data formated into columns using comma or tab delimeters


  • Dead simple to parse.
  • Work well for any situation with records of any sort (i.e.

"case by variables" situations) or for sociomatricies.

Cons/ Considerations:

  • CSV focuses on table (row/column) format. This is just as difficult as XML to map to social network data without forcing it to do unnatural things
  • CSV columns SHOULD NOT change meaning mid-file
  • If you do use CSV you will almost certainly require multiple files (one for the nodes, one for the groups, one for the links, one for the other links, one to explain each file's format etc), but that is easily worked around by archiving them all together in .tar or .zip files. I think, for networks, this might even be a better option
  • Many programs simply get CSV wrong, particularly if you start wanting commas, newlines, or the like in your records.