Network and Topical Analysis for the Humanities using NWB and Sci2

workshop / tutorial
  1. 1. Scott B. Weingart

    School of Library & Information Science - Indiana University, Bloomington

  2. 2. Katy Börner

    Indiana University, Bloomington

  3. 3. Russell Duhon

    Indiana University, Bloomington

  4. 4. Micah Linnemeier

    Indiana University, Bloomington

  5. 5. Patrick Phillips

    Indiana University, Bloomington

  6. 6. Joseph Biberstine

    Indiana University, Bloomington

  7. 7. Chintan Tank

    Indiana University, Bloomington

  8. 8. Chin Hua Kong

    Indiana University, Bloomington

Work text
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Network and Topical Analysis for the Humanities using NWB and Sci2
Weingart, Scott, Indiana University,
Börner, Katy, Indiana University,
Duhon, Russell, Indiana University,
Linnemeier, Micah, Indiana University,
Phillips, Patrick, Indiana University,
Biberstine, Joseph, Indiana University,
Tank, Chintan, Indiana University,
Kong, Chin Hua, Indiana University,
More and more, research in the humanities requires making use and sense of datasets that represent the structure and dynamics of complex natural and man-made systems. Recent trends in the digital humanities have resulted in the wide-scale availability of this data. The analysis, navigation, and management of these large-scale, dynamically changing datasets requires a new kind of tool, a macroscope (from macro, great, and skopein, to observe).

Microscopes empowered our naked eyes to see cells, microbes, and viruses, thereby advancing the progress of biology and medicine. Telescopes opened our minds to the immensity of the cosmos and prepared mankind for the conquest of space. Macroscopes promise to help us cope with another infinite: the infinitely complex. They allow us to detect patterns, trends, and outliers, give access to details, present a ‘vision of the whole,’ and assist our ‘synthesis’ of what we observe. While most microscopes and telescopes are static physical instruments, macroscopes are continuously changing bundles of software deployed as cyberinfrastructures, Web services, or standalone tools.

This tutorial presents and demonstrates CIShell powered tools such as the Science of Science (Sci2) Tool ( and the Network Workbench (NWB) Tool ( The NWB Tools is a network analysis, modeling, and visualization toolkit for physics, biomedical, social science, and other multidisciplinary research. The Sci2 Tool was specifically designed for researchers and science policy makers interested to study and understand the structure and dynamics of science. These versatile tools can be utilized for humanities data, allowing humanists to explore topical or social networks within their areas of study. They will be utilized for the analysis of temporal, geospatial, topic, and network datasets, and the professional visualization of analysis results by means of large-format charts and maps. Both tools are standalone desktop applications that install and run on Windows, Linux x86 and Mac OSX.

15 Min.Marcoscope Design and Usage

45 Min. Sci2 Tool Basics

Download and run the tool.
Load and clean a dataset using the Sci2 Database; process raw data into networks.
Find basic statistics and run various algorithms over the network.
Visualize the networks as either a graph or a circular hierarchy.
15 Min. Sci2 Workflow Design. Padgett's Florentine Families - Prepare, load, analyze, and visualize family and business networks from 15th century Florence.

15 Min. Break

30 Min. Sci2 Research Demonstration I. Indiana Philosophy Ontology Project - Map concepts and influence in the field of philosophy.

30 Min. Sci2 Research Demonstration II. The Republic of Letters - Find central correspondents in Early-Modern Europe.

30 Min. Q&A and Technical Assistance

Software Needed
Custom software that uses Java 1.5 or higher and the OSGI/CIShell ( core together with algorithm plugins and sample datasets from the Network Workbench Tool ( and Science of Science Tool (

Suggested Reading
Börner, Katy, Chen, Chaomei, and Boyack, Kevin. (2003). Visualizing Knowledge Domains. In Blaise Cronin (Ed.), ARIST, Medford, NJ: Information Today, Inc./American Society for Information Science and Technology, Volume 37, Chapter 5, pp. 179-255.
Börner, Katy, Sanyal, Soma and Vespignani, Alessandro (2007). Network Science. In Blaise Cronin (Ed.), ARIST, Information Today, Inc./American Society for Information Science and Technology, Medford, NJ, Volume 41, Chapter 12, pp. 537-607.
Scott Weingart, Hanning Guo, Katy Borner, Kevin W. Boyack, Micah W. Linnemeier, Russell J. Duhon, Patrick A. Phillips, Chintan Tank, and Joseph Biberstine (2010) Science of Science (Sci2) Tool User Manual. Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center, School of Library and Information Science, Indiana University, Bloomington.
Scott Weingart is a doctoral student at Indiana University studying History of Science and Information Science. His primary research is on the Republic of Letters in Early Modern Europe, and has worked with the CKCC project in the Netherlands and Dr. Robert A. Hatch at the University of Florida on digitizing, visualizing, and analyzing early modern correspondence networks. Scott focuses on the intersection of computational analysis and the humanities, and how each can shape the other.

Previous Venues
NWB and Sci2 have been presented at dozens of previous venues with audience sizes ranging from under 10 to over 100. A full list of our previous presentations can be found at The most recent workshop presented specifically for humanists was at the NEH-funded Networks and Network Analysis for the Humanities Summer Institute at UCLA in August 2010. There were approximately 40 audience members in attendance, and the workshop resulted in over half of the attendees using the Sci2 tool in their final presentations for the institute.

If this content appears in violation of your intellectual property rights, or you see errors or omissions, please reach out to Scott B. Weingart to discuss removing or amending the materials.

Conference Info


ADHO - 2011
"Big Tent Digital Humanities"

Hosted at Stanford University

Stanford, California, United States

June 19, 2011 - June 22, 2011

151 works by 361 authors indexed

XML available from (still needs to be added)

Conference website:

Series: ADHO (6)

Organizers: ADHO

  • Keywords: None
  • Language: English
  • Topics: None