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date: 18 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of social network data collection strategies. We begin by outlining the primary principles of sampling and measurement design, then describing how those combine into what is labeled the “boundary specification problem” for social network research. We accompany these definitions with examples of how these elements are applied across ego, partial, and complete network designs. Next, the chapter turns to the primary ways that network data have been evaluated, highlighting both the implications of those evaluations for their use in network analyses and various strategies for how the identified limitations can be leveraged for optimal data and analytic quality. The chapter concludes by addressing some of the ethical considerations that are unique to the gathering and analyses of social network data.

Keywords: data collection, survey design, data quality, research ethics, name generators, name interpreters, relational interpreters

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