European Social Work Research

European Social Work Research is the flagship journal of the European Social Work Research Association and is dedicated to the development, practice and utilisation of social work research. It is the only Europe-wide journal to focus uniquely on social work research and its intended audience is scholars, students, practitioners, policymakers and other researchers who have an interest in social problems, social work and the contribution that social work makes to just and equitable societies. Read more about European Social Work Research.

Frequency: April, June and October

Restricted access

Aims and scope
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Testimonials
Contact us

Aims and scope

European Social Work Research (ESWR) is the flagship journal of the European Social Work Research Association (ESWRA) and is dedicated to the development, practice and utilisation of social work research. It is the only Europe-wide journal to focus uniquely on social work research and its intended audience is scholars, students, practitioners, policymakers and other researchers who have an interest in social problems, social work and the contribution that social work makes to just and equitable societies.

ESWR seeks to advance scholarship and debate, connecting empirical research with theoretical understandings that may inform, and be informed by, social work. The journal particularly welcomes innovation in social work research, including the development and application of innovative research methods and theory. As a double anonymous peer-reviewed journal, it provides a forum for high-quality research that contributes to understanding and furthering all aspects of social work. Articles need not originate in Europe, but must be relevant to contemporary European social work contexts and issues.

ESWR seeks to include high-quality research articles examining:

  • All major social work practice areas, including (but not limited to): vulnerable children and families; mental health; addictions; disability; migrants, refugees and immigrants; employment and unemployment; health care and hospital social work; criminal justice; and sustainable social development.
  • Contemporary challenges facing social work and the communities it serves, among them: poverty; social exclusion; discrimination and oppression; inequalities, injustice and relationships of power; abuse, trauma, violence and conflict; cultural, political and environmental hazards.
  • Developing and strengthening effective social work practices, organisations, programmes, policies or movements for achieving positive change and empowerment.
  • Developing and strengthening the social work profession, including social work education and training; professional identity, ethics and values; and interprofessional practice.

The journal values innovation and diversity, and so embraces research that uses a wide range of methodological approaches and is informed by a variety of theoretical and conceptual frameworks. Scholarly articles may be literature-based, conceptual or based on empirical research. They may use quantitative, qualitative or mixed empirical methodologies. Innovative methods and high-quality participative and practice research that engages with service users, carers and communities, are encouraged. ESWR also welcomes a variety of perspectives, such as psychological, philosophical, sociological, political, legal, ethical or related to human growth and development, whilst showing clear relevance to practice, management, regulation, policy, research, education or training in social work.

In addition to traditional research articles, ESWR features Book Reviews and a ContrReflection, Exchange and Dialogue section for shorter contributions (between 500 and 2000 words). This section is intended to provide a critically discursive space to provoke dialogue and debate, promote innovation and new initiatives, and to stimulate further contributions to the journal and to the European social work field. 

We also welcome proposals for Special Issues. See our guidelines on how to submit a proposal.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion statement outlines the ways in which we seek to ensure that equity, diversity and inclusion are integral to all aspects of our publishing, and how we might encourage and drive positive change. 

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Testimonials

"I am delighted that this new journal is ready to launch and am confident that the editorial team will secure high-quality contributions related to all aspects of social work research in both European and international contexts."
Christos Panagiotopoulos, President of the European Association of Schools of Social Work

"Today’s European social policy agenda includes greater service user involvement for delivering better social services. Social work research is essential in developing meaningful change and learning from each other is essential in this time of multiple crises."
Ana Rădulescu, President of the International Federation of Social Workers Europe

Contact us

Editorial enquiries:

eswr-journal@bristol.ac.uk

Open access enquiries:

bup-journals@bristol.ac.uk

Subscriptions and free trials

bup-digital@bristol.ac.uk

What are we looking for?
How to submit an article
Editorial Review Process
Ethical guidelines
Copyright and Permissions
Style
Alt-text
References
Open Access
Self-archiving and institutional repositories
English language editing service
How to maximise the impact of your article
Contact us

What are we looking for?

Research articles: normally between 5,000 and 7,000 words, including abstract (200 words maximum), notes, tables, figures and references. The journal values innovation and diversity, and so embraces research that uses a wide range of methodological approaches and is informed by a wide range of theoretical and conceptual frameworks. Scholarly articles may be based on empirical research, literature-based or conceptual. They may use quantitative, qualitative or mixed empirical methodologies. Innovative methods and high-quality participative and practice research that engages with service users, carers and communities is encouraged. ESWR also welcomes research using a variety of perspectives, such as psychological, philosophical, sociological, political, legal, ethical or related to human growth and development, whilst showing clear relevance to social work – whether practice, management, regulation, policy, research, or education and training.

The journal will include high-quality research articles examining:

  • All major social work practice areas, including (but not limited to): vulnerable children and families; mental health; addictions; disability; migrants, refugees and immigrants; employment and unemployment; health care and hospital social work; criminal justice; and sustainable social and community development.
  • Contemporary challenges facing social work and the communities it serves, among them: poverty; social exclusion; discrimination and oppression; inequalities, injustice and relationships of power; abuse, trauma, violence and conflict; cultural, political and environmental hazards.
  • Developing and strengthening effective social work practices, organisations, programmes, policies or movements for achieving positive change and empowerment.
  • Developing and strengthening the social work profession, including social work education and training; professional identity, ethics and values; and interprofessional practice.

Reflection, Exchange and Dialogue: between 500 and 2000 words, including abstract (75 words maximum) and references. This section is intended to provide a critically discursive space to provoke dialogue and debate, promote innovation and new initiatives, and to stimulate further contributions to the journal and to the European social work field. These may include:

  • Think pieces or discussion pieces that may be grounded on empirical research, or literature, or on particular initiatives, and that focus on highlighting the issues, challenges or innovations that arise from them.
  • Critical discussion that follows on from, or responds to, ideas and issues raised in previous ESWR issues.
  • Conversation pieces based on critical debate/discussion between two or more people with different perspectives on the same issue. These may be done in a variety of formats, including, for example, as if an exchange of letters. (Given their dialogical nature, the available word-limit for these pieces may be increased, by agreement with the Editors; discussants will be named as the primary authors of the published piece).
  • Articles that are based on interviews by one of the ESWR/RED section editors with particular social work researchers who are engaged in a distinctive and topical area of work. (Those interviewed will be named as the author of the published piece).

Those interested in writing for this section are invited to contact the RED Editors at eswr-journal@bristol.ac.uk.

Book reviews: between 500 and 800 words. They should include a concise summary of a recently published book, cover the main argument and subject matter, and assess its originality and contribution to its field and relevance to its intended audience. We encourage reviewers to also think about the questions raised by the text and the problems and issues that might be explored through a critical reading of its content.

If you wish to suggest a book for review, or to offer to write a review, please contact our Book Review Editors, Urban Nothdurfter or Sandra Romero-Martin

We also welcome proposals for Special IssuesSee our guidelines on how to submit a proposal.

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How to submit an article

All submissions should be made online at the European Social Work Research Editorial Manager website.

If you have questions about the submission process, please contact the editorial office at: eswr-journal@bristol.ac.uk.

Editorial Manager

Manuscripts must be in Word or Rich Text Format (not pdf). New users should first create an account, specify their areas of interest and provide full contact details.

In the course of your online submission you will be asked to provide the text of a tweet (required) which can be used to promote your article (no more than 130 characters long).

Preparing your anonymised manuscript

Your initial submission must consist of the following separate files:

  1. A cover page including: the article title, author name(s) and affiliations, and the article word count including references. A cover page template is available to download here. For full articles include also an article abstract (up to 200 words) and up to 5 key words. Include here also, as appropriate, any acknowledgments, funding details, conflicts of interest and a list of authors’ own publications that are cited, marking these as to be added in the appropriate place after peer review. Please indicate clearly on the Cover Page if your submission is for the Reflection, Exchange and Dialogue section or is a Book Review. For a book review, give the item title as the name of the book followed by (Review).
  2. A fully anonymized manuscript which does not include the information in the cover page. It should not include any information that would identify the author(s). Citations to the authors' own work should be anonymised in the text as follows: "Author's own, [year]". Please note that submissions that have not been sufficiently anonymised will be returned.
  3. If you have any Figures and Tables these must be uploaded as separate files with a suitable file title. Please indicate where they should be placed in the text by inserting: ‘Figure X here’ and provide a suitable reference to the appropriate file.
  4. In order to improve our accessibility for people with visual impairments, we are now required to ask authors to provide a brief description known as alt text to describe any visual content such as photos, illustrations or figures. It will not be visible in the article but is embedded into the images so a PDF reader can read out the descriptions. Guidance on how to write this is available here: Bristol University Press | Alt-text guidance for authors.

For help submitting an article via Editorial Manager, please view our online tutorial.

Once a submission has been conditionally accepted, you will be invited to submit a final, non-anonymised version, adding in any material that was omitted to ensure confidentiality during peer review.

Checklist: three items to include in your final non-anonymised manuscript after acceptance:

  1. cover page including:
    • Title: no longer than 25 words and, if necessary, a (short) informative subtitle
    • Author names and affiliations 
    • Abstract: no longer than 200 words, outlining the central question, approach/method, findings and take-home message;
    • Up to 5 keywords;
       
  2. The main manuscript including:
    • The non-anonymised text of your article: normally between 5000 and 7000 words, including abstract (200 words maximum), keywords, notes, tables, figures and references
    • Funding details: List any funding including the grant numbers you have received for the research covered in your article as follows: ‘This work was supported by the [Funding Agency] under Grant [number xxxx].’
    • Conflict of interest statement: please declare any possible conflicts of interest, or state ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’ if there are none.
    • Acknowledgements: acknowledge people who have provided you with any substantial assistance or advice with collecting the data, developing your ideas, editing or any other comments to develop your argument or text.
    • Figures and Tables: should be submitted as separate files. Figures should ideally be in an Encapsulated PostScript (.eps) file format. Please indicate where figures and tables should be placed in the text by inserting: ‘Figure/Table X here’ and provide numbers, titles and sources (where appropriate).
    • In order to improve our accessibility for people with visual impairments, we are now required to ask authors to provide a brief description known as alt text to describe any visual content such as photos, illustrations or figures. It will not be visible in the article but is embedded into the images so a PDF reader can read out the descriptions. Guidance on how to write this is available here: Bristol University Press | Alt-text guidance for authors.
    • Supplementary data: We recommend that any supplementary data is hosted in a data repository (such as figshare) for maximum exposure, and is cited as a reference in the article.
  3. Journal Contributor Agreement: please upload a scanned copy of the completed and signed Journal Contributor Agreement with your final non-anonymised manuscript. The agreement can be downloaded here.
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Editorial Review Process

All submissions are first desk-reviewed by the editor(s) who will assess whether the manuscript fits the aims and scope as well as the quality standards of the journal. Research papers and RED papers that are selected to be sent out for review will be evaluated through double-anonymous peer review by at least two referees. European Social Work Research aims to return the reviews along with an initial decision within two months of submission. Book reviews will be internally reviewed by the Book Review Editors.

Please also see our Journals Editorial Policies.

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Ethical guidelines

At Policy Press we are committed to upholding the highest standards of review and publication ethics in our journals. Policy Press is a member of and subscribes to the principles of the Committee of Publication Ethics (COPE), and will take appropriate action in cases of possible misconduct in line with COPE guidance.

Find out more about our ethical guidelines.

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Copyright and Permissions

European Social Work Research is published by Policy Press, imprint of Bristol University Press. Articles are considered for publication on the understanding that on acceptance the author(s) grant(s) Policy Press the exclusive right and licence to publish the article. Copyright remains with the author(s) or other original copyright owners and we will acknowledge this in the copyright line that appears on the published article. 

Authors will be asked to sign a journal contributor agreement to this effect, which should be submitted online along with the final manuscript. All authors should agree to the agreement. For jointly authored articles the corresponding author may sign on behalf of co-authors provided that s/he has obtained their consent. The journal contributor agreement can be downloaded here.

Where copyright is not owned by the author(s), the corresponding author is responsible for obtaining the consent of the copyright holder. This includes figures, tables, and excerpts. Evidence of this permission should be provided to Bristol University Press. General information on rights and permissions can be found here.

To request permission to reproduce any part of articles published in European Social Work Research, please email: bup-permissions@bristol.ac.uk.

For information on what is permissible use for different versions of your article please see our policy on self archiving and institutional repositories.

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Style

  • British English spelling and punctuation is required for this journal.
  • Non-discriminatory language is mandatory. See our guidelines to sensitive language (appendix C of document).
  • Explanatory notes should be kept to a minimum. If it is necessary to use them, they must be numbered consecutively in the text and listed at the end of the article. Please do not embed notes in the text.
  • Please do not embed bibliographic references in the text, footnotes, live links or macros; the final submitted file should be clear of track changes and ready for print.
  • Tables and charts should be separated from the text and submitted in a Word or Excel file, with their placement in the text clearly indicated by inserting: ‘Table X here’. Please provide numbers, titles and sources (where appropriate).
  • Figures, diagrams and maps should be separated from the text and, ideally, submitted in an Encapsulated PostScript (.eps) file. Figures created in Word or Excel are acceptable in those file formats. If the figures, diagrams and maps are in other formats (i.e. have been pasted into a Word file rather than created in it) please contact dave.j.worth@bristol.ac.uk for advice. Please indicate where figures should be placed in the text, by inserting: ‘Figure X here’ and provide numbers, titles and sources (where appropriate).

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Alt-text

In order to improve our accessibility for people with visual impairments, we are now required to ask authors to provide a brief description known as alt text to describe any visual content such as photos, illustrations or figures. It will not be visible in the article but is embedded into the images so a PDF reader can read out the descriptions. See our guidance on writing alt-text.

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References

Download the Endnote output style for Policy Press and Bristol University Press Journals.

Policy Press uses a custom version of the Harvard system of referencing:

  • In-text citations: give the author’s surname followed by year of publication in brackets;
  • List all references in full at the end of the article and remove any references not cited in the text;
  • Book and journal titles should be in italics;
  • Website details should be placed at the end of the reference;
  • Spell out all acronyms in the first instance.

Example of book reference:
Aghtaie, N. and Gangoli, G. (2015) National and international perspectives to gender based violence, Abingdon: Routledge.

Example of journal reference:
Williamson, E. and Abrahams, HA. (2014) ‘A review of the provision of intervention programmes for female victims and survivors of domestic abuse in the UK’, Journal of Women and Social Work, vol 29, no 1, pp 178-191

Example of chapter within edited / multi-authored publication:
Hester, M. (2012) ‘Globalization, activism and local contexts: Development of policy on domestic violence in China and England’, in MT Segal, EN Chow and V Demos (eds) Social production and reproduction at the interface of public and private spheres, London: Emerald, pp 273-294.

Example of website reference:
Womensaid (2016) What is domestic abuse?, Available:. https://www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/what-is-domestic-abuse/ [24 Aug 2016].

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Management Board

Lars UggerhøjEditor-in-Chief, Aalborg University, Denmark
Elaine SharlandCo-Editor, University of Sussex, UK
Ana M. SobočanCo-Editor, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Editorial Board

Ravit Alfandari, Reflection, Exchange and Dialogue Editor, University of Haifa, Israel
Sofia Dedotsi, Reflection, Exchange and Dialogue Editor, University of West Attica, Greece
Sarah Donnelly, Social Media Editor, University College, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Matthias Drilling, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, Switzerland
Elizabeth Frost, University of the West of England, UK
Erik Jansen, Reflection, Exchange and Dialogue, HAN University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands
Urban Nothdurfter, Book Reviews Editor, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy
Jaroslaw Przeperski, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland
Sandra Romero-Martin, Book Reviews Editor, University of Zaragoza, Spain
Karen Winter, Queen’s University Belfast, UK

International Advisory Board

Hakan Acar, Liverpool Hope University, UK
Marcin Boryczko, University of Gdansk, Poland
Fransisco Branco, The Catholic University of Portugal, Portugal
Inge Marie Bryderup, Aalborg University, Denmark
Annamaria Campanini, University Milano-Bicocca, Italy
Günter Friesenhahn, Koblenz University of Applied Sciences, Germany
Katerina Glumbikova, University of Ostrava, Czech republic
Riccardo Guidi, University of Pisa, Italy
Kristine Hickle, University of Sussex, UK
Sigrid James, University of Kassel, Germany
Mansoor A F Kazi, SUNY at Fredonia, USA
Steve Kirkwood, University of Edinburgh, UK
Monica Kjørstad, Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway
Sarah Lonbay, University of Sunderland, UK
Walter Lorenz, Charles University, Czech Republic
Maria Inés Martinez Herrero, University of Essex, UK
Judith Metz, Saxion University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands
Justin Miller, University of Kentucky, USA
Agnieszka Naumiuk, University of Warsaw, Poland
Anna Olaison, Linköping University, Sweden
George Palattiyil, University of Edinburgh, UK
Panagiotis Pentaris, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
Ana Radulescu, Bucharest University, Romania
Justin Raj, Central Institute of Psychiatry, Ministry of Welfare, Government of India, India
Ozan Selcuk, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey
Florian Spensberger, Catholic Foundation of Applied Sciences Munich, Germany
Egle Sumskiene, Vilnius University, Lithuania
Jon Symonds, University of Bristol, UK
Mia Tammelin, Tampere University, Finland
Barbra Teater, The City University of New York, USA
Lorena Valencia-Galvez, Metropolitan Technological University, Spain
David Westlake, Cardiff University, UK
Jean Pierre Wilken, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, The Netherlands
Paul Willis, University of Bristol, UK

General call for submissions
Call for special issue proposals 
Call for contributions to the Reflection, Exchange and Dialogue section

 

General call for submissions 

The Editors of ESWR invite authors to submit articles which examine all major social work practice areas, including (but not limited to): vulnerable children and families; mental health; addictions; disability; migrants, refugees and immigrants; employment and unemployment; health care and hospital social work; criminal justice; and sustainable social development. Contemporary challenges facing social work and the communities it serves, among them: poverty; social exclusion; discrimination and oppression; inequalities, injustice and relationships of power; abuse, trauma, violence and conflict; cultural, political and environmental hazards. Developing and strengthening effective social work practices, organisations, programmes, policies or movements for achieving positive change and empowerment. Developing and strengthening the social work profession, including social work education and training; professional identity, ethics and values; and interprofessional practice.

The journal values innovation and diversity, and so embraces research that uses a wide range of methodological approaches and is informed by a wide range of theoretical and conceptual frameworks. Scholarly articles may be literature-based, conceptual or based on empirical research. They may use quantitative, qualitative or mixed empirical methodologies. Innovative methods and high-quality participative and practice research that engages with service users, carers and communities, are encouraged. ESWR also welcomes a variety of perspectives, such as psychological, philosophical, sociological, political, legal, ethical or related to human growth and development, whilst showing clear relevance to practice, management, regulation, policy, research, education or training in social work.

In addition to traditional research articles (between 5,000 and 7,000 words) and book reviews (between 500 and 800 words), ESWR features a Reflection, Exchange and Dialogue section for shorter contributions (between 500 and 2000 words). This section is intended to provide a critically discursive space to provoke dialogue and debate, promote innovation and new initiatives, and to stimulate further contributions to the journal and to the European social work field. These may include:

  • Think pieces or discussion pieces that may be grounded on empirical research, or literature, or on particular developments/events, but focus on highlighting the issues, challenges or innovations that emerge from them.
  • Critical discussion that follows on from, or responds to, ideas and issues raised in previous ESWR issues.
  • Conversation pieces based on critical debate/discussion between two or more people with different perspectives on the same issue.
  • Articles based on interviews by one of the ESWR editors with particular social work researchers engaged in a distinctive area of work.

The journal will publish three issues a year with one based on the European Social Work Research Association conference. 

All submissions should be made online at the European Social Work Research Editorial Manager website.

We also welcome proposals for Special Issues. See our guidelines on how to submit a proposal.

If you have questions about the submission process, please contact the editorial office at: eswr-journal@bristol.ac.uk.