The Signaling Value of Law Reviews: An Exploration of Citations and Prestige
15 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2008 Last revised: 22 Jun 2009
This brief essay reports a study of citations to every article published in 1992 in thirteen leading law journals. It uses citations as a proxy (an admittedly poor one) of article quality and then compares the citations across journals. There are, not surprisingly, vast differences in number of citations per article. While articles in the most elite journals receive more citations on average than the less elite (but still highly regarded) other journals studied, some articles in the less elite journals are more heavily cited than many articles in even the most elite journals. In keeping with studies in other disciplines and other citation studies of legal journals, the results here suggest that we should we wary of judgments about quality based on place of publication. We should also be wary of judgments about quality of scholarship based on number of citations and we should, therefore, continue to evaluate scholarship through close reads of it.
Keywords: law review, citations
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