Special Interest Networks (SIN) - a summary

What is a SIN?

A Special Interest Network (SIN) is a set of network sites ("nodes") that collaborate to provide a complete range of information activities on a particular topic. A more complete description can be found in the article "A Web of SINs - the nature and organization of Special Interest Networks.", which is available from

What do they do?

The main functions of a SIN are:

Why have SINs?

As the volume of information on the Internet literally explodes, several needs become ever more urgent and obvious. SINs help to address some of the most urgent problems associated with network information, including: The SIN concept is based on the assumption that the volume of information is too great for any one agency or site to control. We therefore have to adopt the principle that those who produce information should also publish it. The great advantage of a SINs approach is that it encourages participation and accommodates growth.

How do they work?

Many of the above steps will be automated.

Are there any examples?

Many organizations are adopting the de facto SINs approach as suggested here. For example: