Historical, Research, Social Media, Tools

The Republic of Letters, Visualized as Social Networks

Journals were originally collections of letters from scientists and scholars to their community or between one another. Before this, there was the Republic of Letters in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Now, Stanford scholars have used social network visualization tools to peek into these networks:

A fascinating economy of information presentation, and great insights into the networks that set many foundations we build upon still.

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About Kent Anderson

I am the CEO of RedLink and RedLink Network, a past-President of SSP, and the founder of the Scholarly Kitchen. I’ve worked as Publisher at AAAS/Science, CEO/Publisher of JBJS, Inc., a publishing executive at the Massachusetts Medical Society, Publishing Director of the New England Journal of Medicine, and Director of Medical Journals at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Opinions on social media or blogs are my own.


4 thoughts on “The Republic of Letters, Visualized as Social Networks

  1. What a fantastic way of visualizing history!

    Posted by Cherine Munkholt | Jan 10, 2010, 3:09 pm
  2. More info here: http://speaking.stanford.edu/highlights/Mapping_the_Republic_of_Letters.html

    Unfortunately, the visualization reflects a very incomplete database. From One would not know, for example, that Italians were at least as prominent in the Republic as were the French and English.

    Posted by Carl Kinbar | Jan 11, 2010, 12:24 pm


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The mission of the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) is "[t]o advance scholarly publishing and communication, and the professional development of its members through education, collaboration, and networking." SSP established The Scholarly Kitchen blog in February 2008 to keep SSP members and interested parties aware of new developments in publishing.
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