Dean Barth's Lifetime Contribution to Social Work Research Scored Fourth by Leading Journal


A late 2016 paper in Research on Social Work Practice examines the productivity of social work scholars using the Google Scholar “h-index” (a measure of lifetime scholarly impact) for fellows of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare and the Society for Social Work Research. Dean Richard Barth had the fourth highest h-index overall and the highest of any scholar with a social work degree.

Although all of the top 10 scholars were in the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare (AASWSW), only Barth is also a fellow of the Society for Social Work Research, having served on its Board, presented many times at their annual conference and led the sub-committee that founded the Journal for the Society of Social Work Research, before being asked to help create the AASWSW.

The authors conclude (p. 759) … social work academics spend a considerable amount of time and energy creating and disseminating research. It is reasonable to ask if anyone is reading the resulting scholarship. The results of the present study indicate that an affirmative answer is warranted. Indeed, the results indicate that the profession is characterized by many researchers who are making an exceptional scientific impact.

Hodge, D. R., Kremer, K. P., & Vaughn, M. G. (2016). High-Impact Social Work Scholars: A Bibliometric Examination of SSWR and AASWSW Fellows. Research on Social Work Practice, 26, 751-761. doi: 10.1177/1049731516645929

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