Top 20 Social Work Journals

Which journal are you looking for publishing your article?

Have you checked the scope of the journal? Does it focus on empirical article or theoretical discussion or both? Does it match with the scope of your article? If yes, what is the journal’s status in terms of its impact factor or citation score?

Although impact factor is not necessarily the parameter to validate the journal’s quality, it does contribute to the visibility, output, and importance of the journal within its field. It is considered as one of the journal ranking criteria. Impact Factor is a measure of the frequency with which the “average article” in a journal has been cited in a particular year or period. The impact factor of a journal is calculated by dividing the number of current year citations to the source items published in that journal during the previous two years.  Clarivate Analytics publishes the journal citation report (JCR) every year. This report includes all journals, irrespective of the subject area or discipline.

Currently, over 300 social work journals are published internationally on different platforms. An impact factor of 2 is a good number in Social Sciences and Social Work while it can go up to 187 in Sciences. Below is the list of the top 20 social work journals according to the impact factor report published by Clarivate Analytics. The impact factor keeps changing every year based on the number of citations.

  1. Child and Family Social Work: 2.3
  2. Journal of Social Work: 2.2
  3. Social Work: 2.2
  4. Research on Social Work Practice: 2.2
  5. Australian Social Work: 1.9
  6. British Journal of Social Work: 1.8
  7. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal: 1.8
  8. European Journal of Social Work: 1.8
  9. Clinical Social Work Journal: 1.7
  10. Qualitative Social Work: 1.7
  11. Journal of Gerontological Social Work: 1.6
  12. Social Work in Health Care: 1.6
  13. Affilia- Journal of Women and Social Work: 1.5
  14. Health and Social Work: 1.5
  15. Social Work Research: 1.3
  16. Journal of Social Work Education: 1.3
  17. International Social Work: 1.3
  18. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research: 1.3
  19. Journal of Social Work Practice: 1.2
  20. Social Work in Public Health: 1.1

While the scope may be different among these journals, a few common aspects that an author should take into account before submitting to the journals are:

  • All the journals have a rigorous peer-review process. These questions need to be taken care of before submitting to the journals. Does the paper examine relevant literature critically? Is there logical analysis and discussion? Does the paper contextualise its findings with the international context? Is there methodological clarity? Are ethical considerations made transparent? If your article is based on an empirical study, are the theoretical frameworks spelled out clearly?
  • All journals focus on aspects of social work practice, research, theory and education, social work values. Your article should reflect on one or more of these aspects.

Besides, do not forget to look at a journal’s specific focus. For example, the British Journal of Social Work specifically focuses on voices and influence of people with lived experience of social work services. It prioritises articles that incorporate and promote the perspectives of people with personal experiences of the issues being examined. Similarly, Affilia- Journal of Women and Social Work gives voice to the myriad ways that feminist praxis manifests in social work. It focuses on social work articles from feminists’ points of view.

Publishing an article with a high-quality journal needs to have a minimum standard in all aspects that the journal mentions in its scope and author guidelines.

While this blog is dedicated to social work discipline/ journals, the ways and methods remain the same for other disciplines too. You need to pay attention to both the common aspects as well as the specific focus of the journal to which you are submitting your article.

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