Mittwoch, 15. Januar 2014

What scientific idea is ready for retirement?

The annual question for 2014: WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT? What is cool about the edge is that you can either get the book or just read the answers online (here). Like every year it is quite difficult to spot a single answer from a German scientist. Anyway, there are surely some thought-provoking answers, so check them out.

Mittwoch, 8. Januar 2014

Friends change, but their number may not

I just stumbeld across a nice paper that combines cell-phone records and surveys to understand how friendships change over time and how many close friends we have. The results "[...] are likely to reflect limitations in the ability of humans to maintain many emotionally close relationships, both because of limited time and because the emotional “capital” that individuals can allocate between family members and friends is finite."

So, Facebook is one thing, real life is another. Ok, this may not be spectacular news for many, but scientific research into the differences between online and offline social network formation is rare, and this is why the paper appears to be interesting.

Persistence of social signatures in human communication, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences (PNAS)

A short introductory discussion on Sciencemag.

Freitag, 3. Januar 2014

Why IS researchers should study networks

Many disciplines study social and information networks. I have always felt that IS researchers are in a somewhat special position to do this. They should know how to collect data, they mostly know graph theory, the can code, they should know stats and (maybe most importantly) they build networks, or software that reveals networks. There is still little network science research going on in IS/BISE, or at least, it could be much more! Maybe this very nice paper by Sundararajan, Provost, Oestreicher-Singer and Aral changes that.

A must read: Information in Digital, Economic and Social Networks , forthcoming in ISR.