Michigan State University

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MSU Academic Network

Clip of screen shot of ETD browsing feature.

The ETD (Electronic Theses and Dissertations) Collection represents a trove of knowledge about the research interests of the students and faculty here at MSU, and, in particular, the interdisciplinarity manifest in the connections between them.

In order to make visible this network of scholarly activity, the ETD collection includes a graphical interface highlighting measures of connection and distinction between academic programs at MSU. Each program is described in several ways: topically, as recorded by each dissertation author, who categorized their work using a set of roughly 400 options; more granularly, using subject headings selected from a list of hundreds of thousands by librarians; and institutionally, in terms of the individual MSU faculty members who served as advisors or committee members for each dissertation. The graph, built using Python's NetworkX package, and rendered using the D3 JavaScript library, allows users to select any academic program at MSU, and explore its connections to others.

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