Legal Research in Search of Attention: A Quantitative Assessment

King’s Law Journal, Volume 27, 2016, pp. 170-187

23 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2016

See all articles by Mathias Siems

Mathias Siems

European University Institute (EUI); Durham University

Date Written: September 9, 2016


In today’s world it is easy to make research publicly available by putting it online. But this improved availability raises the question how to produce research that actually gets attention. Bibliometrics can contribute to this debate. Based on a sample of 1107 papers of SSRN’s Legal Scholarship Network, this article finds that a short title, a top-20 university affiliation, US authorship, and writing about topics of corporate law and international law have a positive effect on downloads and/or abstract views. The article also reflects on the implications of these findings, in particular how they may be related to contentious attempts to identify what is "good" legal research through metrics and peer review.

Keywords: legal research; higher education; impact metrics; bibliometrics; REF

JEL Classification: C80, I23, K00

Suggested Citation

Siems, Mathias, Legal Research in Search of Attention: A Quantitative Assessment (September 9, 2016). King’s Law Journal, Volume 27, 2016, pp. 170-187. Available at SSRN:

Mathias Siems (Contact Author)

European University Institute (EUI) ( email )

Via Bolognese 156 (Villa Salviati)
50-139 Firenze

HOME PAGE: http://

Durham University ( email )

Stockton Road
Durham, County Durham DH1 3LE
United Kingdom


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