Views of Reference List Accuracy from Social Work Journal Editors and Published Authors

Scott E. Wilks, Christina A. Spivey


Objective:The study’s purpose was to answer two research questions: (1) In
the opinion of social work journal editors, how important is reference list accuracy?
and (2)Who is primarily responsible for the accuracy of reference lists published in
social work journals? Method: A sample of 119 authors and 26 journal editors was
surveyed to ascertain their views on the above questions and additional items.
Results: Regarding the importance of reference list accuracy, editors’ responses
(Likert scale) averaged between moderately and extremely important. Fifty-three
percent of responding editors and 36.5% of authors reported that responsibility is
shared between the editor/staff and manuscript authors; the remaining 47% and
63.5%, respectively, responded that responsibility falls upon manuscript authors.
Responses from authors, mostly educators, revealed a greater-than-moderate
importance (Likert scale) given to instructing students on the accurate construction
of reference lists. Implications for social work education and journal publishing are


APA; publication; reference; reference list; reference list accuracy

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Copyright (c) 2004 Scott E. Wilks, Christina A. Spivey


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