Evaluating the Quality of Dutch Academic Legal Publications: Results from a Survey
19 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2018
Date Written: December 13, 2017
In the Netherlands, law as an academic discipline seems to be moving from the humanities towards the social sciences. This transition has an impact on how the quality of legal research is perceived and assessed. Legal scholars appear to have different epistemic and strategic agendas with regard to what counts as an academic or professional publication, whether law journals and legal publishers should opt for peer review or the use of metrics to evaluate the quality of legal research, and what the purpose of research evaluation by law schools should be. Behind this are long-term developments that have an impact on legal scholarship, such as a movement from national-oriented research towards a more European and international focus, a shift in focus from monodisciplinarity to multi- and interdisciplinarity in legal research, and a potential shift from financing legal research via lump sum budgeting towards more competition for research funding. These developments are important for the identity of Dutch academic legal research. This is the reason why we undertook a survey among Dutch legal scholars in order to ask them how they feel about the quality of research in general and publications in particular, as well as how this quality should be valued and assessed.
Keywords: Dutch legal scholarship, research attitudes, quality assessment
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