Sunday, December 25, 2011

How Important are European, Canadian and Australian Law Journals (and Scholarship) to US Scholars? Not Much

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

I was curious to measure the importance of non-US journals (and the scholarship therein) in US law scholarship. My initial search suggests not much at all. I examined the Washington & Lee law journals ranking website and did a general search for most cited journals. The first non-US journal in terms of citation impact is the European Journal of International Law at ranking 102 (immediately ahead of the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, Delaware Journal of Corporate Law and Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy).

The top 10 most cited non-US journals (with overall rankings noted) are:

102 European Journal of International Law
237 International Journal of Constitutional Law
268 Journal of International Criminal Justice
283 International and Comparative Law Quarterly
302 Journal of International Economic Law
357 Journal of Competition Law and Economics
369 University of Toronto Law Journal
407 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies
463 McGill Law Journal
469 The Modern Law Review

This suggests to me that US scholars and others who publish in US law reviews do not read non-US legal scholarship (some of which is westlaw searchable). Citations counts for economics and finance journals (none of which are westlaw searchable) are far higher than non-US law journals. Essentially, one might go for as to suggest that non-US law scholarship is for the most part irrelevant to US law scholarship, as measured by citation counts.

I thought to compare citation counts of Antitrust/Competition law journals with the overall list (ranking included- note that the US journals all have "antitrust" in the title):

127 Antitrust Law Journal
357 Journal of Competition Law and Economics
615 The Antitrust Source
648 The Antitrust Bulletin
663 Antitrust
804 World Competition: Law and Economics Review
862 European Competition Journal
873 International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law
981 European Competition Law Review
1073 Competition & Consumer Law Journal
1306 Competition and Regulation in Network Industries
1306 Global Competition Litigation Review
1306 Journal of European Competition Law & Practice
1306 OECD Journal of Competition Law and Policy

The most important trend is the growing irrelevance of the Antitrust Bulletin. This journal has been around for generations and has produced a number of important articles that have stood the test of time and many articles that are very good. However, for reasons beyond me, the publishers still do not include the journal on westlaw for it to be included in westlaw searches, do not allow drafts to be posted on SSRN, nor do they even have a website for the journal. THIS IS KILLING OFF THE ANTITRUST BULLETIN and will impact its ability to get good articles going forward. I do not know who all of the editors of the Antitrust Bulletin are but if you care about your journal, get the publisher to make the journal westlaw searchable.

Another interesting finding is the rapid success of the Journal of Competition Law and Economics. This journal has only been in existence since 2005 but already it has a higher ranking than many established flagship and specialty law reviews and (perhaps surprisingly) top UK journals like the Oxford Review of Legal Studies and Modern Law Review and the top Canadian law review the University of Toronto Law Journal. This speaks highly of the the JCLE co-editors Greg Sidak and Damien Geradin and their ability to pick some good articles that will have an impact.

The Antitrust Law Journal continues to do a very good job - kudos to Tina Miller and Tammy Feldman. Clustered around the Antitrust Law Journal are both main law reviews and strong speciality journals (Berkeley Journal of International Law, Columbia Human Rights Law Review, Texas International Law Journal, University of Miami Law Review). The editing is of high quality and the topics tend to be very cutting edge. The Journal tends to have quite a few symposia. I am not sure how this impacts citation count, although I suspect it slows down production because you are constantly waiting on the late contributors.

For the new year (2012), I will organize a symposium of antitrust/competition law faculty from around the world to discuss publication strategies.

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