Network Analysis

Sample: Six Degrees of Francis Bacon, Carnegie Mellon team led by Christopher Warren

What is it: “Network analysis can be regarded as a set of techniques with a shared methodological perspective, which allow researchers to depict relations among actors and to analyze the social structures that emerge from the recurrence of these relations. The basic assumption is that better explanations of social phenomena are yielded by analysis of the relations among entities. This analysis is conducted by collecting relational data organized in matrix form. If actors are depicted as nodes, and their relations as lines among pairs of nodes, the concept of social network changes from being a metaphor to an operative analytical tool that utilizes the mathematical language of graph theory and linear assumptions of matrix algebra.”

Knowledge Design: what is the research question? what new knowledge is being created?

Six Degrees of Francis Bacon is a digital reconstruction of the early modern social network that scholars and students from all over the world can collaboratively expand, revise, curate, and critique. Unlike published prose, Six Degrees is extensible, collaborative, and interoperable: extensible in that people and associations can always be added, modified, developed, or, removed; collaborative in that it synthesizes the work of many scholars; interoperable in that new work on the network is put into immediate relation to previously studied relationships.
This website is hosted by Carnegie Mellon University Libraries, and data is available for download both on this site and as part of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s digital collections.

Who is it for: a research community, students, the public

Who makes it: usually a team of collaborators, may include building of database prior to entering data for analysis

Medium/Media: Gephi, Palladio

System requirements: varies

Common Tools

How to measure impact: number of impressions, clicks and views; citations and links online; contributions, if interoperable and extensible; convergence with other publications by the team; grant support; conference presentations; community outreach


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