Sharing in Networks

One of NiCHE’s foundational ideas is a commitment to open accessopen content and open source. We believe that the value of this approach has been amply demonstrated in traditional scholarly research. By giving away ‘intellectual property’ we stand the best chance of building a strong community and making our work relevant to the largest number of people.
We don’t know what kinds of roles a strategic knowledge cluster can play in such a process. In part, NiCHE can be seen as one experiment to clarify some of the ways of that knowledge can be mobilised amongst members of a network. Recent research at the University of Tokyo sheds some light on the process. Akio Iwagami and Naoki Masuda showed that altruism spreads successfully through a heterogenous network, and furthermore, that people who are linked to many others (known as “hubs”) tend to benefit more. You can read a summary of their research here. The paper is “Upstream Reciprocity in Heterogenous Networks” (25 May 2009) at arXiv.org.

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William J. Turkel

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