiple contributors, multiple websites and a large volume of frequently changing content.”

All surveyed universities are invited to contact spellr.us for a list of their website spelling errors, broken links and broken images. For a list of the surveyed universities please visit the following link: http://spellr.us/news

About the Higher Education Online Content Survey:
This survey was conducted by the automated spelling, link and image checking platform, spellr.us. It analysed 1000-page samples from the websites of the world’s top 20 universities (as ranked by the Times Higher Education – Quacquarelli Symonds (THE-QS) Report). Results were adjusted to exclude false positives, and only genuine errors were included in the survey.

About spellr.us:
spellr.us is a provider of a specialist website spelling, link and image checking platform. The platform was designed for websites with complex content requirements, such as those managed by corporations, online publishers, universities and government agencies. It can also be used with smaller websites. spellr.us utilises its proprietary spellFOCUS technology to assist with identification of genuine errors and minimise false positives. spellr.us is based in Sydney Australia, and its clients include a wide range of organisations in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

For more information: http://www.spellr.us

Kevin Garber, spellr.us General Manager + 61 2 9232 3722 admin@spellr.us www.spellr.us

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