preprint version "Globalisation in science in 2005"

David E. Wojick dwojick at HUGHES.NET
Sun Mar 11 14:28:31 EDT 2007

Dear Loet, yes this does help me understand.

It sounds to me like you are looking at established networks with 
established channels. My focus is on new communications, between 
members of distant communities or fields. Put another way, I am 
looking at cases where empty cells in the matrix of scientists are 
being filled by transactions for the first time. For example by new 
mathematical techniques (visualization, etc.) that are useful across 
the sciences.

But also, I am interested in how the existing networks constrain and 
direct the flow of new ideas. (This sounds related to your "coding" 
although I do not understand that term here.) Networks are indeed 
stable or at least persistent, and that has a lot to do with why 
diffusion of new ideas takes decades. Since I want to accelerate 
diffusion this stability is actually a problem for me, not an asset.

Predictively, there is also the question of how the articulation of a 
new idea will restructure the network, at least locally.

Best of luck,


Dear David,

Perhaps, it helps to use an engineering metaphor more than an evolutionary one.

The transaction requires a communication channel. If one has more 
than a single transaction, one may need a set of communication 
channels. These channels can be placed in parallel or serial. The 
sumtotal of channels generates a network. The network can be 
represented as a matrix: the transactions are then the vectors of the 
matrix. The matrix contains a structure. Structure is deterministic.

For example, this email list can be considered as a communication 
system. It provides a network. The transactions do not constitute the 
network because the network remains even if people are silent. 
(Networks can also be empty.) The structure of the network determines 
first who can participate in the communication and then at the social 
level the communication is coded by expectations so that one can 
expect relevant communication. Perhaps, some of us will consider this 
communication as disturbance; let's say variation.

The code of the communication helps to stabilize the communication. 
This is the Sigmetrics list of ASIST. When the code is symbolically 
generalized, we no longer need this specific network for the 
communication because the channels would adapt to the code. This is 
the case at the field level. For example, we can publish in the 
twenty or so journals of our field and reach approximately the same 
audience of information scientists.

The communication system "lives from" the transactions. Without 
transactions it would not be reproduced. The transactions are 
substantial, but it does not matter so much for the system, how the 
transactions vary. The system is stablized against variation if the 
communication is specifically codified. Stabilization is local; 
globalization can then be considered as a kind of hyper-stabilization.

With best wishes,


Loet Leydesdorff
Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR)
Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX Amsterdam
Tel.: +31-20- 525 6598; fax: +31-20- 525 3681
<mailto:loet at>loet at ; 

Now available: 
Knowledge-Based Economy: Modeled, Measured, Simulated. 385 pp.; US$ 
Self-Organization of the Knowledge-Based Society; 
Challenge of Scientometrics

"David E. Wojick, Ph.D." <WojickD at>
Senior Consultant -- The DOE Science Accelerator
A strategic initiative of the Office of Scientific and Technical 
Information, US Department of Energy

(540) 858-3150
391 Flickertail Lane, Star Tannery, VA 22654 USA provides my bio and 
client list. 
presents some of my own research on information structure and 

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