D. A plea for consistent terminology for personal and social
networks. Paper presented at the 26th International Sunbelt
Social Networks Conference, Vancouver, Canada, April, 2006.
Presentation available at SSRN:
is required for clear communication in any scientific field,
especially for the most fundamental concepts. In recent years,
researchers have introduced many new adjectives to refer to
personal networks (e.g. local) and social networks (e.g.
complete, global, sociocentric, sociometric and whole). I
discuss desirable properties of scientific terminology and
argue that each of the new terms is superfluous and
misapplied. I conclude by suggesting that any mention of the
new terms should at least involve explicit cross-referencing
with the established terms, and that abandoning the new terms
altogether in favor of the established terms would be even
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