Thoughts and comments on data science and social network analysis

I am an Associate Professor in Social Research Methods with interests in social network analysis, with a focus on applications to economic networks, international business & management. This website contains information about myself, projects I am working on, R packages I have created & other miscellaneous comments on social network analysis.


Thinking about using Social Network Analysis – try the SNA Hub In 2021, the Social Network Analysis in Scotland group (SNAS) developed the Social Network Analysis (SNA) Hub that is hosted on the Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) Open Moodle platform. The SNA Hub can be accessed here. The SNA Hub is intended to be a beginner’s guide to Social Network Analysis and how to use this methodology. The SNA Hub aims to act as a resource hub for anyone starting out with SNA, including an overview of some methods and metrics, along with short introduction/taster videos on relevant software for SNA and Network Science. [Read More]

Note on deploying with Netlify

This is a post for anyone coming back to update their website after some time and encountering issues. In a previous post I describe how I created the site using blogdown. One issue I encountered when updating my website then using blogdown::serve_site() to view it, was the that the blog posts no longer appeared on the main page. After some searching the solution was to simply update Hugo using blogdown::install_hugo(). Then to adjust the Hugo versions listed in the config. [Read More]

Job Update 2020

I am very happy to announce that I have joined Edinburgh Napier University as a Lecturer in Strategy. I hope to make a signifcant contribution to the group and continue my research on the application of social network analysis to economic and management topics.


ggplot & maps

Recently, I was attempting to layer plots created using ggplot onto a map. I came across this example, and it was exactly what I wanted. It produced this plot using a package called ggsubplot However, after trying to install and use ggsubplot I found out that it has been deprecated for some time (now incompatable with current versions of ggplot2) and has been since removed from CRAN, as detailed here. [Read More]
R  ggplot  maps 

Job Update

In September 2018, I joined the University of Greenwich as a Lecturer in International Business (IB), after completing my postodc at the University of Oxford. I am part of the Centre for Business Network Analysis (CBNA), where I hope to make a signifcant contribution to the centre and continue my research on the application of social network analysis to economic areas.


Network Visualisation in R - Package Comparison

There are a number of packages available to visualisation networks in R - ranging from those which are implement other network analysis features to those which draw on the grammar of graphics visualisation techniques. This blog post demonstrates the differences between these packages for network visualisation - in terms of amount of code required, aesthetics etc. Data I will visualise the same network with each package. An International Trade Network (ITN), where the nodes are countries and the ties between them are trade. [Read More]

Country Networks and Flags

Recently, I was asked whether I could create an international trade network with flags as nodes. Therefore, I thought I would write a post introducing the ggflags packages and how to use it in network visualisation. I am creating this visualisation in R, and relying on a number of packages: ITNr for the international trade network data that we use in the example. However, you the visualisation steps I will outline can be applied to any country level network (that is a set of countries connect by any links - this could be trade, investment etc. [Read More]

ITNr Version 0.2.0

International Trade Network (ITN) Analysis in R A new version of my package ITNr (0.2.0) is now on CRAN! The ITNr package presents a set of functions of to clean trade data, implement desciptitve analysis of the ITN and create a range of plots. I have updated and corrected the documentation for function is the last version, and have added several new functions. These include: core_periphery_weighted: To identify whether nodes belong to the core/periphery in weighted directed/undirected networks. [Read More]

Creating R packages, R markdown and blogdown

As this my very first blog post for this site (created using blogdown) I decided to write some comments/general points on my experience moving from a being a general R user making use of functions to writing R packages, using GitHub, and making use of markdown and blogdown. Packages Throughout my PhD I had to create networks from international trade data. This involved cleaning the data, removing unnecessary actors (such as territories like “Other Asia not elsewhere classified”), applying a threshold, so the network only contained ties that were some percentage of world trade and finally convert this into a network file. [Read More]