Network Plot: Guide to use it in research education
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The Network Plot (or Communities Plot) was initially created as a non-traditional visualisation method of collecting data about early career researchers' (ECR) research network and position in the research community. It is based on the notion of ‘communities of practice', defined as groups of people who engage in shared social practices and collective learning (Lave & Wenger, 1991). Individuals can participate in many communities of practice in relation to one or multiple spheres of activity (Camps & Castelló, 2013; Engeström & Sannino, 2010), for example, by participating in two research teams or being member of different research associations. Moreover, this participation can take different forms. Lave and Wenger (1991) differentiate between full and legitimate peripheral participation (Lave & Wenger, 1991), as a way to emphasise the learning process of newcomers into a community. Others, however, have identified multiple and diverse forms of participation (Hopwood, 2010; Prior, 1995; Sala-Bubaré & Castelló, 2017), such as those of individuals who intentionally stay outside the community.