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Network Analysis

This guide defines network analysis and discusses several network analysis tools and methods

Where to Start

The following three resources provide an excellent starting point for understanding what network analysis is, the terminology, basic concepts, various tools you can use to perform network analysis (some of which are discussed in this guide), and how this methodology is used in scholarship. For more background reading on this topic, see the Further Resources page of this guide for blog posts, articles, books, and online courses. 

Terminology

The following are terms commonly used in network analysis. For more information on how these terms are used practically and how they function, view the selected network analysis projects further down on this page, or see the further resources page of this guide. 

  • Node: Represents an entity (e.g., person).
  • Edge: Represents a relationship between two nodes. Can have different weights to represent the strength of the relationship.
  • Path/Connector: Indirect relationships between nodes through another node.
  • Cluster: A group of nodes that has interrelationships.
  • Degree: Number of connections (edges) for a node.
    • Nodes with more degrees have more direct relationships.
  • Closeness: How close or far a node is to all other nodes.
  • Betweenness: How often a node is on the shortest path.
    • Nodes with more betweenness connect clusters.
  • Centrality: A measure of how many other nodes are related. 

Base image from Wikimedia Commons. Annotations by Jajwalya Karajgikar.

Network Analysis Projects

The following are selected projects that utilize network analysis methods. These projects provide an idea of what you can do with network analysis and how it can enhance your scholarship.