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Former professor's legacy continues with inclusion in prestigious journal study

RELEASED: Oct. 14, 2011

Leonard Gibbs
Dr. Leonard Gibbs

EAU CLAIRE — Dr. Leonard Gibbs, a professor emeritus of social work at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire who retired in 2005 and passed away in June 2008, was an author of the third most-cited article in a recently published British Journal of Social Work study listing the 100 most cited articles in social work disciplinary journals.

The study, "Influential Publications in Social Work Discourse: The 100 Most Highly Cited Articles in Disciplinary Journals: 2000-09," was published in July and examined 79 social work journals to find the most-cited articles.

Gibbs' article, which he co-authored with Dr. Eileen Gambrill of the University of California, Berkeley, was titled "Evidence-based practice: Counterarguments to objections" and published in the journal Research on Social Work Practice in 2002. The article was cited 146 times in social work journals during the 10-year period examined by the British Journal of Social Work study.

"This is a significant mark of distinction for any scholar," said Dr. Gloria Fennell, retired UW-Eau Claire associate professor of social work and co-director of the university's part-time master of social work program. "This is a fitting tribute to Len's contributions to the social work field — as is the fact that now two of our social work faculty, Dr. Lisa Quinn-Lee and Dr. Leah Olson-McBride, were once his students."

Gibbs, an internationally recognized leader in the evidence-based practice movement, was honored in April 2009 with a lecture in his memory at his alma mater, UW-Madison. The Campbell Collaboration Social Welfare Coordinating Group honors Gibbs each year by presenting its Leonard E. Gibbs Award, part of the group's program to encourage production of rigorous systematic reviews (syntheses, or meta-analyses of many research studies) that can inform social welfare policy and practice.

Before Gibbs died, he and his wife, Betsy McDougall-Gibbs, established the Leonard E. Gibbs Scientific Reasoning Fund to award two scholarships annually to UW-Eau Claire social work students who best demonstrate understanding of how to apply research concepts to making better judgments and decisions in practice.

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JP/DW

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