Recent Activities

Conference/workshop presentation

Conference report: The Unexpected Conference - Sociophysics - COST MP0801

The “Unexpected Conference” in Paris, November 14-16, 2011 brought together more than 35 researchers from Europe, North and South America, and Asia to present current research in the field of sociophysics.
The conference was organized by Serge Galam at CREA – Centre de Recherche en Épistémologie Appliquée (CREA) at École Polytechnique and CNRS.

The presentations can be found at

Andrea gave an invited presentation "Unexpected use of physics – some examples from information sciences"

13/11/2011 - 16/11/2011,

Simulating the Social Processes of Science

The science system is continuously growing and since long recognized as a special complex social system. Not surprisingly, for an understanding of this system a wide range of methods have been used including mathematical models. Recently, a special issue appeared in the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, a highly recognized international journal devoted to the use of computer simulations in the exploration of social processes.


Enhanced publication of the month - a SURF award

The project "Enhancing Scholarly Publishing in the Humanities and Social Sciences: Innovation through Hybrid Forms of Publication" got selected as Enhanced Publication of the month by the SURF Foundation.

Conference/workshop presentation

Research diversity - 3

Andrea Scharnhorst has participated, as invited expert, in a meeting on "Research diversity and bibliometrics", September 30-October1, 2011 organized by the Institute for Library and Information Sciences, Humboldt-University Berlin. She gave a talk on "Evolution of the category system in wikipedia" (Based on work of the Knowledge Space Lab).

30/09/2011 - 01/10/2011,

Design versus Emergence - Visualization of Knowledge Orders

Created by Almila Akdag Salah, an expert in the field of digital humanities and art history, Cheng Gao, a computer scientist and scientific programmer, Krzysztof Suchecki, a specialist in complex networks and sociophysics, and Andrea Scharnhorst, Head of Research at Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS) at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, this map shows the differences between the category structure of Wikipedia and the Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) system. Shown on the left is the main tree structure of Wikipedia categories (top-four levels).

Grant acquisition

CEDAR - Census data open linked – From fragment to fabric – Dutch census data in a web of global cultural and historic information

The research project “Census data open linked – CEDAR – From fragment to fabric – Dutch census data in a web of global cultural and historic information”, one of the projects of the Computational Humanities program of the KNAW, was awarded and will be launched in the autumn of 2011.

Within CEDAR two PhD students and a postdoc will work for more than four years together on the semantic access of data from the Dutch census of the last two centuries. The PhD students are supervised by Frank van Harmelen (VU) and Kees Mandemakers (IISG / Erasmus University Rotterdam).


Grant writing and research - grant writing or research?

Andrea has given a guest lecture addressing issues of writing research grants. This lecture was part of a session about the role of peer review in the current science system, organized by Sally Wyatt in the framework of the curricula of CAST (Cultures of Art, Science & Technology) students, University of Maastricht. The other lecture was given by Paul Wouters on peer review in scientific publishing.


Tracing scientific influence

Scientometrics is the field of quantitative studies of scholarly activity. It has been used for systematic studies of the fundamentals of scholarly practice as well as for evaluation purposes. Although advocated from the very beginning the use of scientometrics as an additional method for science history is still under explored. In this paper we show how a scientometric analysis can be used to shed light on the reception history of certain outstanding scholars. As a case, we look into citation patterns of a specific paper by the American sociologist Robert K. Merton.

Working paper

Visitor stays from other institution

Veslava Osinska - knowledge map makers visiting KSL

Related to the workshop "Modelling Knowledge Dynamics" Dr. Osinska from the Institute of Information Sciences and Book History, Torun, Poland who has worked on visualizing the emergence of classifications systems in scientific communication visited the KSL/VKS and discussed possibilties to use her method and tool to visualize categorization in the WIKIPEDIA.

Visitor stays from other institution

Sociophysics and Infophysics

Serge Galam, a pioneer of the application of concepts and models from theoretical physics to social phenomena visited the VKS and discussed possibilities to better understand the survival of innovations (in a broad sense reaching from new ideas to new technologies) under unfavorite conditions. Serge who has contributed to understanding the dynamics of societal debates such as around global warming has recently also published in the field of scientometrics. See

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Andrea says

  • Large scale structural analysis of networks often reveals beautiful pattern. But it is not...

Recent Activities