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Networking on the Network


February 13, 2000: This message was distributed by Papyrus News, a free e-mail distribution list on the global impact of information technology on language, literacy, and education. Feel free to forward this message to others, preferably with this introduction. For information on Papyrus News, including how to (un)subscribe or access archives, see <>.


I expect that many Papyrus News readers have read earlier versions of Phil Agre's "Networking on the Network." Agre is a primary proponent of the view that the role and impact ofInternet use can only be best understood in an institutional and social context. In Networking on the Network, he puts his belief in practice by helping people understand how the Internet use for professional networking fits into a broader context of social interaction among academics. It's an invaluable guide, especially for graduate students, but really for anyone involved in academia.



Networking on the Network

Phil Agre

February 2000


Please forward this announcement to every PhD student in the world.


As a student preparing for a career in research, you have two jobs: (1) do some good research, and (2) build a community around your research topic. This community is called your professional network. Unfortunately, many students neglect their networking; either they feel overwhelmed by short-term demands, or they associate networking with politics and manipulation, or they are working in a hierarchical environment that does not encourage individuals to act on their own. Yet building your professional network is the best way to ensure that your dissertation and other research publications will be read. It is also the best way to get a job once you graduate. The skills are easy enough with practice, but they are not at all obvious to beginners.

"Networking on the Network" is a guide to professional networking for PhD students. Originally written for the students of the Department of Communication at the University of California, San Diego, it has been continuously expanded and revised for six years, incorporating comments from dozens of researchers in many fields. It includes detailed instructions for identifying individuals who should be part of your professional network, contacting and corresponding with those people, building your network at professional conferences, organizing events of your own, and citing others' work in your dissertation. It also includes a lengthy section on interviewing for academic jobs.

"Networking on the Network" is free and available on the Web at <>. Please send any comments that might improve it, and pass it along to others who can use it.

Thanks very much

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Last updated: February 14, 2000