Social Welfare Faculty Productivity Ranks Tops

Members Are Twice as Likely to Publish, Be Cited by Others, Two Studies Reveal

by Patricia McBroom

On an individual basis, the 14-member faculty at the School of Social Welfare is twice as productive as any other social work faculty in the nation, according to new evaluations from within the profession.

Berkeley has long been a leader in the field of social welfare and was ranked tops for productivity in 1991.

This latest analysis demonstrates that not only do Berkeley's professors of social welfare publish more often, but they also are cited more often by others in the field and the excellence is spread evenly throughout the school.

Berkeley had "far and away the highest critical mass of scholarly activity in 1992" (the year of analysis), said the authors of the study, published in the fall issue of the Journal of Social Work Education.

Berkeley's combined productivity score was twice as high as its nearest competitor, Columbia University, and almost four times as high as the third-ranked school, Washington University in St. Louis.

"We're just delighted," said the acting dean of social welfare, Neil Gilbert.

"Pound for pound, we are the strongest school in the country. While we're much smaller than the competition, everybody has their oar in the water," said Gilbert.

Two separate studies by different authors were published in the same issue of the journal, the main publication of the Council on Social Work Education. Both ranked Berkeley first in the nation, but on different criteria.

One counted the number of full-length articles published by the faculty of 45 social work doctoral programs in the U.S. between 1990 and 1993.

During that period, Berkeley professors published four articles per faculty member, compared to 2.6 for its closest rival.

The second study analyzed per capita publication rates and also surveyed the number of times 333 professors at 13 schools had been cited by others.

Results showed publications by the Berkeley faculty were used most often in the search for information and new knowledge.

Citation rates were based on the 1992 Social Sciences Citation Index.

The combined scores in the second article produced a "critical mass" score for 13 leading schools of social work, which is shown as a graph on page 3.

At the time of analysis in 1992, Berkeley's faculty numbered 16; Columbia's, 33.


Copyright 1996, The Regents of the University of California.
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