Social Work Abstracts fails again: A replication and extension

Gary Holden, Kathleen Barker, Lucinda Covert-Vail, Gary Rosenberg, Stephanie A. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: According to a prior study, there are substantial lapses in journal coverage in the Social Work Abstracts (SWA) database. The current study provides a replication and extension. Method: The longitudinal pattern of coverage of thirty-three journals categorized in SWA as core journals (published in the 1989-1996 period) is examined. Results: The proportion of issues missing from SWA is significantly greater than 0, increase over time, and is significantly biased in favor of NASW journals. Conclusion: The errors in SWA reported here, combined with those previously reported, will exert a long-term negative impact on scholarship unless their existence becomes known to all SWA users and they take steps to compensate for the situation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)715-721
Number of pages7
JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Bibliometric database
  • Empirically based practice
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Evidence-supported interventions
  • Impact factor score
  • Literature review
  • Meta-analysis
  • NASW
  • NASW Press
  • Research synthesis
  • Scholarship
  • Social Work Abstracts
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Psychology


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