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Friday, August 31, 2007

Law Review Rankings of the Worst Sort

Robert Jarvis and Phyllis Coleman have unfortunately updated their rankings of law journals by author prominence.  The contributor scale on page three is just absurd.  Did you know that it is less prestigious to publish something by me, a law professor at a fourth-tier school, than to publish something by the mayor of your local town?  Or that publishing something by me is less than half as prestigious as publishing something by a law firm partner?  This means that Frank Snyder (a former Latham partner) had his prestige cut in half when he joined the Texas Wesleyan faculty.  I can't think of anything good that can come from this type of ranking other than reinforcement of the law reviews' focus on author resume over article quality.

Ben Barros

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Comments

So, Ben, tell us what you really think.

Posted by: Al | Aug 31, 2007 2:19:22 PM

Nah, I'm trying to be politic.

Posted by: Ben Barros | Aug 31, 2007 6:56:46 PM

The most absurd "info antics not metrics" study I have seen. As a law librarian, it's embarrassing to note that the our professional journal published this "scholarly" work.

Posted by: Joe | Sep 1, 2007 7:57:04 AM

Many commentators have said that a "diversity of rankings" will improve things by taking attention away from USNWR. However, as the book The Economy of Prestige suggests, "alternative" rankings tend eventually to converge on the very types of shallow/black box metrics that characterized the dominant rankings they were trying to improve upon.

Yet another confirmation of that hypothesis.

Posted by: Frank | Sep 3, 2007 7:07:33 AM

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