Networking for and by research is very common in the research world. It is natural to find people get interconnected and there are numerous networks of researchers, both at local and global levels, across the world. The creation of these networks of researchers is usually related to a research or a capacity building project funded by an external agency.
Networking may be considered as part of a research design, a means of implementation of research, and/or a strategy of sustainability of project results. While I don’t have any reservation on the importance of research networks, I doubt the appropriate utilization of networking and networks in research. Many networks were established very fast but abandoned after a few months/years.
Networking is being considered as a panacea in many research projects. It is established here and there, now and then. When grants cease, networks fail. New ones are then established. Many researchers belong to several networks. A few of the networks are working, many not working. This is the transformation of research networks to research networks.
Therefore, it may be a good idea to state a due date at the time a research network is established and by that date the network has to be formally abolished. If left in limbo, it will be a notwork, a network that is not working.