A Guide to Evaluating Networks

Madeleine Taylor, Cold Spring Harbor Protocols, Sept 27, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

From the original post it took three clicks to actually read the document, and that includes a form asking for my name and email for spamming purposes. But I'm interested in networks and I wanted to see what they had to say about evaluating networks. I could probably have stayed with the original post, although the case studies casebook is a substantial document. My main issue is that, although they are using the word network, what they are actually evaluating are consortia or collaborations. Why do I say this? Well, there's the presumption of a common objective, limited or closed membership, rules and processes - all the hallmarks of a single cohesive organization, and not a distributed entity such as a network. I'd point to their definition or account of what a network is, but they don't have one; all they have are very standard and very ordinary evaluation criteria that would be familiar to any hierarchical organization.

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