United They’re Cited: Impact of a Social Work Coauthor Network

  • Ralph Edward Woehle University of North Dakota
Keywords: Network analysis, coauthored articles, citation achievement, complexity theory, abductive logic, social work scholarship


Social work has emphasized the importance of the social environment, and social networks are an important means of understanding the social environment. The scholarship of a journal coauthor network provided important findings and an example. Prior theory and research suggested there are more citations from the center of coauthor networks than at the periphery. Using abductive logic, complexity theory, social network analysis, and tabular analysis of a social work coauthor network, the center of the network was found to produce more citations than the periphery. Both the prestige of coauthors’ setting and position were modestly associated with network centrality and citations. The functionality of citations, which includes the contribution to good scholarship, is questioned. Areas of further research and issues of evaluating coauthored scholarship are discussed. Placing greater value on coauthoring and publishing with less prominent coauthors for tenure and similar decisions is recommended.

Author Biography

Ralph Edward Woehle, University of North Dakota
Professor Emeritus, Department of Social Work