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Information for Authors: Social Work Research

Social Work Research is a professional journal concentrated on advancing the development of knowledge and informing social work practice. It is one of the chief outlets for primary research articles in social work and social welfare. As a repository for an evolving body of knowledge, the journal makes an important contribution to the quality of educational materials and social work practice.

From 1977 to 1993, Social Work Research was a section of Social Work Research & Abstracts. In recognition of the growing need for social work research, NASW separated the two sections in 1994 and now publishes Social Work Research and Social Work Abstracts as independent journals.

Articles include analytic reviews of research, theoretical articles pertaining to social work research, practice-based research, evaluation studies, and diverse research studies that contribute to knowledge about social work issues and problems. Criteria for acceptance include readability, sound methodology, and utility for practice.


Manuscripts for full-length articles may not exceed 28 pages, including all components. The entire review process is anonymous. At least three reviewers critique each manuscript, after which the editor-in-chief makes a decision, taking those reviews into consideration.


The Instrument Development column publishes psychometric research establishing reliability or validity of instruments relevant to social work. It also includes critical reviews of multiple instruments in a particular area. Instrument Development submissions may be no longer than 12 pages.

Research Notes presents brief reports on research findings that do not lend themselves to full-length articles. Reports may examine the results of a study, methodological issues, or works in progress and should include information on the research questions and the general methodology. The column also provides a forum to present research findings and ideas from studies that are in their early stages. Submissions are selected through the standard review process. Research Notes submissions may be no longer than 12 pages.

Letters from readers are strongly encouraged. Readers may react to articles published in the journal or comment on contemporary issues in social work research that have not been covered in the journal. Although space constraints preclude publishing every letter received, all will be considered. Letters may be no longer than two pages.

To prepare your manuscript in the proper format for submission, view the Author Guidelines. Please submit manuscripts as Word documents through the online submission portal at (initial, one-time registration is required).