Special Issue "Social Network Analysis of Online Communities"

A special issue of Future Internet (ISSN 1999-5903). This special issue belongs to the section "Techno-Social Smart Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 March 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Maurizio Naldi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dpt. of Law, Economics, Politics and Modern languages. LUMSA University, Rome, Italy
Interests: network economics; social network analysis
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Online communities have been a central part of internet activities since its very beginning, representing somewhat the heritage of bulletin board systems (BBS). Today, online communities offer a very wide panorama, ranging across the whole spectrum of human activities and interests. In contrast to the closed nature of early communities, the use of internet has allowed the growth of very large communities, with sizes easily exceeding a million users (the dedicated Wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_virtual_communities_with_more_than_1_million_users lists 85 communities exceeding that threshold). Though in many cases, access to and activities within such communities are somewhat regulated by a moderator, it may happen that no special admission control is exerted on new members and that no surveillance/sanctioning mechanisms are in place, leaving the door open to abuse. Such communities have attracted the interest of many researchers, coming from different fields and applying the tools typical of their field of study, e.g., ethnography, anthropology, social psychology, sociology, or linguistics. The emerging field of network science and, namely, social network analysis (SNA) can bring a host of new analysis tools, which can be profitably employed to investigate online communities on very solid quantitative foundations. It is therefore the right time to push the widespread application of network-based techniques to online communities.

For this purpose, this Special Issue invites original research papers on new algorithms relying on social network analysis tools to analyze online communities. Relevant topics include but are not limited to:

  • Centrality analysis;
  • Detection of influencers;
  • Detection of trolls and antisocial behavior;
  • Differentiation of roles inside the community;
  • Dialogue analysis;
  • Detection of sub-communities;
  • Word-of-mouth and opinion spreading;
  • Online communities as recommender systems;
  • Analysis of interaction dynamics;
  • Life analysis of communities;
  • Business vs leisure communities;
  • Classification of online communities;
  • Online communities and marketing.

Prof. Dr. Maurizio Naldi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Future Internet is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Centrality analysis
  • Community detection
  • Temporal networks
  • Dialogue analysis
  • Opinion formation

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
Back to TopTop