The four Ps of publishing: Demystifying publishing in peer-reviewed journals for social work doctoral students

Kimberly Bender, Liliane Cambraia Windsor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since the 1990s, the field of social work has placed substantial value on social work research. As a result, publishing has become an important aspect of contributing to the social work field. While encouragement for faculty to publish may vary across settings, publication has not traditionally been expected of doctoral students. The purpose of this article is to demystify the publication process and to encourage doctoral students to produce publishable work that contributes to the field of social work. This article discusses 4 Ps of publishing: (a) personal-exploring personal roadblocks to publishing; (b) people-collaboration with faculty and peers; (c) publishers-selecting an appropriate journal for submitting manuscripts; and (d) productivity-organizing time and work to be most productive. The authors argue that in publishing their work early on, students are better prepared to enter academic or research positions and will increase their networks and resources, giving them a wider range of tools to draw from once they graduate. Students will thus graduate with better skills and experience as they face the demands and expectations of academia. Doctoral students who publish offer recent practice experience and advanced methodological training-contributions valuable to research projects and the social work knowledge base.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-158
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Teaching in Social Work
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Doctoral education
  • Publishing
  • Research dissemination
  • Writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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