Ranking Hebrew Law Reviews: Theoretical Foundations and a Preliminary Empirical Study
University of Haifa - Faculty of Law
October 18, 2012
Haifa Law Review, Vol. 1, pp. 401-448, 2004
In recent decades several scholars have attempted to rank American law reviews using various methods, quantitative and qualitative. No such attempt has been made with regard to Hebrew law reviews so far. The purpose of the article is twofold. First it offers theoretical foundations for a continuous ranking of law reviews in general, and of Hebrew law reviews in particular. It analyses the various methods employed in the American literature, and rejects those based on author prominence, surveys, evaluation by expert committees, library or database usage, and rejection rate. It advocates the use of a citation frequency method, assuming that the number of citations (within legal periodicals on the one hand, and case law on the other) is a good, albeit inaccurate, indicator for law review impact on legal discourse (academic and practical respectively).
The second goal of the article is to introduce a preliminary ranking of Hebrew law reviews, based on the preferred method. To achieve this goal, citations of articles published in 16 Hebrew law reviews over a specified period were recorded. The search was conducted - in keeping with the requirement of the chosen method - in legal periodicals, in Supreme Court rulings, and in lower courts' decisions. Two Hebrew law reviews were found to have the most significant impact on the legal academic discourse: the TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW (IYUNEI MISHPAT), and the HEBREW UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW (MISHPATIM). The HEBREW UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW enjoyed a significant lead over all of its competitors as regards impact on the Supreme Court of Israel. The ISRAELI BAR JOURNAL (HAPRAKLIT) proved the most influential with lower courts. The reader should note that a one-off ranking would serve its purposes for a limited period, not only because the impact of the existing law reviews might change, but also because new ones might be established. The ranking project must thus be ongoing.
Note: Downloadable document is in Hebrew.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 48
Keywords: law reviews, legal education, Israeli law, ranking, legal profession, legal scholarship
JEL Classification: K0
Date posted: June 13, 2006 ; Last revised: October 19, 2012