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2. Proximity-based relations

Given the  composition of modules into ``families" of modules, two modules can be related as ``siblings" or more distant ``cousins". ``Sibling modules" are part of the same complex module, and therefore they both are hierarchically related to that complex module. The direct relation between the siblings we call a proximity-based relation. Expressing a, symmetric, `proximity-based relation' gives the reader a clear indication how close the connected modules are, and we assume that modules published in the context of the same article or research project have more in common than modules from different projects, or even from different domains in science. The crucial question here is whether the connected modules are part of the same collection of modules, in particular the same article. There relations are made explicit only in links that are created for the representation of other relations.

At least two types of proximity-based relations can be distinguished, i.e. two different proximity-based labels can be assigned to links to indicate how close the linked modules are: internal relations are identified between information units that are part of the same article and external relations go beyond the article.

As we mentioned in section 4.2.4, research in the domain of experimental sciences is usually organised in projects that result in the publication of a set of articles. In that case, three types of proximity-based relations can be distinguished. Internal links connect modules in the same article. External links connect a source module and a target module that do not belong to the same article, nor to articles that have been published in the context of the same research project. And the intermediate type of links connects modules that are part of different articles, albeit of the same set of articles on a coherent research project.4.30 The connection between hierarchical relations and proximity-based relations is illustrated by figure 4.9.


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