Session: Publishing Empirical Studies in Social Work: Writing Influential Articles (Society for Social Work and Research 14th Annual Conference: Social Work Research: A WORLD OF POSSIBILITIES)

55 Publishing Empirical Studies in Social Work: Writing Influential Articles

Cluster: Research Design and Measurement

Michael R. Sosin, PhD, University of Chicago , Mark W. Fraser, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , Rebecca L. Hegar, PhD, University of Texas at Arlington , Matthew O. Howard, PHD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Bruce Thyer, PhD, Florida State University
Friday, January 15, 2010: 10:00 AM-11:45 AM
Seacliff C (Hyatt Regency)
Peer-reviewed journals publish a substantial share of the empirical research conducted by social work investigators. Like journals in other fields, social work journals perform critical services in disseminating etiological and practice-relevant information on a diverse array of topics; in publishing work that can spur improvements in policies and services; and in promoting the progress of scholarly inquiry. The scholars who edit social work journals thus must meet the daunting challenges of quickly and accurately identifying, improving, and publishing relevant and rigorous studies that advance the breadth and depth of knowledge.

This workshop includes a distinguished panel of five editors of eminent generalist social work journals (British Journal of Social Work; Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research; Research on Social Work Practice; Social Service Review; Social Work Research) who will discuss journal publication. The editors represent association and private journals, national and international journals. They will describe their respective journals, offer submission guidelines, explain the editorial decision-making process, and provide their best advice on the article creation process. In keeping with the conference theme, the panel will provide editors' takes on the issues involved in writing publishable work that is rigorous, theoretically informed, and policy or practice relevant. The presenters also will examine how peer-reviewed publications contribute to the larger goal of expanding the empirical and theoretical knowledge base of the profession.

The editors will discuss a range of topics. 1) They will explain how to target the appropriate journal for a publication. Panel members will discuss the purposes, histories, and philosophies of the represented journals, identifying the types of manuscripts generally favored by each. 2) The editors will discuss the review process. They will explain timelines, manuscript review procedures, communication between editors and authors, and decision-making processes and how these vary across journals. They also will discuss how reviewers are selected, how authors can make their intent and contribution clear to reviewers and editors, and how authors might become reviewers. 3) The editors will discuss key features of highly-rated articles. They will explain some of the important characteristics that distinguish the manuscripts that tend to be accepted for publication and also will highlight the characteristics of the most highly valued works. 4) They will discuss publication priorities. Panel members will consider research topics that are of high priority to their respective journals. 5) The editors will discuss how influential work is selected. They will discuss various markers used to distinguish work likely to affect policies, services, and scholarly inquiry. To do so, they will consider the comparative influence on evaluating manuscripts of research questions, theoretical anchoring, design strengths, and implication statements. 6) The panel members will discuss the implications for journals and authors of advances in electronic submissions, publication, and journal ranking.

During a ninety-minute session, the editors will each address each of the above topics in prepared statements. They then will take audience questions and lead a discussion.

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