Bibliometrics in social work

Gary Holden, Gary Rosenberg, Kathleen Barker, Andrew Weissman

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Bibliometrics in Social Work examiness the cross-disciplinary field of bibliometrics, including the multiple techniques and applications that have been described in the scholarly literature. Moving beyond this general overview, the authors examine applications of bibliometrics in social work. Subsequent chapters detail how the technique can be used to demonstrate the eventual impact on the field of publications in selected journals. These analyses are conducted using the bibliometric technique referred to as citation analysis. The authors then move on to present what will be a controversial proposal to some in the field: using bibliometrics techniques in making academic personnel decisions. The authors propose that hiring, retention, tenure and promotion decisions could be made more uniform and fair by using citation analysis. A series of experts in bibliometric analyses then critically respond to these initial chapters. The authors conclude by weaving their responses to these commentators with new scholarship on bibliometrics that has recently appeared.

This unique book is a valuable aid for social work scholars. Drawing on broad interdisciplinary streams of scholarship from around the world, the collection illuminates a field that is not well known to social workers. While cautiously advocating for a number of applications of the technique, the authors balance this position by presenting a comprehensive summary of the criticisms of the technique and by the inclusion of a series of critical commentaries by the leading experts on these issues in the field of social work. Bibliometrics in Social Work both summarizes what we know and pushes the field to think about how social work professionals can use this approach to improve our scholarship and the evaluation of scholars.

Bibliometrics in Social Work addreses:

• theoretical and methodological issuess

• pros and cons from the view of numerous bibliometric scholars

• bibliometrics outside of social work

• applications within social work previously reported in the literature

• estimates that have been reported in the literature of how much social workers publish and how much impact those publications have had

• how citation analysis can be used to analyzed a selection of publications in a single journal and their subsequent impact

• how citation analysis might be used to improve academic employment decisions

• concerns regarding self-citation and multiple authorship

• measurement issues in bibliometrics (e.g., age adjustments; concentration citedness, and uncitedness; the Price Index; lag times; persistence; synchronous and diachronous self-citations; the Multiple Author Qualifier)

Bibliometrics in Social Work critically examines these methods and their applications in social work. The book will be an enlightening read for social work scholars and those academic administrators involved in the evaluation of social work scholars, as well as academic librarians that support social work programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages154
ISBN (Electronic)9780203051467
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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