Exploring the virtual space of academia

Menendez, M., De angeli, A. and Menestrina, Z. (2012) Exploring the virtual space of academia. In: 10th International Conference on the Design of Cooperative System, 30 May - 1 June 2012, Marseille, France.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


The aim of this chapter is to provide a view on how researchers present themselves in a social network specifically developed for supporting academic practices, how they share information and engage in dialogues with colleagues worldwide. We analysed data from 30,428 users who have registered on a publicly available website to study the effect of academic position, university ranking and country on people's behaviour. Results suggest that the virtual network closely mirrors physical reality, reproducing the same hierarchical structure imposed by position, ranking, and country on user behaviour. Despite the potential for bridging and bonding social capital the networks have not achieved substantial changes in structures and practices of the academic context. Furthermore, our analysis highlights the need of finding new strategies to motivate the users to contribute to the community and support equal participation, as so far the community is mainly exploited as a static website.

Additional Information:Conference Code:100599
Keywords:Bonding social capitals, Community IS, Hierarchical structures, Physical reality, User behaviour, Virtual networks, Virtual spaces, Design, Social networking (online), Behavioral research
Subjects:G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G400 Computer Science
Divisions:College of Science > School of Computer Science
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ID Code:25491
Deposited On:05 Jul 2017 12:23

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