Co-citation analysis of the topic Social Network Analysis

Social Network Analysis as a research tool has already a long tradition and many articles have been published. For a recent collaboration with Rory Sie, Kamakshi Rajagopal, Karina Cela, Marlies Bitter-Rijpkema, Peter Sloep, and myself on Social Network Analysis in the area of technology-enhanced learning,  I prepared a co-citation analysis, which gives an overview of the topic and especially shows the multidisciplinary character of the field.

A literature search for social network analysis was conducted using Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge (February 2012). The topic search included the key terms “social network analysis”, “network analysis”  in combination with “technology-enhanced learning”, “TEL”, “e-learning”, “social science”, “educational science”, “psychology”, “computer science”, and “information science”. 133 papers matched the search query and were used in a co-citation analysis. A co-citation relation exists if two documents are cited together in an document. In total 5693 references were extracted. The graph was pruned by filtering all articles that had less than six citations in the 133 papers sample.

Co-citation analysis for Social Network Analysis
Co-citation analysis for Social Network Analysis

Inspecting the data reveals four broader categories were SNA is applied and researched. The categories are:

  • Scientometrics (the science of measuring and analysing science)
  • Network Theory (mathematical models, computational models)
  • Introduction Texts to SNA
  • Sociometrics/Sociology/Economics/Scientific practice

Our collaboration focuses especially on SNA for learning, however the body of knowledge is broader, which everyone researching SNA for TEL can benefit from.

References sorted by category:

Scientometrics: The science of measuring and analysing science

  • Ahlgren, Per, Bo Jarneving, and Ronald Rousseau. 2003. “Requirements for a Cocitation Similarity Measure, with Special Reference to Pearson’s Correlation Coefficient.” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 54 (6) (April 1): 550–560.
  • Barabási, A.L, H Jeong, Z Néda, E Ravasz, A Schubert, and T Vicsek. 2002. “Evolution of the Social Network of Scientific Collaborations.” Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and Its Applications 311 (3–4) (August 15): 590–614.
  • Hirsch, J. E. 2005. “An Index to Quantify an Individual’s Scientific Research Output.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 102 (46) (November 15): 16569–16572.
  • Liu, X., J. Bollen, M.L. Nelson, and H. Van de Sompel. 2005. “Co-authorship Networks in the Digital Library Research Community.” Information Processing & Management 41 (6): 1462–1480.
  • McCain, Katherine W. 1990. “Mapping Authors in Intellectual Space: A Technical Overview.” Journal of the American Society for Information Science 41 (6) (September 1): 433–443.
  • Newman, M. E. J. 2001. “The Structure of Scientific Collaboration Networks.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 98 (2) (January 16): 404–409.
  • Newman, M. E. J. 2004. “Coauthorship Networks and Patterns of Scientific Collaboration.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 101 (suppl_1) (January 23): 5200–5205.
  • Otte, Evelien, and Ronald Rousseau. 2002. “Social Network Analysis: a Powerful Strategy, Also for the Information Sciences.” Journal of Information Science 28 (6) (December 1): 441–453.
  • Reeves, Byron, and Christine L Borgman. 1983. “A Bibliometric Evaluation of Core Journals in Communication Research.” Human Communication Research 10 (1) (September 1): 119–136.
  • Rice, Ronald E, Christine L Borgman, and Byron Reeves. 1988. “Citation Networks of Communication Journals, 1977–1985 Cliques and Positions, Citations Made and Citations Received.” Human Communication Research 15 (2) (December 1): 256–283.
  • So, C.Y. 1988. “Citation Patterns of Core Communication Journals: An Assessment of the Developmental Status of Communication.” Human Communication Research.
  • de Solla Price, D. J. 1965. “Networks of Scientific Papers.” Science 149 (3683) (July 30): 510–515.
  • White, H.D., and K.W. McCain. 1998. “Visualizing a Discipline: An Author Co-citation Analysis of Information Science, 1972-1995.” Journal of the American Society for Information Science 49 (4): 327–355.
  • White, Howard D. 2003. “Pathfinder Networks and Author Cocitation Analysis: A Remapping of Paradigmatic Information Scientists.” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 54 (5) (March 1): 423–434.
  • White, Howard D, and Belver C Griffith. 1981. “Author Cocitation: A Literature Measure of Intellectual Structure.” Journal of the American Society for Information Science 32 (3) (May 1): 163–171.

Network Theory (mathematical models, computational models)

  • Albert, Réka, and Albert-László Barabási. 2002. “Statistical Mechanics of Complex Networks.” Reviews of Modern Physics 74 (1) (January 30): 47–97.
  • Barabási, Albert-László, and Réka Albert. 1999. “Emergence of Scaling in Random Networks.” Science 286 (5439) (October 15): 509–512.
  • Erdös, P, and A Rényi. 1959. “On Random Graphs, I.” Publicationes Mathematicae (Debrecen) 6: 290–297.
  • Freeman, L.C. 1979. “Centrality in Social Networks Conceptual Clarification.” Social Networks 1 (3): 215–239.
  • Girvan, M., and M. E. J Newman. 2002. “Community Structure in Social and Biological Networks.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 99 (12) (June 11): 7821–7826.
  • Linton C. Freeman. 1977. “A Set of Measures of Centrality Based on Betweenness.” Sociometry 40 (1) (March 1): 35–41.
  • Newman, M. E. J. 2003. “The Structure and Function of Complex Networks.” SIAM Review 45 (2) (June 1): 167–256.
  • Watts, Duncan J., and Steven H. Strogatz. 1998. “Collective Dynamics of ‘Small-world’ Networks.” Nature 393 (6684) (June 4): 440–442.

Introduction Texts to SNA

  • Hanneman, R.A., and M. Riddle. 2005. Introduction to Social Network Methods. University of California Riverside.
  • Scott, John. 2000. Social Network Analysis: a Handbook. SAGE.
  • Wasserman, Stanley, and Katherine Faust. 1994. Social Network Analysis: Methods and Applications. Cambridge University Press.
  • Nooy, Wouter de, Andrej Mrvar, and Vladimir Batagelj. 2011. Exploratory Social Network Analysis with Pajek. Cambridge University Press.
  • Borgatti, S.P., M.G. Everett, and L.C. Freeman. 2002. “Ucinet for Windows: Software for Social Network Analysis.” Harvard Analytic Technologies 2006.
  • Freeman, Linton C. 2004. The Development of Social Network Analysis. Booksurge.

Sociometrics/Sociology/Economics/Scientific practice

  • Granovetter, Mark S. 1973. “The Strength of Weak Ties.” American Journal of Sociology 78 (6) (May 1): 1360–1380.
  • Milgram, S. 1967. “The Small World Problem.” Psychology Today 2 (1): 60–67.
  • Burt, Ronald S. 1995. Structural Holes: The Social Structure of Competition. Harvard University Press.
  • Kuhn, Thomas S. 1996. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. University of Chicago Press.
  • Price, Derek J. de Solla. 1963. Little Science, Big Science. New York: Columbia University Press.

2 Replies to “Co-citation analysis of the topic Social Network Analysis”

    1. Hello Ilia,

      Many thanks for your interest. Part of this analysis will be published in the forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning.

      Sie, R. L. L., Ullmann, T. D., Rajagopal, K., Cela, K., Bitter-Rijpkema, M., & Sloep, P. B. (to appear). Social Network Analysis for Technology-Enhanced Learning: Review and Future Directions. International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning.

      It will be available here:

      You can also cite this blog post as:

      Ullmann, T. D. (2012, March 15). Co-citation analysis of the topic Social Network Analysis. Retrieved November 25, 2012, from

Comments are closed.