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We are all connected. Communities are made up of shared relationships, whether social, professional, or informational.
Yet it is often tempting to think of communities at the level of the individual, where we nurture the projects and information needs of public, academic, or corporate patrons.
Given that our mission is to connect people and resources, we must acknowledge that our communities are embedded in a networked world and understand how information and human resources flow. What better a view than seeing the whole picture through the fundamentals of the network?
In this rapid-fire presentation, discover how viruses spread, how scientists collaborate, and how close we are to our most remote community members. Using a pilot project examining scientists’ participation in international DNA data repository, this lightening talk will provide an example of some possibilities afforded by insight into network structure. Discover how R can be used to create simple network visualizations, and get data set ideas such as public circulation and Twitter data to use for your own network exploration.
While “Big Data” is an oft-used buzzword, there is great power in the aggregate. Leveraging it to understand your community network is an important tool to keep in your back pocket, if not only to maintain 6 degrees from Mr. Bacon, but also to also establish and cultivate community connections, support public and organizational services, and promote interdisciplinary collaboration.