Tuesday, January 16, 2007

What are Hein OnLine's Most Cited Journals?

Thanks to a link by Brian Leiter, I saw this study by a Berkeley law student on faculty productivity. The study has all sorts of problems, beginning with a failure to take into account books as well as articles outside of law. One of the comments asked the author, Tom Fletcher, why did you do this? Fletcher wrote:
I started thinking about some of these things after reading Dean Jim Chen's "Moneylaw" blog (careful, long download time), where he opines and theorizes on how to build a good legal faculty.
(We really need to address the long download time). Readers of MoneyLaw might find this comment in response particularly amusing:
By the way, aren't the "Money Law" guys the same idiots who found Iverson was the 91st best player in the NBA the year he won the MVP award and Ben Gordon was the worst player the year he won Sixth Man of the Year? Some people are so into their equations and numerical measurements that they make fools of themselves. In the legal world, we say these people have no judgment.
I have no clue what that poster's talking about. But, hey, I try to maintain the ability to laugh at myself....

That's not what's motivating this post, however. The study measures publications in Hein OnLine's "Most Cited Journals." I'm interested in citations as measure of law review quality. So that led me to ask, what does Hein OnLine think are the most-cited law reviews? Here's their list:

Boston University Law Review
Business Lawyer
California Law Review
Columbia Law Review
Cornell Law Review
Duke Law Journal
Fordham Law Review
George Washington Law Review
Georgetown Law Journal
Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review
Harvard Law Review
Hastings Law Journal
Hofstra Law Review
Iowa Law Review
Law and Contemporary Problems
Michigan Law Review
Minnesota Law Review
New York University Law Review
North Carolina Law Review
Northwestern University Law Review
Ohio State Law Journal
Southern California Law Review
Stanford Law Review
Supreme Court Review
Texas Law Review
UCLA Law Review
University of Chicago Law Review
University of Pennsylvania Law Review
Vanderbilt Law Review
Virginia Law Review
Wisconsin Law Review
Yale Law Journal

That's a list of great law journals, no doubt. And I would be honored to publish in any of them. However, I am surprised that some of them appear on a list of the 32 most-cited journals (like Wisconsin, Hastings, and Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties--though perhaps the later fits on a list where citations per article is used as the measure). Moreover, ones that are well-cited are missing (like William and Mary, Notre Dame, Indiana Law Journal, Cardozo, and maybe University of Colorado). Our friend John Doyle has a terrific website that ranks journals by citations and impact.

Over at First Movers, Anthony Ciolli has also linked to the study.


Anonymous Mark Fenster said...

My guess is the author is referring to "Wages of Wins," a book that attempted to use statistical analysis on basketball rather than baseball -- a controversial effort, given the differences between the sports and the results they came up with. (The authors have a website at the name of their book.) There's a really nice post on the basketball site Free Darko today summarizing the book and criticisms thereof (http://freedarko.blogspot.com/2007/01/dave-berris-dismal-science.html)

Given Dean Chen's earlier shout-out to team sports as a metaphor for academia, basketball really should be the model for this blog, rather than baseball, which is far more about individual confrontations (and therefore produces cleaner statistical data) than actual team play. Plus, basketball is a way better sport and more fun to play. So there.

1/16/2007 10:02 PM  
Blogger Alfred L. Brophy said...

Thanks, Mark!

1/16/2007 10:29 PM  
Blogger Jim Chen said...

Mark, Mark, Mark. You totally misunderstand the musical value of Nanci Griffith, and you've missed the proper sports metaphor. Academia's true sport is football. Not fútbol or Fußball, but old-fashioned American football. Baseball does generate cleaner statistics. And basketball has its virtues. But the true team sport is football.

1/17/2007 1:18 AM  
Anonymous Northerner said...

Download time: Stop including so many superfluous and distracting pictures, most of which seem to be irrelevant anyway.

1/17/2007 1:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose it's an aspirational preference for basketball, then, Jim. Football is, in George Will's famous complaint, too much a product of corporate, New Deal bureaucracy for me. (This isn't to adopt Will's distaste for the New Deal, nor his fetishization of baseball for that matter; just to make the point that the deliver of governmental services and of educational services in a post-graduate setting are different things.) Basketball is more delightfully free-flowing, improvisational, and yet also team-oriented than either football or baseball.

Everyone can score in basketball. In football, the players have narrowly defined roles, and some players can't or will likely never score by design. That in itself renders it a model that's unattractive, if ill-designed, for the academy. This doesn't even touch on football's inherent violence and barbarity. But perhaps that's your point!

1/17/2007 6:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Certainly this study is not perfect and the student's discussion before the results suggests that he may just want to take a poke at the UC faculty - however - isn't this type of study pretty close to what Moneylaw would be interested in seeing more of? It measures productivity of faculty and while it has some flaws, probably approximates fairly closely the overall research productivity of faculty members (albeit at one school). It closely resembles studies condutcted in other disciplines on relative institutions productivity (e.g. they all exclude a certain number of relevant research outlets). If you are serious about Moneylaw concepts, then this seems to be just the sort of thing that Moneylaw ought to be producing - just better.

1/17/2007 7:43 AM  
Blogger Jeff Harrison said...

In the almost words of Jim Mora, "Football! Football! . . . . Don't talk about Football." Really you must be kidding unless you are referring to law faculties having several teams bashing each other. Even the notion to "team" seems off. Is free for all a sport? If so, that's the law school analogy. Now on to MoneyFreeforall.

1/18/2007 11:32 AM  
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