Trendalysing Social Work
This report describes an exploration of Google Trends in an attempt to determine its usefulness for social work research. Web searches on Google Trends related to social work were undertaken for the period 2007-2013. Hits related to jobs and education dominated. Emerging trends related to social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, but also came up for words such as evidence, technology and measure that might be interpreted in terms of theories or concepts, e,g., New Public Management and managerial social work. These findings were compared with numbers of reported studies in the databases Web of Science and PsycInfo. The paper includes some practical suggestions that might improve searches; but Google Trends is a tool still in the process of development and so far its usefulness for academic social work appears to be limited. Index Terms—Google Trends, social work trends, methods, managerial ideas
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