How far can Scholarly Networks Go?

September 13, 2016 by Sherri Klassen

Congratulations to Guang Ying Mo and her coauthors who were recently awarded one of the Emerald Literati Networks Award for Excellence, 2016!

Mo and her co-authors, Zach Hayat and Barry Wellman, received an Outstanding Author Contribution Award in the Book Series, Studies in Media and Communications. Their award-winning book chapter is: "How Far Can Scholarly Networks Go? Examining the Relationships between Disciplines, Motivations, and Clusters."

Presented by The Emerald Publishing Group, this award honours the top contributions within the current year’s volume of a book series. According to the award's literature, the winning chapters demonstrate: "a contribution of something new to the body of knowledge, either in terms of approach or subject matter; excellent structure and presentation and well-written text; rigour in terms of argument or analysis; relevance – to practice and further research, in most cases; up-to-date – demonstrating that the latest/key works in the field have been cited; a work which is clearly within the editorial scope and remit of the book series." In choosing the outstanding contribution, the editors are, moreover, recognizing it as "of notable outstanding quality."

Congratulations again to Mo for her excellent work.

In recognition of the award, the publisher has made the full chapter open access for the period of one year. We have pasted the abstract below.

Guang Ying Mo , Zack Hayat , Barry Wellman. How Far can Scholarly Networks Go? Examining the Relationships between Distance, Disciplines, Motivations, and Clusters Communication and Information Technologies Annual. 2015, 107-133.


This study aims to understand the extent to which scholarly networks are connected both in person and through information and communication technologies, and in particular, how distance, disciplines, and motivations for participating in these networks interplay with the clusters they form. The focal point for our analysis is the Graphics, Animation and New Media Network of Centres of Excellence (GRAND NCE), a Canadian scholarly network in which scholars collaborate across disciplinary, institutional, and geographical boundaries in one or multiple projects with the aid of information and communication technologies. To understand the complexity in such networks, we first identified scholars’ clusters within the work, want-to-meet, and help networks of GRAND and examined the correlation between these clusters as well as with disciplines and geographic locations. We then identified three types of motivation that drove scholars to join GRAND: practical issues, novelty-exploration, and networking. Our findings indicate that (1) scholars’ interests in the networking opportunities provided by GRAND may not easily translate into actual interactions. Although scholars express interests in boundary-spanning collaborations, these mostly occur within the same discipline and geographic area. (2) Some motivations are reflected in the structural characteristics of the clusters we identify, while others are irrelevant to the establishment of collaborative ties. We argue that institutional intervention may be used to enhance geographically dispersed, multidisciplinary collaboration.