International Network for Social Network Analysis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA) is a professional academic association of researchers and practitioners of social network analysis.[1] Members have interests in social networks as a new theoretical paradigm, in methodological developments, and in a variety of applications of different types of social networks approaches, social network software, and social networking.


INSNA was founded in 1977 by Barry Wellman, a sociologist. A key function of the organization was to provide a sense of identity for a set of researchers who were widely dispersed geographically and across scientific disciplines.[2] Wellman served as "coordinator" of INSNA until 1988, when he passed the baton to Al Wolfe, an anthropologist at the University of South Florida. Wolfe in turn passed the leadership to Steve Borgatti, who served from 1993 to 1999. Borgatti incorporated INSNA as a legal entity, creating bylaws and establishing the positions of President, Vice-President and Treasurer. A full chronology of INSNA leadership is as follows:

Years Leader Events
1977 - 1988 Barry Wellman Founded both INSNA and Connections bulletin
1988 - 1993 Al Wolfe First bound copies of Connections
1993 - 1999 Steve Borgatti Brought the annual Sunbelt conference (founded 1981) under INSNA umbrella. Sunbelt integrated with the European networks conference. Founded SOCNET listserv. Established first INSNA website along with ftp site for sharing software and data. Incorporated INSNA as a non-profit legal entity, creating modern governance structure including bylaws and the offices of President, Vice-President and Treasurer. Enabled members to join/renew using credit cards and wire transfers.
2000 - 2005 Martin Everett Instituted the Freeman award; Formalized process for selecting keynote speakers; Instituded succession plan; JoSS launched
2005 - 2007 Bill Richards First Canadian Sunbelt
2007 - 2010 George Barnett Instituted Bill Richards award
2011 - 2017 John Skvoretz Instituted formal system for selecting Sunbelt sites. Moved association from a model of relying on volunteers to one utilizing professional association managers. Made by-law changes designed to further continuity of leadership. Instituted full transparency of finances and decision making with membership.
2017 - present Steve Borgatti Hired new association management firm

Shortly after INSNA was founded, Linton C. Freeman founded the association's flagship journal, Social Networks, in 1978. In 1981, the annual Sunbelt Conference was founded by Al Wolfe and H. Russel Bernard. Initially, the conference was independent of the association, but was brought under INSNA's auspices by Steve Borgatti in the 1990s.

As of 2018, INSNA has approximately 1,000 active members, while the SOCNET[3] listserv has about 3700 subscribers.[4]

As well as publishing a triannual journal Connections on the subject, INSNA also:

  • Runs SOCNET, a listserv mailing-list for the subject.
  • Hosts the International Sunbelt Social Network Conference annually.[5] See list below.
  • Facilitates regional and specialized conferences.
  • Publishes a quarterly journal, Social Networks.[6]
  • Publishes the online Journal of Social Structure, irregular periodicity.[7]
  • Provides links to researchers around the world.
  • Provides raw data.

Sunbelt Conference[edit]

The official conference of the association is the Sunbelt Conference, held annually in a wide variety of international locations. The first Sunbelt conference was organised by Alvin Wolfe and H. Russell Bernard in Tampa, FL. Initially, it was decreed to alternate US coasts, in order to spread travel costs on the part of participants from different regions. However, in 1994, it was decided to incorporate the European network conference, which had been held in parallel with Sunbelt. Starting 1995, Sunbelt observed a 3-year rotation of Europe, west coast, and east coast. Starting with the 2nd Sunbelt, Sunbelt featured a Keynote address by a prominent member of the community. In the 1990s, the keynote speakers were also recognized with the Georg Simmel Distinguished Career Award.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Intute: Social Sciences, Intute website.
  2. ^ Barry Wellman biography: Netlab at the University of Toronto website.
  3. ^ "INSNA: SOCNET". Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  4. ^ "UFL LISTSERV Archives". Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  5. ^ Annual International Sunbelt Social Network Conference Archived 2007-05-22 at the Wayback Machine.: INSNA website.
  6. ^ Social Networks, quarterly journal.
  7. ^ Journal of Social Structure, online journal, irregular periodicity.


  • Freeman, Linton C. (2004) The Development of Social Network Analysis: A Study in the Sociology of Science. Vancouver: Empirical Press. ISBN 1-59457-714-5.
  • Barry Wellman, “Networking Network Analysts: How INSNA (the International Network for Social Network Analysis) Came to Be.” Connections 23, 1 (Summer, 2000): 20-31.

External links[edit]