A Case Study of Applied Scholarship: The British Journal of Social Work 1971–2013

Hannah Joy Louise Jobling, Ian Frank Shaw, Ik Hyun Jang, Sarah Jane Czarnecki, Ann Ramatowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The British Journal of Social Work (BJSW) has played a significant role in the development of social work as a practice and discipline for over forty years. For the first three decades of its life, the BJSW was the only prominent social work journal published out of the UK and thus is a ‘journal of record’, holding a mirror to the profession. As such, the BJSW has a rich depository of data, which not only tell the story of the journal itself, but contribute significantly to the narrative of social work as an ever-changing field. In this article, we aim to illuminate certain aspects of this narrative by presenting some of the findings from a multiple method historical case study on the BJSW, focusing on the first forty years of the journal. Data consisted of archival records, oral histories and analysis of journal content for the last full year of each of eleven editorial regimes. Here, we foreground the content analysis, giving particular emphasis to evidence regarding trends. We place these findings in the context of social work as a field, and relate them to the projected identity of the journal and to the broader identity of social work.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages31
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number8
Early online date11 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

©The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The British Association of Social Workers. All rights reserved. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details

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