Friday, 1 June 2012

Most cited law reviews

The Michigan Law review has published a new study (36 page pdf) of the most-cited law review articles of all times. The article (the abstract is also available) is an update by Yale law librarian Fred Shapiro, who first published such a survey in 1985,  and Harvard law librarian Michelle Pearse. The study compiles law review citation information in a variety of ways, and the authors say that "New research tools from the HeinOnline and Web of Science databases now allow lists to be compiled that are more thorough and more accurate than anything previously possible." The authors give a detailed and thoughtful analysis of trends in the data over the years. For example, they note that articles about law and economics have "been plentiful among the citation elite", continuing a trend seen in previous surveys, while articles about critical race theory and critical legal studies have "faded in acceptance" over the last decade.  The subject of intellectual property has also been increasingly the focus of scholarship, but the authors say that "this field's ascendance is more attributable to technological developments than to personal ones".  

No comments: