Purpose – This paper aims to review the value of social network analysis (SNA) as a method appropriate to LIS research. SNA is used to investigate the effectiveness of a framework of methods adopted by the DREaM project to develop researcher‐practitioner networks. Design/methodology/approach – Following a review of the literature on SNA, the paper reports longitudinal research from a whole population sample of the DREaM cadre of LIS researchers. Data were collected using a questionnaire at the start of the first DREaM project workshop, and at the final workshop. Data were analysed using Ucinet 6 software, and network diagrams were visualised using the Netdraw package. Findings – Findings demonstrate that the combination of linked workshops and use of social media throughout the DREaM project was successful in increasing the density of the researcher networks, forging new connections among participants. SNA was found to be a useful technique in investigating network development. Research limitations/implications – There is scope for further longitudinal research to investigate the sustainability and strength of the new network links forged. Originality/value – The use of SNA in the context of the development of researcher networks is novel in LIS research. The findings from this project indicate the potential of the DREaM methodology as a replicable framework for developing further research networks in other contexts. This paper represents a unique contribution in demonstrating through the use of SNA the extent of the extension of research networks afforded by the DREaM methodology.
Journal of Documentation – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 11, 2013
Keywords: Library and information science research coalition; Practitioner researchers; SNA; Social network analysis