Comparative performance of adult social care research, 1996–2011: A bibliometric assessment

Campbell, D., Côté, G., Grant, J., Knapp, M., Mehta, A., and Jones, M. M.(2015). Comparative performance of  adult social care research, 1996-2011: A bibliometric assessment. British Journal of Social Work, Published online before print 15 April 2015.


Decision makers in adult social care are increasingly interested in using evidence from research to support or shape their decisions. The scope and nature of the current landscape of adult social care research (ASCR) need to be better understood. This paper provides a bibliometric assessment of ASCR outputs from 1996 to 2011. ASCR papers were retrieved using three strategies: from key journals; using keywords and noun phrases; and from additional papers preferentially citing or being cited by other ASCR papers. Overall, 195,829 ASCR papers were identified in the bibliographic database Scopus, of which 16 per cent involved at least one author from the UK. The UK output increased 2.45-fold between 1996 and 2011. Among selected countries, those with greater research intensity in ASCR generally had higher citation impact, such as the USA, UK, Canada and the Netherlands. The top five UK institutions in terms of volume of papers in the UK accounted for 26 per cent of total output. We conclude by noting the limitations to bibliometric analysis of ASCR and examine how such analysis can support the strategic development of the field.

Keywords: Adult social care, bibliometrics, research policy, comparative analysis, scientometrics

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