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Measuring the quality of peer-reviewed publications in social work: impact factors - liberation or liability

Blyth, E, Shardlow, SM, Masson, H, Lyons, K, Shaw, I and White, S 2010, 'Measuring the quality of peer-reviewed publications in social work: impact factors - liberation or liability' , Social Work Education, 29 (2) , pp. 120-136.

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Abstract

Systems for measuring the quality of publications in peer-reviewed academic journals have achieved importance in the 'audit culture' to which academia worldwide has become increasingly subjected. In the United Kingdom this debate has focused on government proposals to give greater emphasis to bibliometrics (counts of journal articles and their citations) as a measurement of research quality, in respect of publications in the emergent Research Excellence Framework (REF) which is set to replace the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). This approach impacts on social work educators who are the main producers of papers published in peer-reviewed academic journals. It affects their publishing behaviour by pressurising them to publish their work in journals that are regarded as being prestigious, for which 'high impact factor' journals as determined by Thomson Reuters—a private commercial information management enterprise with headquarters in the United States—has become a proxy for quality. In this paper the authors describe and critique the Thomson Reuters system as it applies to social work and propose an alternate fair, inclusive and transparent system for assessing the quality of publications based on peer evaluation and incorporating an ethical approach consistent with the discipline's professional values.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Knowledge; Knowledge Transfer; Profession; International; Research
Themes: Subjects / Themes > H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Arts & Media > Centre for Media, Art & Design Research and Engagement (MADRE)
Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care > School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences > Centre for Social Justice Research
Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care
Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Arts & Media
Journal or Publication Title: Social Work Education
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0261-5479
Depositing User: Users 29196 not found.
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2010 10:03
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 17:03
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/3020

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