Case Studies

Bibliometric Analysis of the Collaborative Economy Research Field

This case presents the bibliometric and visualization method applied to a dataset of 729 documents published in the collaborative economy research field. Four steps are described in detail: (1) the delimitation of the field of study; (2) the selection of databases, keywords, and search criteria; (3) the extraction, cleaning, and formatting; and finally (4) the co-citation analysis and visualization. This study is unique in that it presents a co-citation analysis coupled with a network visualization applied to the rapidly growing research area of the collaborative economy.

1: Why are the visualizations useful in this presentation?

2: Discuss whether other types of visualizations could have been used in this study.


Uncovering Covert Structures: Social Network Analysis and Terrorist Organizations

This case refers to a study of the Al Qaeda terrorist networks, based on data from the United Nations Security Council. The case introduces some of the key concepts and measures of social network analysis, provides a basic understanding of social network analysis, and shows how social networks can be visualized.

1: Why are the visualizations of the networks useful in this presentation?

2: What are the limitations of this type of network visualizations (sociograms)?


The Ethical Concerns of Writing in Social Science Research

Using decision-making junctures from a study on discourses of higher education in Sri Lanka, this case shows that ethical considerations can shape the architecture of writing about research. The case presents a number of specific questions that arose in the presentation of qualitative data, derived from the use of ethnographic methods and discourse analysis. It is argued that the overarching consideration here should be the balance between content and confidentiality or, to put it another way, the “amount” of context necessary to give the appropriate meaning to the content being presented. It is suggested that this should be considered a major ethical consideration in qualitative research.

1: What kinds of ethical dilemmas might arise when writing and disseminating research?

2: Why can contextual descriptions endanger participants’ anonymity?