Representative Literature Reviews Using Constrained Snowball Sampling and Citation Network Analysis

15 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2012

See all articles by Jesse D. Lecy

Jesse D. Lecy

Arizona State University (ASU) - School of Public Affairs; Maxwell School of Syracuse University; Georgia State University - Andrew Young School of Policy Studies

Kate E. Beatty

Saint Louis University

Date Written: January 1, 2012

Abstract

We present here a new method for literature reviews that utilizes citation network analysis from academic databases. Special attention is paid to the construction of the citation network in order to ensure that the sample contains key publications in the field. Keyword searches in databases can be misleading because keywords are not used consistently across publications. Snowball sampling is onerous because the sample grows at an exponential rate. Constrained snowball sampling (limiting the percentage of articles collected at each level) is presented as a feasible and effective alternative that allows for robust citation analysis using a small fraction of the data. The methodology is outlined here. Free software for the R environment is also available.

Keywords: citation analysis, literature review, snowball sampling

Suggested Citation

Lecy, Jesse D. and Beatty, Kate E., Representative Literature Reviews Using Constrained Snowball Sampling and Citation Network Analysis (January 1, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1992601 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1992601

Jesse D. Lecy (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) - School of Public Affairs ( email )

Farmer Building 440G PO Box 872011
Tempe, AZ
United States

Maxwell School of Syracuse University ( email )

400 Eggers Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244
United States

Georgia State University - Andrew Young School of Policy Studies ( email )

Public Management and Policy
35 Broad Street, 6th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States

Kate E. Beatty

Saint Louis University ( email )

220 North Grand Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63103
United States

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