The Types of Scholarly Publications Produced by Australian Social Work Researchers

Clare Tilbury, Mark Hughes, Christine Bigby, Steven Roche

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The publication of social work research and scholarship is integral to generating and disseminating knowledge for the profession and the human services field. Previous research has found a large proportion of nonresearch articles in social work journals, but there has been little exploration of the nature of this scholarship. Using a scoping review method supplemented by analysis of national research assessment output data, this study examined the quantity, format, and characteristics of scholarly publications between 2010–2020 by Australian social workers. It found they produced proportionately more journal articles than other disciplines and relatively fewer books and book chapters. Of 1,389 Australian social work articles published in top-cited social work journals, 821 (59.1%) were research articles. Of the nonresearch articles, almost half provided an analysis of policy or practice without stating a method. Understanding the scope of social work research provides a foundation for reflection on the discipline’s research endeavours. IMPLICATIONS Information about the scope of social work research is useful for developing both individual and disciplinary research strategy. A clear statement of method that describes the processes used for observation and analysis would enhance the quality of nonresearch social work publications.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-14
    Number of pages14
    JournalAustralian Social Work
    Early online date2021
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021


    Dive into the research topics of 'The Types of Scholarly Publications Produced by Australian Social Work Researchers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this