Empirical Legal Scholarship in Law Reviews
Posted: 14 Nov 2010
Date Written: December 2010
Despite persistent calls for more empirical legal scholarship, only recently have scholars provided evidence that empirical legal scholarship has indeed entered the mainstream of the legal academy. Defining empirical scholarship as the systematic organization of a series of observations with the method of data collection and analysis made available to the audience, we analyzed the content of 60 law review volumes published in the years 1998 and 2008. Our content analysis revealed that by 2008 nearly half of law review articles included some empirical content. Production of original research is less common. The highest-ranked law reviews published more articles and included more complex research designs. Analyzing the benefits and costs of publishing in law reviews, we predict that law reviews will see more original empirical scholarship in the future, despite the increased availability of peer-reviewed publication outlets.
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