Mining and Visualizing Research Networks Using the Artefact-Actor-Network Approach

  • Wolfgang Reinhardt
  • Adrian Wilke
  • Matthias Moi
  • Hendrik Drachsler
  • Peter Sloep


Virtual communities are increasingly relying on technologies and tools of the so-called Web 2.0. In the context of scientific events and topical Research Networks, researchers use Social Media as one main communication channel. This raises the question how to monitor and analyze such Research Networks. In this chapter, we argue that Artefact-Actor-Networks (AANs) serve well for modeling, storing, and mining the social interactions around digital learning resources originating from various learning services. In order to deepen the model of AANs and its application to Research Networks, a relevant theoretical background as well as clues for a prototypical reference implementation are provided. This is followed by the analysis of six Research Networks and a detailed inspection of the results. Moreover, selected networks are visualized. Research Networks of the same type show similar descriptive measures while different types are not directly comparable to each other. Further, our analysis shows that narrowness of a Research Network’s subject area can be predicted using the connectedness of semantic similarity networks. Finally, conclusions are drawn and implications for future research are discussed.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wolfgang Reinhardt
    • 1
  • Adrian Wilke
    • 1
  • Matthias Moi
    • 2
  • Hendrik Drachsler
    • 3
  • Peter Sloep
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science, Computer Science Education GroupUniversity of PaderbornPaderbornGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Computer Application and Integration in Design and PlanningUniversity of PaderbornPaderbornGermany
  3. 3.Centre for Learning Sciences and TechnologiesOpen University of the NetherlandsHeerlenThe Netherlands

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