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BRUGHMANS, T. (2012) Networks of networks: a critical review of formal network methods in archaeology through citation network analysis and close reading. At The Connected Past: People, Networks and Complexity in Archaeology and History, University of Southampton, 24 March 2012.

BRUGHMANS, T. (2012) Networks of networks: a critical review of formal network methods in archaeology through citation network analysis and close reading. At The Connected Past: People, Networks and Complexity in Archaeology and History, University of Southampton, 24 March 2012.

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Published by tom.brughmans8209
Methods and theories seem to fade in and out of fashion constantly. Some are lucky enough to find a large audience thanks to the efforts of pioneering adopters whilst others are doomed to be forgotten despite of the zealous efforts of their proponents. But how does a new idea emerge in a discipline, where did it originate and how does it evolve in a new research context? The archaeological use of formal network methods forms a particularly suitable case to explore such academic processes. This paper will for the first time trace the academic traditions, network concepts, models and techniques that have been most influential to archaeologists. I will do this by combining a close reading of published archaeological network applications with citation network analysis techniques. A dataset of bibliographic information has been extracted from the Web of Knowledge databases centred on 70 published examples of the archaeological use of networks, including over 33,000 publications and 44,000 citations.

The paper concludes that in order to move towards richer archaeological applications of formal network methods archaeological network analysts should become better networked both within and outside their discipline. The existing archaeological applications of network analysis show clear indications of methods with great potential for our discipline and methods that will remain largely fruitless, and archaeologists should become aware of these advances within their discipline. The development of original archaeological network methods should be driven by archaeological research problems and a broad knowledge of formal network methods developed in different disciplines. Also, given the wide availability of large datasets a citation network analysis of scientific literature is considered particularly suitable to guide a close reading and explore the emergence and evolution of new ideas.
Methods and theories seem to fade in and out of fashion constantly. Some are lucky enough to find a large audience thanks to the efforts of pioneering adopters whilst others are doomed to be forgotten despite of the zealous efforts of their proponents. But how does a new idea emerge in a discipline, where did it originate and how does it evolve in a new research context? The archaeological use of formal network methods forms a particularly suitable case to explore such academic processes. This paper will for the first time trace the academic traditions, network concepts, models and techniques that have been most influential to archaeologists. I will do this by combining a close reading of published archaeological network applications with citation network analysis techniques. A dataset of bibliographic information has been extracted from the Web of Knowledge databases centred on 70 published examples of the archaeological use of networks, including over 33,000 publications and 44,000 citations.

The paper concludes that in order to move towards richer archaeological applications of formal network methods archaeological network analysts should become better networked both within and outside their discipline. The existing archaeological applications of network analysis show clear indications of methods with great potential for our discipline and methods that will remain largely fruitless, and archaeologists should become aware of these advances within their discipline. The development of original archaeological network methods should be driven by archaeological research problems and a broad knowledge of formal network methods developed in different disciplines. Also, given the wide availability of large datasets a citation network analysis of scientific literature is considered particularly suitable to guide a close reading and explore the emergence and evolution of new ideas.

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Published by: tom.brughmans8209 on Apr 03, 2012
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04/28/2012

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