A virtual community in transition, a Russian social science and humanities network
This article is about evolving patterns of participation in an electronically-supported network organised in 1999 in Russia for research scholars in the social sciences and humanities (the Russian Social Science and Humanities Network, RSSH.Net). The service provides search, databases, discussion and information services for a world-wide academic community interested in Russian studies. Its users are located in Russia, the FSU, Central and Eastern European countries and in the US, EU, Japan and China. The analysis draws on data from the log of the Web service, describing senders and their messages by monthly data for 28 months, 1999-2002. The results show stable participation, predominantly by Russian users, among whom messaging activity is highly concentrated as well as localised in the Moscow region's subscribers. The usage of the RSSH.Net for messaging is somewhat lower, but still roughly within the same range as that found in comparable networks based in the US.
transition,social science,humanities network