Social network analysis

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A few definitions

“Social network analysis is focused on uncovering the patterning of people's interaction.” (INSNA, retrieved 13:50, 31 March 2011 (CEST)).

“The basic idea of a social network is very simple. A social network is a set of actors (or points, or nodes, or agents) that may have relationships (or edges, or ties) with one another. Networks can have few or many actors, and one or more kinds of relations between pairs of actors. To build a useful understanding of a social network, a complete and rigorous description of a pattern of social relationships is a necessary starting point for analysis. That is, ideally we will know about all of the relationships between each pair of actors in the population.” Hanneman & Riddle, retrieved 13:50, 31 March 2011 (CEST).

“Social network analysis is based on an assumption of the importance of relationships among interacting units. The social network perspective encompasses theories, models, and applications that are expressed in terms of relational concepts or processes. Along with growing interest and increased use of network analysis has come a consensus about the central principles underlying the network perspective.” (Wasserman, 1994, cited by Social Network Analysis: Introduction and Resources, retrieved 13:02, 31 March 2011 (CEST)

“Social network analysis [SNA] is the mapping and measuring of relationships and flows between people, groups, organizations, computers, URLs, and other connected information/knowledge entities. The nodes in the network are the people and groups while the links show relationships or flows between the nodes. SNA provides both a visual and a mathematical analysis of human relationships. Management consultants use this methodology with their business clients and call it Organizational Network Analysis [ONA].” (Orgnet, retrieved 13:02, 31 March 2011 (CEST).

See also: Wiki metrics, rubrics and collaboration tools



Major resources


(may also include resources)

Software and using software

  • SNAP (Stanford Network Analysis Platform]
  • UCINet 6 for Windows is a software package for the analysis of social network data. It was developed by Lin Freeman, Martin Everett and Steve Borgatti. It comes with the NetDraw network visualization tool.



See the excellent INSNA searchable online bibliography if you need a real bibliography !

  • Freeman, Linton, The Development of Social Network Analysis. Vancouver: Empirical Press, 2006.
  • Nurmela, Kari; Erno Lehtinen, and Tuire Palonen. 1999. Evaluating CSCL log files by social network analysis. In Proceedings of the 1999 conference on Computer support for collaborative learning (CSCL '99), Christopher M. Hoadley and Jeremy Roschelle (Eds.). International Society of the Learning Sciences , Article 54 . Pdf (Access restricted)
  • Haythornthwaite, C., Wellman, B. & Mantei M. (1995). Work Relationships and Media Use: A Social Network Analysis. In Group Decision and Negotiation, 4: 193--211.
  • Kafai, Yasmin B. (2002). Elementary students' perceptions of social networks: development, experience, and equity in collaborative software design activities. In Proceedings of the Conference on Computer Support for Collaborative Learning: Foundations for a CSCL Community (CSCL '02), Gerry Stahl (Ed.). International Society of the Learning Sciences 556-557.
  • Hanneman, Robert A. and Mark Riddle. 2005. Introduction to social network methods. Riverside, CA: University of California, Riverside. (free digital version)
  • Hutchins, E. (1991) The social organization of distributed cognition. In L. B. Resnick, J. M. Levine & S. D. Teasley (Eds.). Perspectives on socially shared cognition. (pp. 283--307). Washington, DC.: American Psychological Association.
  • Martínez, A., Y. Dimitriadis, B. Rubia, E. Gómez, I. Garrachón, and J. A. Marcos. 2002. Studying social aspects of computer-supported collaboration with a mixed evaluation approach. In Proceedings of the Conference on Computer Support for Collaborative Learning: Foundations for a CSCL Community (CSCL '02), Gerry Stahl (Ed.). International Society of the Learning Sciences 631-632. Pdf
  • Liao, Jian; Yanyan Li, Jingjing Wang, Ronghuai Huang, and Zhenhong Zhang. 2007. A systemic model of interaction analysis in CSCL. In Proceedings of the 10th IASTED International Conference on Computers and Advanced Technology in Education (CATE '07), Vladimir Uskov (Ed.). ACTA Press, Anaheim, CA, USA, 463-469.
  • Nooy, Wouter d., A. Mrvar and Vladimir Batagelj. (2005). Exploratory Social Network Analysis with Pajek. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-84173-9
  • Pahor, M., Škerlavaj, M. & Dimovski, V. (2008). Evidence for the network perspective on organizational learning. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology , 59 (12), 1985-1994.
  • Reffay, Christophe and Thierry Chanier. 2002. Social Network Analysis Used for Modelling Collaboration in Distance Learning Groups. In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS '02), Stefano A. Cerri, Guy Gouard\&\#232;res, and F\&\#225;bio Paragua\&\#231;u (Eds.). Springer-Verlag, London, UK, UK, 31-40.
  • Scott, J. 1991. Social Network Analysis. A handbook. 1st ed. London: SAGE Publications.
  • Scott, John. (2000). Social Network Analysis: A Handbook. 2nd Ed. Newberry Park, CA: Sage. ISBN 0-7619-6338-3
  • Wasserman, Stanley. & Faust, Katherine. 1995. Social network analysis. Methods and applications. Cambridge university press.
  • Wellman, Barry and Berkowitz, Stephen D. (1988). Social Structures: A Network Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-24441-2