Each year, the Editorial Board of the Columbia Social Work Review receives dozens of submissions from students and is responsible for the difficult task of choosing a select few for publication. For this process, submissions are evaluated based on specific criteria to ensure that the chosen articles advance the Review’s mission of providing a forum for the exchange of innovative ideas that integrates social work practice, education, research, and theory from the perspective of social work students.
The Editorial Board evaluates submissions along four major categories: social work relevance, content, uniqueness, and writing ability. The Review uses a blind selection process facilitated through a third party.
Social Work Relevance. For this category, each article is examined on whether or not it is pertinent to our field, and also the way in which it contributes to, advances, and influences thinking and knowledge in social work. Diverse members of the broader social work community should be able to find the piece interesting, educational, and thought-provoking.
Content. Careful attention is paid to the clarity of the article’s thesis and the extent to which it is supported by clear and well-researched arguments. The overall thoroughness and vigor of authors’ arguments are also evaluated.
Uniqueness. Consideration is given to articles addressing issues in our field that are often overlooked or that could benefit from further investigation. It is important that selected articles are distinct from those of articles published in previous editions of the Review and other peer-reviewed publications.
Quality of Writing. Finally, significant attention is paid to quality of writing when determining the articles to select for publication. Authors should communicate their ideas in a clear, coherent, and logical manner, and the language is expected to be clear, unambiguous, and engaging.
This selection criteria* can help students better understand the kind of articles the Review seeks to publish and what aspects writers should focus on when preparing an article for submission. We hope that this increases transparency and fairness of all interested in submitting.
*Although these categories guide the Editorial Board’s assessment of submissions, they are subject to change each year and the Board retains the right to use its discretion during the selection process.