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Social Work Journals

January 28, 2010

Today I would like to talk about a rather interesting source of insight into social work research and practice. I’ve always been very interested in academic journals as a way to access the latest discussions and ideas, as such, I would like to mention a few that are available free of charge on-line.

I’ve made my choices purely based on free content, and although these are a valuable source of information and highly respected institutions and publications, there are also a few other journals available upon purchase, namely from the British Association of Social Workers, the National Association of Social Workers and SAGE Publications, that I couldn’t avoid mentioning.

Some of the academic journals I will enumerate are periodical publications written by social work students, leading figures in social work research, education professionals, social work practitioners and policy-makers. They deliver innovative practice theory, evidence-based research, social policy and tackle several values and ethical dilemmas. And above all, they are incredibly interesting to read.

  • Critical Social Work Journal is brought to us by The School of Social Work of The University of Windsor. This journal is particularly focused on the topic of social justice, although there are several others, such as the take on spirituality and ecology within social work. There are ten volumes available, from 2000 to present.
  • Advances in Social Work is a journal developed by the Indiana University School of Social Work. Its aim is to bring together social work practice, research and education and it covers: clinical practice, community organization, social administration, social policy, planning and program evaluation. You can find ten volumes available, from 2000 to present.
  • Clinical Social Work Journal, I found out about this journal after listening to one of The Social Work Podcast interviews with Carol Tosone, who is the Editor-in-chief of this particular journal and although it is a very interesting journal, there is only one issue fully available free of charge regarding Clinical Social Work and Psychoanalysis.
  • Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal. From the same publisher as the former, this journal has twenty six volumes completely available free of charge. Its content is drawn from theory, direct practice, research and social policy in respect to children, adolescents and their families.
  • Child and Family Social Work Journal, its goal is to improve understanding and develop notions of good practice among researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and managers within child and family social work. Unfortunately, only the current issue is available free of charge, but it is still worth mentioning due to the extended content on this issue.
  • Currents Journal is given to us by Canadian University of Calgary Press. There is a special effort to encourage graduate students to submit papers to this journal and employing innovative research methods. There are seven volumes available free of charge.

Currents is one of a new breed of publications, a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal developed with the goal of making academic publishing more accessible and open.

Traditional print-media journals have become increasingly expensive, and they are notoriously slow. The cost of accessing knowledge through Currents will always be nominal, and the time required to review and publish manuscripts can be drastically reduced by using internet technology.

  • Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics, giving special emphasis in values and ethics in social work, this journal presents several articles providing ethical dilemmas and the advances being made within the field. This journal has been made available since 2004 until present free of charge.
  • Advocates’ Forum is edited and published by the students at The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, its purpose is to create a forum of debate among students, field instructors, social service agencies and schools of social work to discuss innovative topics in the field of social service. The volumes go as far back as 1994 until the present time.

I hope you will find this selection of free journals valuable as I did, and please feel free to add more if you would like.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 28, 2010 7:47 pm

    Thanks for posting this annotated list of useful journals. I would like to suggest a new entry, one whose first article has yet to be published: the Journal of the Society on Social Work Research []. From the website: “JSSWR is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal sponsored by the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR). The Journal provides a venue for the timely publication of high-quality research that advances knowledge related to social problems and the effectiveness of social programs and policies. ISSN 1948-822X.” If the promise of this journal is kept, it will provide first-rate research findings free to the public, and take advantage of all of the graphical capabilities of the internet ( full color photos, interactive graphics, clickable maps, etc) that are impossible in print publications.

    • January 29, 2010 2:40 pm

      Thank you very much for your contribution Jonathan, I’ve just been to the website and it looks very promising indeed.

  2. January 29, 2010 12:38 am

    What a great list, thanks for posting this!

  3. February 14, 2010 11:21 am

    What a great entry. I read a few journals, but having this list gives me the opportunity to expand my reading list without too much searching :). Thanks very much for taking the time to talk about this in your blog.

    • February 16, 2010 1:41 am

      Thank you for your comment. I thought it would be of great value for social workers to have available this list of free social work journals.

  4. June 29, 2010 8:20 pm

    The Journal of the Society of Social Work and Research has just published its inaugural issue. Free, open access to very high quality social work research that matters.

    Please add it to your useful list! 🙂

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