Since the 1960s, network analysis has been used in many disciplines in social science (sociology, geography, history, etc.) as well as in natural and formal science, with each discipline defining its own concepts and indicators. After the late 1990s, the circulation of concepts and indicators defined in physics, the development of new software and algorithms, and easier access to large relational datasets have changed practices and rearranged bridges and boundaries between disciplines.
Several papers have already assessed the influence of physicists on network analysis in sociology (Crossley, 2008), archaeology (Brughmans, 2013) and geography (Ducruet and Beauguitte, 2014), but there are still few studies of the circulation, or non-circulation, of network analysis methods and concepts between disciplines.
It would for example be interesting to understand why betweenness centrality has become a common indicator in the social sciences, whereas methods developed in ecology to analyze bipartite graphs are seldom used. Similarly, gravity models, which have been used in geography since the 1960s to study valued graphs, are largely ignored in sociology.
We welcome papers addressing (this is a non-limitative list):
- the circulation, or non-circulation, of a specific concept or method between disciplines. What enabled or hindered this circulation (types of data, routine uses of software, publication formats, etc.), and which channels did it use? How did the concept or method change during its interdisciplinary journey? Reversely, can the reception of a concept or method in a different discipline have effects on the original one?
- the genealogy of concepts and methods currently used in a specific discipline: where did they come from? How were they translated and adapted?
- a classical text in network analysis, read from the perspective of a different discipline from that of its author.
Call for papers for a special issue of ARCSon Concepts and methods in network analysis: interdisciplinary circulation and boundaries, edited by Laurent Beauguitte (geographer, CNRS, Rouen) and Claire Lemercier (historian, CNRS, Paris)
Authors must choose between two formats: “research paper” or “debates” (as defined here). Research papers must be based on clearly defined empirical data. Authors may use diverse types of data and methods: while this special issue explores practices in network analysis, these practices may be studied through network analysis (of citations or other types of links) as well as through other qualitative or quantitative methods. The editors have no a priori definition of “network analysis”: the aim of this special issue is precisely to emphasize the diversity of definitions across disciplines. Each author should therefore precisely state which exact methods or concepts he or she is considering.
Authors should send a one-page abstract to firstname.lastname@example.org
before the end of 2017
The editors will confirm whether the intended contribution fits with the special issue and the journal. The complete papers will then be peer reviewed (the process is described here; the journal is committed to getting back to the authors within three months at most) and published between June 2018 and June 2019.
- Brughmans, T. (2013). Thinking Through Networks: A Review of Formal Network Methods in Archaeology. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 20, 623–662.
- Crossley, N. (2008). Small-world networks, complex systems and sociology. Sociology, 42(2), 261–277.
- Ducruet, C. & Beauguitte, L. (2014). Spatial science and network science: Review and outcomes of a complex relationship. Networks and Spatial Economics, 14(3-4), 297-316.
ARCSis a multi-disciplinary journal dedicated to network analysis in social sciences. It publishes open access papers (without article processing charges) in English and French, under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. The authors are encouraged to publish their data along with their papers; the journal can provide advice in this regard. The authors must use a Word or Latex template (available here). The journal insists on the use of gender-inclusive language and can provide advice in this regard.
Editor in chief
- Laurent Beauguitte Géographie (CR, UMR IDEES)
- Claire Lagesse, Géomatique (UMR THÉMA)
- Serge Lhomme, Géographie (MCF, EA Lab’Urba)
- Marion Maisonobe, Géographie (UMR LISST)
- Silvia Marzagalli, Histoire (PU, EA CMMC)
- Pierre Mercklé, Sociologie (MCF, UMR CMW)
Special issue ARCS welcomes paper proposals
A new publication opportunity: ARCS, a multi-disciplinary journal dedicated to network research in the social sciences. I am sure they welcome contributions from archaeologists and historians. Importantly: open access without processing fees!
More info on the journal website.
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