Encyclopedia of Social Work is now a consistently updated digital resource. Visit About to learn more, meet the editorial board, or explore the latest articles.

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For Students

Starting with the right sources is key to the success of any research project. But with billions of books and journals available from your library and via the open web, knowing where to begin can be a challenge.

Every day, students studying social work, sociology, healthcare, public policy and more turn to search engines to discover sources that meet their research needs. Now, Encyclopedia of Social Work provides an authoritative starting place when beginning your paper or project.

A single click allows you to explore the breadth of social work overview articles and biographies of key figures in social work history. Each entry and biography has been vetted with precision by an expert editorial board, all of whom have experience in clinical and academic social work, ensuring that articles are of the highest quality, with evident practical application.

Just beginning your research and trying to collect sources? Encyclopedia of Social Work, can point you to the most relevant related sources on your topic through in-text citation links, linked, comprehensive bibliographies, connections to your library's relevant holdings through Worldcat and Google Preview, and more.

Discover Content and Connections

  • Subject Overviews: ESW features accessible, clearly articulated articles on a range of topics encountered in social work study. Looking for a social work definition or explanation quickly? ESW overview articles are where you'll find them.
  • Concise Biographies: The new site offers hundreds of biographies of key figures in social work history, for fast facts at a glance.
  • A Modern, Sleek Layout: Transforming the ESW print edition into a consistently-updated resource allowed us to explore a dynamic look-and-feel for the site. Now, a vibrant, user-friendly homepage instantly directs users to helpful material and eye-catching links allow key citations and content to pop out of article text.
  • Valuable Featured Content: In addition to all of ESW's scholarly articles and biographies, the new site also allows us to feature videos, links to other helpful resources, and tips for applying theory to social work practice. These pages are freely accessible to anyone who lands on the site, so start exploring through the links in the lefthand menu.
  • Expanded Research Options: OpenURL functionality allows for links to relevant external resources to display at the bottom of each scholarly article. Follow the links to find the resource in WorldCat, Google Preview, or in your library's holdings.

To learn more about Encyclopedia of Social Work, please visit Getting Started, check out our Article Walk-thru for an explanation of article features, or start browsing the site.