Talk:Open source software for Social Network Analysis

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See the original thread of this E-Discussion on D-Groups

Jaap Pels, 2008/11/12

Dear All,

I am looking for a recommendation on a:

  • user friendly
  • easy to learn for novices
  • strong visualisation possibilities
  • open software

packedge for SNA.

We are especially interested in track-changes / time series visualisation. Firts entry point for us is ToughGraph..... Please shoot.

Atanu Garai, 2008/11/12

Thank you, Jaap. What is SNA? I googled it and got: John Wayne Airport (SNA), Orange County, California School Nutrition Association The Southern Nursery Association IBM Systems Network Architecture SNA - Suburban Newspapers of America Singapore Nurses Association

I am pretty sure it woudl be one of the above and it has nothing to do with nurses or nutrition:)

Alan Alegre, 2008/11/12

Social Network Analysis?

Boris Jaeger, 2008/11/12


try this search SNA in combination with an other key word provides (e.g.visualization) and you'll find out that SNA means

Social Network Analysis

I hate abbreviations others ay not know, too!

Jaap Pels, 2008/11/12

Sorry All. SNA = Social Network Analysis

Rachel Cardone , 2008/11/12

Hi Jaap,

I have a dumb question - what's sna?

James J. Tarrant, 2008/11/12

I think it might be social networking analysis.

International Resources Group (IRG), Washington.

Ruy Cervantes, 2008/11/12

UCI net is not open source but is free for 30 days, and "For longer use, individual students pay $40, schools & government pay $150, and corporations pay $250."

This is widely used by the people that do SNA at my university and it seems to be easy to use.

Baljit Grewal, 2008/11/12

Hi Jaap,

UCNET is good. My pick would be Networks / Pajek

It has the capability to work with files created with other SNA software as well. It is free.

AUT University, New Zealand.

Cai Kjaer, 2008/11/12


I don't think you will find one single tool which will do this. I do Social Network Analysis for a living and I think this is one of the challenges in the field. There is a good listing of tools in Wikipedia (just search for Social Network Analysis), but none of them would be both user-friendly AND free AND easy to learn etc.

We developed a survey tool called ONA Surveys ( for collecting relationship data (like "who knows who"), and whilst I of course think it is terrific, it isn't free. Netdraw from Analytictech is a fantastic visualization tool, but I wouldn't call it 'user-friendly' need to know what you are doing in the first place. Inflow is also great for visualization, but not free. Pajek also does visualization and is free (for non-commercial purposes from memory), but not exactly easy to use. UCINET is certainly hard to use the first time you try it out, but popular with researchers. It is cheap, but not free. Netminer is a little more sleek, but also much more expensive...

Keyhubs is a new'ish tool which combines surveying with visualization, but is very 'thin' and isn't free either.

To me is it obvious that the field undergoing a great deal of change (in terms of tools) and there is a great divide between the tools researchers would be using and what practitioners doing it over and over again want.

There is a Yahoo group called ona-prac where you might want to post the question (ONA stands for Organizational Network is really the same as Social Network Analysis, but people call SNA for ONA when it is used in a business context).

Johannes Schunter, 2008/11/12

Hi all,

we had a similar thread on this a few months ago, which's results were capt=red in the KM4Dev wiki/wiki/index.php/Social_Networ=_Analysis. There are a range of tools as well as trainings on SNA which ha=e been recommended.


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