***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** Hello, Loet.
The discourse is carried by the authors, but perhaps better to be mapped in
terms of words and phrases which they use for the communication.
Exactly! In my research of sociological community of blogs in LiveJournal, the network, based on "friends" is the least informative. And the most important is "mental map" (in K. Carleys terms) of its participants constructed by the text network analysis of their blog posts.

Applying this logic to "offline" scientific collaboration, I think that it's quite reasonable to add some text analysis technique (like Latent Semantic Analysis or map analysis) to traditional citation and co-authorship networks. But I'm not a specialist in this field, so, perhaps, my thoughts are trivial and already realized in some research.

Best regards,
Alexander.
2011/3/27 Loet Leydesdorff <[log in to unmask]>
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> I've been wondering about how better to understand our networks, which
have evolved over 15 years or so (even before there was ready email
communication with some parts of the world). If our networks could be of use
in research you're doing, do let me know. We might be able to collaborate in
some way.

Dear Karen and colleagues,

In my opinion, one first has to ask "what can be expected to evolve". In
evolutionary economics, for example, many authors have skipped that question
and thus were studying network among firms. This leads to a theory of the
firm (Anderson, 1994). However, "what" evolves is the techno-economic system
which is carried by firms in different (e.g. national) configurations.

In scientific communication, scholarly discourse can be expected to evolve.
The discourse is carried by the authors, but perhaps better to be mapped in
terms of words and phrases which they use for the communication. Networks of
authors do not always inform us about the dynamics of the communication.
These networks are one of the footprints of the communication. The focus on
social networks (as different from semantic and epistemic networks) and on
relations instead of positions seems counterproductive to the understanding.


Best wishes,
Loet


Loet Leydesdorff
Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR),
Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX Amsterdam.
Tel.: +31-20- 525 6598; fax: +31-842239111
[log in to unmask] ; http://www.leydesdorff.net/

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