Monday, March 5, 2012

Law Reviews Continue Decline in Subscribers

Ross Davies recently published an annual review of law review circulation numbers.  As expected, paid subscriber numbers continued to decline:

In 2011, for the first time since the U.S. Postal Service began requiring law reviews to track and report their circulation numbers, no major law review had more than 2,000 paying subscribers. The Harvard Law Review remains the top journal, but its paid circulation has declined from more than 10,000 during much of the 1960s and ’70s to about 5,000 in the 1990s to 1,896 last year.

With Westlaw, Lexis, and Hein Online subscriptions accounting for most lawyers’ access to law reviews, are paid subscriptions a relevant metric?  They are probably becoming less so with the advent of free download services like SSRN.  In any event, it is interesting to consider that even the most popular law reviews are sent to less than 2000 people.


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