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Software for Digital Scholarship

Information about DiSC-supported software for the collection, processing, analysis or display of numeric, text, or geospatial data

At its most basic level, a network is any connection to anything else. In order for a network to be meaningful, it has to be a system of elements or entities that are connected by relationships. These relationships are the defining feature of networks, as opposed to content or components. People study networks because they believe that the network itself is in some way significant and that the parts that make up the network are interdependent, not independent. Network analysis can be used to identify emerging patterns within a dataset. One kind of network analysis is social network analysis, which analyzes social structures through the use of networks.  

See these complete guides:

Network Analysis Tools

Palladio is a project of Stanford's Humanities + Design Research Lab. The web-based application is free to use. You are able to import your tabular data into Palladio and visualize it in a map, graph, table, or gallery view. You can change the size of the dots (nodes) for each visualization to correlate with the frequency with which they appear in your dataset. Your Palladio project is exportable and you can revisit it at a later time within the platform.  

Palladio resources


Project using Palladio: Andrew W. Wilson, Mapping the Revolution (2016)

Gephi is a free and open source visualization software for graphs and networks. Gephi can be used for exploratory data, link, social network, and biological network analyses. Users can create real-time visualizations with networks of up to 100,000 nodes and 1,000,000 edges. You can add to the functionality of the software by installing plugins. Gephi is notoriously buggy and has not been updated in several years but is still useful software for network analysis. 

Gephi resources


Project using Gephi: Gönül Aycı, A Simple Project With Gephi (2017)

Tools for Citation Analysis

The following tools can be utilized to analyze citations. These tools create networks from the analyzed data and many also include commonly used metrics. 

  • Sci2 (Science of Science Tool). A modular toolset specifically designed for the study of science. It supports the temporal, geospatial, topical, and network analysis and visualization of scholarly datasets.
  • VOS Viewer. A software tool for constructing and visualizing bibliometric networks, this software allows users to primarily create node networks and heat maps. It is available as a free download or can be launched directly from their website.
  • CiteNetExplorer. A software tool for citation analysis and visualizations from the Centre of Science and Technology Studies (CWTS). 
  • Local Citation Network. This web-based tool utilizes digital object identifiers (DOIs) to generate like citations and visualizations from cited references in Microsoft Academic and Crossref. 

Additional Free Tools

The following tools are free to use. See KDNuggets' Top 30 Social Network Analysis & Visualization Tools for a comprehensive review of major social network analysis and visualization tools. 

  • Cytoscape. Originally designed to be used for biological research, Cytoscape is now used for complex network analysis and visualization. Use Cytoscape for data integration, analysis, and visualization. Increase the functionality by installing apps, which are available for network and molecular profiling analyses, new layouts, additional file format support, scripting, and connection with databases. 
  • GraphViz. This visualization tool represents structural information as diagrams of abstract graphs and networks. There are many options for graph layouts. 
  • Kumu. Kumu allows you to map the relationships between people, systems, and concepts. You are able to import your data and/or build networks using live data, use built-in metrics to identify key elements and connections, and customize your visualizations with dropdowns, buttons, text, images, and more. View their pricing plans or have unlimited public projects for free. 
  • Nodegoat. Nodegoat is a web-based tool that enables you to create and manage datasets. You can instantly analyze and visualize datasets and create relational, geographical, and temporal attributes. 
  • NodeXL. An add-in for Windows versions of Excel to do network graphs. It is a project from the Social Media Research Foundation and is optimal for social media analysis. Allows general network visualization, grouping, and basic analyses (e.g., density, degree). A pro version is licensed per year and includes additional functionalities.