[CITAMS] how far can scholarly networks go?

Barry Wellman wellman at chass.utoronto.ca
Wed Sep 21 12:56:58 EDT 2016


Congratulations to Guang Ying Mo and her coauthors who were recently awarded 
one of the Emerald Literati Networks Award for Excellence, 2016!

Mo and her co-authors, Zach Hayat and Barry Wellman, received an Outstanding 
Author Contribution Award in the Book Series, Studies in Media and 
Communications. Their award-winning book chapter is: "How Far Can Scholarly 
Networks Go? Examining the Relationships between Disciplines, Motivations, and 
Clusters."

Presented by The Emerald Publishing Group, this award honours the top 
contributions within the current year’s volume of a book series. According to 
the award's literature, the winning chapters demonstrate: "a contribution of 
something new to the body of knowledge, either in terms of approach or subject 
matter; excellent structure and presentation and well-written text; rigour in 
terms of argument or analysis; relevance – to practice and further research, in 
most cases; up-to-date – demonstrating that the latest/key works in the field 
have been cited; a work which is clearly within the editorial scope and remit 
of the book series." In choosing the outstanding contribution, the editors are, 
moreover, recognizing it as "of notable outstanding quality."

Congratulations again to Mo for her excellent work.

In recognition of the award, the publisher has made the full chapter open 
access for the period of one year. We have pasted the abstract below.

Guang Ying Mo, Zack Hayat, Barry Wellman. "How Far can Scholarly Networks Go? 
Examining the Relationships between Distance, Disciplines, Motivations, and 
Clusters." Communication and Information Technologies Annual. 2015, 107-133.

Abstract

This study aims to understand the extent to which scholarly networks are 
connected both in person and through information and communication 
technologies, and in particular, how distance, disciplines, and motivations for 
participating in these networks interplay with the clusters they form. The 
focal point for our analysis is the Graphics, Animation and New Media Network 
of Centres of Excellence (GRAND NCE), a Canadian scholarly network in which 
scholars collaborate across disciplinary, institutional, and geographical 
boundaries in one or multiple projects with the aid of information and 
communication technologies. To understand the complexity in such networks, we 
first identified scholars’ clusters within the work, want-to-meet, and help 
networks of GRAND and examined the correlation between these clusters as well 
as with disciplines and geographic locations. We then identified three types of 
motivation that drove scholars to join GRAND: practical issues, 
novelty-exploration, and networking. Our findings indicate that (1) scholars' 
interests in the networking opportunities provided by GRAND may not easily 
translate into actual interactions. Although scholars express interests in 
boundary-spanning collaborations, these mostly occur within the same discipline 
and geographic area. (2) Some motivations are reflected in the structural 
characteristics of the clusters we identify, while others are irrelevant to the 
establishment of collaborative ties. We argue that institutional intervention 
may be used to enhance geographically dispersed, multidisciplinary 
collaboration.


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