Study Information

“Ethical issues in conducting social network analysis research 
A survey of international researchers and REC/IRB members’ views and experiences”

We are interested in studying the views and experiences of researchers in conducting social network analysis (SNA) in managing research ethics issues, especially (but not limited to) those conducted in health and educational settings.

As network analysis becomes increasingly adopted by mainstream researchers in a variety of academic fields, the time has come for a more general and informed debate about the use and adoption of the methodology, in particular on the ethical issues associated with the use of SNA.

There is a need for productive dialogue between researchers and stakeholders on ethical issues surrounding the conduct of SNA, so that clear expectations and norms could be established that would enable us to appropriately balance the risks and benefits associated with SNA research; and to explore what good practices there may be for applying SNA ethically in various settings.

This survey will comprise standard variable-based questionnaire items, i.e. this study is NOT an SNA study in itself. We do not collect relational data amongst respondents.  We are simply interested in understanding your experiences, perceptions and attitudes relating to ethical issues of SNA studies.

This is an anonymous survey. We have no way of tracing the identity of our respondents. 

We will not ask you to report any project or personnel details that may jeopardise your confidentiality (and we include this reminder as part of our survey questions whenever we ask for qualitative comments, and we will also remove any information we feel may potentially jeopardise your confidentiality).
Some demographic questions are asked, but you will have the option to prefer not to indicate your demographic details.
Only aggregate data will be reported.

In the 2nd phase of this study, we will also conduct a similar survey with members of RECs/IRBs in different countries about their views and experiences of reviewing and approving SNA research.

Full Participant Information Leaflet is downloadable as a PDF file from

If you have any questions please feel free to contact the research team at:

If you wish to get in touch with either of the investigators, please e-mail: or