8th edition of the Summer Course
Theory, Methods and Applications of Personal Networks (2 ECTS*)

Lecturers: Jürgen Lerner (University of Konstanz), Miranda Lubbers (Autonomous University of Barcelona), José Luis Molina (Autonomous University of Barcelona), Raffaele Vacca (University of Florida), and Alejandro García-Macías (Universidad de Aguascalientes).

Academic Code: 2287/8

July 1-5, 2016
Computer Lab “P-33” (B5B/-131).
(Faculty of Arts/Faculty of Psychology, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain).

Registration deadline: 26th June 2016.

Course materials are available in the local folder “Social Networks”  –  Feedback questionnaire


The aim of this summer course is to enable graduate students and researchers in the social sciences to create, compare and critique personal network research designs. The course is a mix of theoretical and computer sessions. On the first morning, we will discuss the basic definitions and central concepts in personal network research and we will briefly relate personal networks with various theoretical streams in the social sciences. This will give students an understanding of the different requirements that researchers may pose to their instruments. We will then introduce the basic steps of measurement of personal networks in survey research. The second morning is focused on delineating the networks. Students will be introduced to the variety of name generators and alternative approaches used in the social sciences, which will be compared with respect to contents, the characteristics of the measured networks and ties, the reliability and validity of the measures, and respondent burden. On the third morning, we will discuss the measurement of basic name interpreters, such as tie strength, roles, and geographical locations, and the measurement of network structure. On the fourth day, we will move to the analysis of personal networks, with R. Finally, participants will have the opportunity to present and discuss their research projects using personal networks.

In the afternoons, the students will have hands-on sessions with two computer programs that were specifically developed for the computer-assisted collection, visualization and analysis of extended personal networks, with both quantitative and qualitative aspects: EgoNet and Vennmaker. They will also learn how to visualize networks with Visone and how to produce clustered graphs that can visually summarize the characteristics of a set of personal networks.

This summer course is intended for PhD students and researchers interested in designing their own personal network studies. We expect them to have a basic understanding of general social science methodology (e.g., questionnaire construction, concepts of validity and reliability). Students are expected to participate in class discussions. We also ask them to prepare a summary of their research aims and learning objectives for the course (max. 1 page), to help us understand their interests and focus their attention to specific readings. Students are strongly encouraged to do the suggested readings before taking the course. The sessions will be conducted in English. At the end of each session participants are asked to complete a task and send it to professors. The participants who complete the scheduled tasks will get an official recognition of credits (*).


Participants should check the contents of the following material:

McCarthy, C. & Molina, JL. Personal Network Analysis. Research and Applications.








10:00- 14:00

Introduction to the course.

Introduction to the measurement of personal networks.

 (Miranda J. Lubbers and José Luis Molina)  

Comparison of name generators: Contents, reliability and validity, characteristics of measured networks (Miranda J. Lubbers)

Name Interpreters.

Measuring relationships among alters (Miranda J. Lubbers).


 Comparing personal networks with clustered graphs (EgoNet – visone) (Juergen Lerner)

Personal Networks with R (Raffaele Vacca)

Personal research projects presentation and discussion





 Lunch (13:00)

Lunch (13:30)


Personal network analysis with EgoNet
(José Luis Molina)

Vennmaker workshop

(Alejandro García Macías).

Touristic visit

 Group dinner


Personal Networks with R (Raffaele Vacca)


During the morning will be a break of 30 minutes.

Course materials are available in the local folder “Social Networks”.

Professors (this list can change): José Luis Molina, Miranda J. Lubbers (UAB) with invited participations of Jürgen Lerner (University of Konstanz), Alejandro García Macías (Universidad de Aguascalientes), and Raffaele Vacca (University of Florida) among others.

Fees: 490€ in the Postgraduate School by web. The fees includes five course lunches, the group dinner, and the registration fees of the international seminar. 

In you are interested in the summer course, please send your vitae and a brief description of your research question or interests to gr.egoredes@uab.es. Once accepted in the Summer course you can submitt this on-line form. Support is available at + 34 93 581 43 28 (Emma Peiró  ep.automatricula ad uab.cat).

Grant: Graduate students that currently are not enjoying a doctorate grant, can apply for one summer course grant that covers the inscription cost (490€), simply mentioning it on the email. On May 1, 2015, applicants will be informed about their position in the ranking (depending of research proposal -60%, and the student’ economic situation -40%).

Accommodation. Accommodation can be found at the university campus, either as an apartment or in the Hotel Campus (www.hotelcampusuab.com). In case you wish to rent an apartment, please contact with ines.zamora ad uab.cat for a special rate filling this form. There are other hotels close to the campus but they are not connected with public transportation. Our strong recommendation is either to book an accommodation at the campus itself, or in Barcelona city or Sabadell (two stops away from the UAB, see for example the student residence of Sabadell http://www.resest.com).

The best way for getting the UAB from Barcelona is by train with the “Ferrocarils de la Generalitat de Catalunya, FGC“, lines S2 and S55. There is a stop station for the University “Universitat Autònoma”. From Catalunya Square (at the Centre of Barcelona) the trip takes about 30 minutes. From the station to “Facultat de Lletres” the walk takes about 15 minutes. For getting the “Vil•la” (the accomodation facilities) is better to leave the train at the stop station “Bellaterra” (the stop just before “Universitat Autonoma”), and then walking for 10 minutes. Purchasing a T-10 (2 zones) ticket (about 20€), it is possible to get the UAB the five days (10 trips) of the course. This ticket allows the combination of train, metro or bus within one hour and half after starting the trip.

There is another stop station named “Cerdanyola-Universitat” from Renfe but it is a bit far from the Campus, so we recommend strongly to take the FGC line instead.

How to get to the Airport from Catalonia Square (“Plaça Catalunya”) . Take the “Aerobus” shutlle, in front of El Corte Ingles (a big mall). You will note that there are two separate queues – one for the Aerobus (A1) to Terminal 1 (T1) and one for the Aerobus (A2) to Terminal 2 (T2). The trip takes about 40′. 

A detailed guide with practical information about Barcelona city, accomodation, transportation and the UAB campus can be downloaded here.

(*) This document is issued after request by the participants at the end of the course by the Postgraduate School, it has an extra cost of about 79.55€ and it takes about 10 days to be issued. All participants will receive an official certificate of attendance by the organizers. It is possible to request a certificate to the Postgraduate school as well.

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