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Based on your description, I assume you want to collect egocentric network
data from a sample of individuals who do NOT necessarily belong to the same
group (ie you don't have a roster of completed network).
If this is the case, then before you try any one of the tools that Eric has
listed, I'd suggest the following: (1) think about how you are going to
compare the egocentric network of respondents and what statistics/measures
you want to use for comparison, and more importantly, (2) think about the
survey instrument/network generator(s) that you plan to use and whether
it/they can obtain enough alters for you to construct the network and
calculate the statistics.
These are the crucial methodological questions to think through at the
initial stage of research design. For example, you can use the 'important
matter' name generator to collect data, but if you can only obtain a handful
of alters from most respondents, then you won't have enough variation for
most network statistics. Imagine if most respondents report about 1 to 5
close friends, you may, at best, compare the composition of ego network
(proportion of gender, racial and ethnicity etc.). But you may not have
enough variation in the observed structural measures (size, density...).
The Online first section and the latest issue of Social Networks (Jan 2015)
have a few articles on the issues with egocentric network and core
discussion network (the egocentric network elicited by the GSS name
generator). You should have access to the full text of all these articles
via your school's subscription.
By David Eagle and Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell: Methodological considerations
in the use of name generators and interpreters
By Mario Luis Small, Vontrese Deeds Pamphile, Peter McMahan: How stable is
the core discussion network?
By Matthew E. Brashears and Eric Quintane: The microstructures of network
recall: How social networks are encoded and represented in human memory
You can check out my article for a compact but comprehensive review on the
literature regarding egocentric network generators (other than these latest
ones). Check the phone book: Testing information and communication
technology (ICT) recall aids for personal network surveys
Also check out the work by Cuihua Shen and Wenhong Chen in the latest issue
if your study context involves new technologies.
Hope these helps.
Yuli Patrick Hsieh, Ph.D.
Survey Methodologist/Digital Sociologist
Program on Digital Technology & Society
Survey Research Division
230 W Monroe St, Chicago, IL 60606
On Tue, 6 Jan 2015 02:25:46 +0000, Jones, Eric C <[log in to unmask]>
>***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org *****
>the following two programs are good for survey authoring, collecting,
analyzing and visualizing data. they are quite similar but have a few
different features, both originally developed by Chris McCarty.
>http://sourceforge.net/projects/egonet/ (free, Java version, can also
create whole networks out of personal networks)
>http://socioworks.com/productsall/egonet/ (commercial version by mdlogix,
has pretty nice graphics)
>E-Net may also serve you well for analysis (doesn't author/collect data),
as it has some additional algorithms for analysis plus similar data
mining/filtering to the mdlogix egonet.
>David Kennedy at Rand is developing EgoWeb for tablets/mobile devices, and
Jose Luis Molinas at University of Barcelona is developing another type of
EgoNet mobile. check with them if you just need data collection. C-IKNOW i
think is now out of production, but was nice for authoring and data
collection online. SocioWorks
(http://socioworks.com/productsall/socioworks/) will collect network data in
online surveys for download.
>a good resource is McCarty's 2002 article in Journal of Social Structure.
http://www.cmu.edu/joss/content/articles/volume3/McCarty.html. McCarty and
colleagues also found that taking random subsamples from larger networks
(under specified conditions) gave accurate portrayals of network structure,
so that you don't have to burden ego so much with the (N*N-N)/2 set of
>there are now quite a few people studying personal networks, so hopefully
you'll get some more responses from the list for reading and software.
>From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of
Joanna Weill [[log in to unmask]]
>Sent: Monday, January 05, 2015 18:11
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: [SOCNET] Egocentric Network Comparisons
>***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org *****
>I am designing a study where I will be collecting egocentric network
information from individuals and hopefully comparing these networks. I know
there are some statistical problems with doing this, but I have also been
told that there may be some people on this listserv who have some good
suggestions and resources for dealing with these problems. If anyone has any
readings they could direct me to, I would really appreciate it--preferably
readings that are accessible to someone who is a relative beginner on social
>Thanks in advance for any advice you may have.
>- Joanna Weill
>Joanna M. Weill
>Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Psychology
>University of California, Santa Cruz
>[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>Chair, Graduate Student Committee, Society for the Psychological Study of
Social Issues (APA Div. 9)
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