INFO 282-11
Seminar in Library Management
Topic: Social Network Management and Social Analytics
[2 units]
Spring 2017 Syllabus

Dr. H. Frank Cervone

E-mail policy: In general, I try to respond to e-mail and review discussion board posts either in the morning before 8:30 am CST and in the evening after 8:00 pm CST. In most cases, e-mail received after 10:00 PM CST will be not be responded to until the next day. On Saturday and Sunday, my response times are likely to be somewhat more unpredictable. If I am going to be unavailable for an extended period of time, I will provide advance notice.

You can contact me quickest through e-mail. If you send a message through Canvas, please realize that sometimes there is a delay in Canvas message delivery, so your message may not be scheduled for delivery until several hours after you send the message.

Other contact information: Skype - frank.cervone
Office location:
Chicago, Online
Office Hours: By appointment, send me an e-mail to schedule a discussion

Syllabus Links
Canvas Login and Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning January 24th, 6 am PT unless you are taking an intensive or a one-unit or two-unit class that starts on a different day. In that case, the class will open on the first day that the class meets.

This course will be available beginning February 5th, 6 am PT. This is a 2-unit course which runs from February 5th through April 13th.

You will be enrolled into the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

As the importance of social media in engaging our communities increases, understanding how social networks affect engagement efforts as well as knowing how to gauge the effectiveness of those efforts is a critical skill. Through discussion, labs, and use of real-world tools, students in this course will learn how social networks form and function and how to evaluate the effectiveness of efforts to engage with those networks.

Course Requirements

This course requires the use of social network analysis software, some of which must be installed directly on your computer. In order to complete the activities, you will need either a Windows-based or MacOS-based computer where you can install the following software:

  • Gephi network visualization software,
  • the Java runtime environment, and
  • Adobe Flash.

Because of the incredible variety of possible system configurations, the amount of technical support I can provide to you is somewhat limited, so please take this into account. You are responsible for ensuring you have an adequate technical environment that will allow you to perform the lab exercises.

There are three assignment types in this course:

In the first seven weeks, there will be a discussion related to the concepts and topics we are exploring that week. Each discussion will have a set of issues to be considered and addressed. Credit will be awarded proportionately based on how completely and cogently each issue is addressed in the overall discussion (Relates to CLO 1, 2, and 3 and Core Competencies D and H). Furthermore, as this these are discussions, it is a basic expectation that everyone will participate throughout the week.

There will be four labs designed to familiarize you with the basic concepts related to social network analysis. Each lab will have a set of outcomes to be met. Each outcome will be assigned a specific value and credit will be awarded for successfully meeting the outcome (Relates to CLO 1 and 2 and Core Competency H).

Culminating Assignment
You will develop a presentation to the leadership of an organization (either one you work for or one you would like to work for) related to the findings of a social network analysis you perform for that organization. In no more than 12 slides and 10 minutes, the presentation should demonstrate the following:

  1. The ability to discuss important social network analysis concepts and social media measures succinctly and in language a non-expert will understand,
  2. An overview of the structure of the network, its context, and significance,
  3. An overview of the major findings of your analysis,
  4. A list of recommended next steps that are clearly based on evidence from the analysis, and
  5. A list of additional resources your colleagues could consult for more information. Relates to CLO1, CLO2, and CLO3 and Core Competencies D and H)

Course Calendar

The following is the basic outline of the course topics. Specific activities, assignments, and readings are outlined in the Canvas course site.

This course runs on a Monday through Sunday schedule, meaning that all assignments and activities for the week must be submitted or completed by 11:59 PT on the Sunday at the end of the week.

In the table below, the acronym MGNV stands for the required text Mastering Gephi Network Visualization by Cherven, SNA stands for Social Network Analysis 2nd ed by Knoke and Yang.

The readings in MGNV are primarily about how to use the Gephi visualization tool. The readings from SNA and the other articles are related to the theory and practice of social network analysis and social analytics.







What are networks and why are they important?

Discussion 1
Lab 1 – Installing the required software

MGNV – Chapter 1

SNA – Chapters 1 and 2

Travers, J. and Milgram, S. (1969). An Experimental Study of the Small World Problem, Sociometry, 32(4), pp. 425-443.


Introduction to visualizing networks

Discussion 2
Lab 2 – Visualizing a network

MGNV – Chapters 2 and 3


Trust and network ties

Discussion 3

MGNV – Chapter 6

SNA – Chapter 4

Granovetter, M. (1973). The Strength of Weak Ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78(6), pp. 1360-1380.

Burt, R. S. (2003). Structural holes and good ideas, American Journal of Sociology, 2003, 110(2), pp. 349-399.


Analyzing clusters and groups

Discussion 4
Lab 3 – Analyzing a network

MGNV – Chapter 5

Ahn, Y. Y., Ahnert, S. E., Bagrow, J. P., and Barabási, A. L. (2011). Flavor network and the principles of food pairing, Nature Scientific Reports, 1(196).  doi:10.1038/srep001962011.

Page, L., Brin, S., Motwani, R., and  Winograd, T. (1998). The PageRank citation ranking: bringing order to the Web, Stanford InfoLab Technical Report, 422


Network propagation and contagion

Discussion 5

MGNV – Chapter 4

Aral, S. and Van Alstyne, M. (2011). The Diversity-Bandwidth Trade-Off, American Journal of Sociology, 117(1), pp. 90-171

Centola, D. and Macy, M. Complex Contagions and the Weakness of Long Ties, American Journal of Sociology, 113(3), pp. 702-734.

Kramer, A., Guillory, J. E., and Hancock, J. T. (2014). Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks PNAS, 111(24), pp. 8788-8790.


Issues in collecting social network data

Discussion 6
Lab 4 – Collecting data for analysis

MGNV – Chapter 7

SNA – Chapter 3

Marsden, P.V. (1990). Network data and measurement. Annual Review of Sociology 16, pp. 435-63.

Yates, D., Shute, M., and Rotman, Dana. (2010). Connecting the Dots: When Personal Information Becomes Personally Identifying on the Internet. ICWSM 2010 - Proceedings of the 4th International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media.


Analyzing social media presence

Discussion 7

Welser, H. T., Gleave, E., Fisher, D. and Smith, M. (2007). Visualizing the signatures of social roles in online discussion groups, Journal of social structure 8(2), pp. 1-32.


Putting it all together

Culminating project




Discussions: There is a discussion topic in all of the first seven weeks. The discussions are worth 40% of your final grade.
Labs: Each lab will have a set of outcomes to be met. Each outcome will be assigned a specific value and credit will be awarded for successfully meeting each outcome. The labs are worth 30% of your final grade.
Culminating project: The culminating project is worth 30% of your final grade.
Late assignments: Other than extenuating circumstances such as serious illness or death in the family, late work is not permitted. Late work must be turned in no more than two days after the due date, and that is only if the instructor has agreed AHEAD of the due date. In no case will late work be accepted for a discussion.

Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

INFO 200, INFO 204. 

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify and demonstrate understanding of the fundamental social network analysis concepts such as centrality, betweenness, boundary spanning, ego networks, etc.
  2. Analyze and discuss the effectiveness of the social media efforts of a library or information organization in terms of the organization as well as its constituencies.
  3. Compare competing theories and modes of analysis to justify a proposed course of analysis to organizational leaders and the community at large.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 282 supports the following core competencies:

  1. D Apply the fundamental principles of planning, management, marketing, and advocacy.
  2. H Demonstrate proficiency in identifying, using, and evaluating current and emerging information and communication technologies.


Required Textbooks:

  • Cherven, K. (2015). Mastering Gephi network visualization. Packt Publishing. Available through Amazon: 1783987340arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Knoke, D., & Yang, S. (2008). Social network analysis (2nd ed.). SAGE. Available through Amazon: 1412927498arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA);
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, BS-ISDA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation. You must repeat the class if you wish to stay in the program. If - on the second attempt - you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Graduate Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. will be available on Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs' Syllabus Information web page at: Make sure to visit this page, review and be familiar with these university policies and resources.

In order to request an accommodation in a class please contact the Accessible Education Center and register via the MyAEC portal.

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