Social Work Professor to be Honored by Council for Social Work Education
This fall, Dr. Bruce Friedman, chair and professor of the Department of Social Work, will be honored at the Council for Social Work Education’s (CSWE) annual meeting, receiving the 2021 Best Reviewer award for the council’s peer-reviewed professional journal, the Journal of Social Work Education (JSWE).
Earlier this month, Friedman received correspondence from Dr. Danielle Parrish, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Social Work Education, indicating that he was one of only two reviewers selected from the journal’s national pool of reviewers to receive the award. The ceremony is tentatively planned to take place during the CSWE’s 2021 meeting, from November 4th to 7th in Orlando, Florida. Parrish wrote that members of the editorial advisory board were “particularly impressed with [Friedman’s] helpful comments to authors and fast completion of reviews.” Friedman acknowledged that he does try to identify specific areas for improvement, rather than using generalizations or sending simple rejection notices, in an effort to improve authors’ acceptance rates.
Friedman is a long-time reviewer of the JSWE, specializing in the topics of innovation in teaching; teaching techniques in social work education; qualitative research and mixed-methods approaches; using Photovoice to discuss the implications of COVID-19 on teaching; community-based research; and spirituality and religion.
Friedman has also served as a special editor for the British Journal of Social Work, and as an editor for the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, the Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, and Human Service Management. He has recently been invited to serve as a special editor for the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation.
Some of the common challenges Friedman sees as a reviewer are that writers have not completed an adequate literature review, failing to cite or include references to important authors in the field. “I look at the currency of the literature and whether the information is dated or relatively current,” he explained. He also sees many writers who use surveys and report back on results with a low response rate. “Instead of using the Dillman Total Design Survey Method to get a better response rate, these authors will report on a response rate of, say 15 to 20% of participants,” he said, adding, “The authors should include the poor response rate in the list of limitations in their article.”
His general advice for faculty and others wanting to submit manuscripts for publication is to use the KIS (keep it simple) principle, stating that “simple is always better. There should be a logical process going from the identification of the problem to the methods. The methodology should address the problem.” He also mentioned, “It is harder to write simply, but it engages the readers more effectively.”
Friedman says he has encouraged his faculty to consider becoming reviewers for peer-reviewed journals, and his mantra for aspiring reviewers mirrors his advice for aspiring writers: “Follow a simple process. Email the editor(s) and volunteer your service. The editors use electronic databases to record who can serve as a reviewer in specific areas. Once you’re in the database, they’ll connect with you if they identify an area where your expertise is needed.”
For more information about the programs in the Department of Social Work, please visit: http://www.utep.edu/sw/.