Methoden & Kenntnisse

Social Network Analysis

Social Network Analysis

The Centre for Social Innovation uses Social Network Analysis (SNA) in its grant and contract research endeavours, as well as in its teaching activities. SNA methods are applied to evaluation activities on the programme or project level, and to pursuing certain research questions, for instance, regarding international scientific networks. Interactive visualisations are created to allow a user-oriented exploration of the results, i.e. experience the data first-hand.

SNA methods typically allow us to determine aspects such as

  • the nature of relations in a network
  • the extent and/or intensity of the relations
  • what kind of structural patterns are there in a network
  • whether and how relations develop over time

Of special value in a given context is the interpretation of these results, together with our stakeholders, and recommendations for improvement.

SNA can be applied in many different areas, such as bibliometric studies, the evaluation of cooperation programmes, or the flow of information in an organisation.

On the technical side, ZSI researchers make use of SNA software like UCINet, Pajek, or the SNA package of R. A series of open source tools is utilised for the creation of advanced network visualisations.

We also use the experiences gained through our SNA projects as practical examples in our teaching assignments at SOQUA (see below).

References / Contracting authorities:

European Commission (Hope in Station - PROGRESS Programme, STELLAR Network of Excellence)

Austrian Federal Ministry for Science and Research (SOQUA - advanced training for social scientists)

Austrian Research Promotion Agency (CIR-CE - scientific monitoring)

Ansprechperson: DI Dietmar Lampert


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