Hein, U.S. News, and How to Increase Citations

62 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2021

See all articles by Rob Willey

Rob Willey

George Mason University - George Mason University Law Library

Melanie Knapp

George Mason University Law Library

Date Written: March 11, 2021

Abstract

Using nearly 250,000 law review articles published on HeinOnline in a five-year period, the authors analyze citation patterns and characteristics of the articles such as title length, number of authors, article length, publication format, and more. The authors describe past citation studies and best practices in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The authors find that factors beyond article quality likely impact scholarly citations. Drawing from the lessons in the citation patterns, article characteristics, and SEO best practices, the authors offer techniques to increase the article citation counts of articles published in U.S. law journals.

Based on data pulled from Hein, U.S. News will introduce a new scholarly impact ranking later this year. While this new ranking has the potential to improve the overall law school rankings, it opens the door to a wide range of potential issues from citation cartels to keyword stuffing to less focus on important but less well-known areas of the law. Using lessons from the SEO world, the authors conclude with a detailed discussion of these potential problems.

Keywords: U.S. News, law school rankings, scholarship impact, citations, citation factors, search engine optimization, SEO, HeinOnline, ORCID

JEL Classification: K00, K1, K10, I2, I20, I21

Suggested Citation

Willey, Rob and Knapp, Melanie, Hein, U.S. News, and How to Increase Citations (March 11, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3801190 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3801190

Rob Willey (Contact Author)

George Mason University - George Mason University Law Library ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Melanie Knapp

George Mason University Law Library ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
(703) 993-8103 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.law.gmu.edu/library/

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