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Christina's LIS Rant
Saturday, June 28, 2008
  Sources of more information for novices at SNA - or citation analysis
Before SLA I started a mini series of posts with some (what I hope is) practical how-to information for librarians and information professionals who might want to use social network analysis techniques to do citation analysis or bibliometric analysis for their library customers/patrons/users/whatever.
So this post is the last in that series - this is how to learn more.

Here's a book on scientometrics. May be a bit theoretical, but also some helpful advice:
Leydesdorff, L. A. (1995). The challenge of scientometrics: the development, measurement, and self-organization of scientific communications. Leiden: DSWO Press, Leiden University. (check worldcat for a local copy)

For help with SNA and the meaning of the various centrality measures, there's no better book than:
Wasserman, S., & Faust, K. (1997). Social network analysis: methods and applications. New York: Cambridge University Press. (check worldcat for a local copy)

For help with the software - well, that's sort of trial and error to be perfectly honest. Others can get Pajek to do amazing things, but I still find it quite complex. This online text does help quite a lot with UciNet:
Hanneman, Robert A. and Mark Riddle. 2005. Introduction to social network methods. Riverside, CA: University of California, Riverside ( published in digital form at http://faculty.ucr.edu/~hanneman/ )

This book helps with Pajek, but the program has updated since the book was written so be sure to go to the book's companion web site to learn about the changes (argh - I was trying to extract fragments using the book and didn't realize that it's done completely differently in the current version of the program!)
Nooy, W. d., Mrvar, A., & Batagelj, V. (2005). Exploratory social network analysis with Pajek. New York: Cambridge University Press.

There are lots of other software products and routines. Dr. Leydesdorff has made routines he's written available on his web site (watch your speakers- music plays when you hit his home page).

There are lots of ARIST, JASIST, and other articles on citation analysis, how citations work, and the value of various measures...
One more recent that I found interesting is:
Leydesdorff, L. (2008). Caveats for the use of citation indicators in research and journal evaluations. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 59(2), 278-287. doi:10.1002/asi.20743

As for people - seems like many of them hang out on the SIGMETRICS list - but ... for them to help you (and they are very nice people who are very helpful), you need to have done the reading first and to clearly explain the trouble. You might try browsing the archives, too. I tried asking a question on the UCInet listserv - but got 0 (zero) responses - so good luck with that!

Classes:
The class I took on SNA at Maryland in the Sociology department is only offered every once in a while and not really on a set schedule. I don't know that other iSchools offer regular classes on citation analysis, either, and I'm not sure about independent studies. If anyone in the US offered this, I'd expect it to be Drexel, but I didn't see it in their catalog. Look in your institution in the business school, in criminology, in sociology, and in computer science - SNA classes could really be lurking in any of these places.

There are lots of classes held by the UCInet people and some consultants at various conferences like Sunbelt. (poke around here: http://www.insna.org/, once their site is back up - I always leave out a letter and end up on a support organization website)

If you've gotten this far and have a comment or question, feel free to ask and I'll help if I can.
 
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This is my blog on library and information science. I'm into Sci/Tech libraries, special libraries, personal information management, sci/tech scholarly comms.... My name is Christina Pikas and I'm a librarian in a physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering library. I'm also a doctoral student at Maryland. Any opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or CLIS. You may reach me via e-mail at cpikas {at} gmail {dot} com.

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Christina Kirk Pikas

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