The Network of Law Reviews: Citation Cartels, Scientific Communities, and Journal Rankings

29 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2019

See all articles by Oren Perez

Oren Perez

Bar-Ilan University - Faculty of Law

Judit Bar‐Ilan

Bar-Ilan University

Reuven Cohen

Bar-Ilan University - Department of Mathematics

Nir Schreiber

Bar-Ilan University, Department of Mathematics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2019

Abstract

Research evaluation is increasingly influenced by quantitative data. We focus on the influential Web of Science Journal Citation Reports (JCR) ranking of law journals and critically assess its methodology. In particular, we consider the existence and impact of a tacit citation cartel between US law reviews. A study of 45 US student‐edited (SE) and 45 peer‐reviewed (PR) journals included in the category of Law in the JCR revealed that PR and SE journals are more inclined to cite members of their own class and that this phenomenon is more pronounced in SE generalist journals, reflecting tacit cartelistic behavior generated by deeply entrenched institutional practices. Because US SE journals produce more citations than PR journals, the fact that their citations are directed almost exclusively to SE journals elevates their scores and distorts the journals' ranking and can consequently undermine the flow and creation of ideas. We discuss policy measures that can counter the adverse effects of this situation.

Suggested Citation

Perez, Oren and Bar‐Ilan, Judit and Cohen, Reuven and Schreiber, Nir, The Network of Law Reviews: Citation Cartels, Scientific Communities, and Journal Rankings (March 2019). The Modern Law Review, Vol. 82, Issue 2, pp. 240-268, 2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3347285 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-2230.12405

Oren Perez (Contact Author)

Bar-Ilan University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Faculty of Law
Ramat Gan, 52900
Israel
+972-3-5317798 (Phone)
+972-3-5351856 (Fax)

Judit Bar‐Ilan

Bar-Ilan University

Ramat Gan
Ramat Gan, 52900
Israel

Reuven Cohen

Bar-Ilan University - Department of Mathematics ( email )

Ramat Gan, 5290002
Israel

Nir Schreiber

Bar-Ilan University, Department of Mathematics ( email )

Ramat Gan, 5290002
Israel

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
2
Abstract Views
182
PlumX Metrics