Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Journal of Legal Education

Publication Date

2020

ISSN

0022-2208

Page Number

772

Keywords

law school rankings, legal scholarship, citations, interdisciplinary engagement

Disciplines

Law | Legal Education | Legal Writing and Research

Abstract

In this article, we demonstrate that the citation counts and other author information available through the Web of Science database has made non-law citations possible to assemble and assess in a manner similar to the Sisk et al. methodology and the Hein legal citation study by Paul J. Heald and Ted Sichelman. A true apples-to-apples comparison, however, is not possible at this time given differences in the respective databases and search engines, as we explain in more detail in Part II.

Nevertheless, our study does serve as a demonstration project, showing that, with additional refinement of databases and search capacities, it is possible to capture the degree to which legal scholars are publishing in non-law journals and the extent to which that work is cited in law and non-law journals. We contend that this breadth of work and citations in non-law journals are a representation of interdisciplinary work by law faculty and its influence within and outside of legal scholarship. This is by no means a trivial body of work: In our five-year study period (2012–2018), over 600 tenured law faculty from the twenty-five schools in our study published almost 3,000 articles in the Web of Science database (with the “Law” category excluded) and received close to 20,000 citations to those articles during that period. Clearly, a good number of law faculty work at the core of interdisciplinary engagement—they publish in non-law journals, and those publications are recognized in law and non-law journals.

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