Outcome Studies in Social Work Journals: A Review of Publication Trends

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Social work practice emerges from research conducted with outcome studies that attempt to capture the "change" that social work services are designed to influence. However, it is unclear the extent to which social workers are prioritizing, and thereby producing, publications that investigate this change. We find that both the number and the percentage (relative to other methods) of outcome studies published in core social work journals show a strong positive upward trend from 2000 to 2004 and then a downward trend from 2004 to 2011; both of these publication trends were lower in 2010 and 2011 than they were in 2001. Some journals publish significantly more outcome studies than other journals. The social work profession is most interested in results that can be readily used by social work practitioners; thus, the profession should focus on increasing the rate of outcome studies being published in social work journals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)706-709
Number of pages4
JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013


  • evidence-based practice
  • knowledge development
  • outcome research
  • outcome studies
  • practice research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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