Assessing Law Journal Publication Offers – School Prestige v. Journal Citation Impact Factor

On the topic of assessing law journal publication offers —
There is a very interesting article recently available on SSRN that examines the relationship between a school’s prestige and the citation impact factor of its flagship journals.  To investigate whether ranking translates into impact, the authors analyze historical data from American law journal’s impact-factor (using Washington & Lee’s rankings) and the US News ranking of their publishing law schools. 
Note that a journal’s impact-factor is calculated as the median of the number of citing articles in Westlaw’s JLR database divided by the number of articles published by this journal over the past eight years.
Key Findings:
  • “There is a correlation between law schools’ ranking and their flagship journals’ impact-factor ranking over the years. But this correlation changes over time. In turn, there is more variance in journal impact-factor than in school prestige over the years, which means that current impact-factor is a worse predictor of future journal success than current school ranking is of future school success.”
  • “The optimal decision strategy for choosing where to publish ultimately depends on what each law professor aims to maximize (prestige or impact in the discipline) and how risk averse she is (conditional on wanting impact, more risk averse agents should look at school prestige and more risk-seeking agents should look at journal impact-factor). This might vary pre-tenure and post-tenure.”

Hat tip to beSpacific.

Google Enhances Podcast Discovery

Last week, Google enhanced discoverability of podcast content.  Simply add the word “podcast” to your search and Google search will show you playable episodes alongside your other search results.

We’ll surface these episodes based on Google’s understanding of what’s being talked about on a podcast, so you can find even more relevant information about a topic in audio form.

Here’s a sample search I did for “Wisconsin podcasts” which retrieved several interesting looking podcast episodes.  
Hat tip to Fast Company.

New HeinOnline Feature Visualizes Author’s Connections to Scholarly Community

HeinOnline, a database of laws, law journals, and other legal texts, recently added a new feature called “Explore this Author” to author profiles.  It allows readers to visualize how an author’s scholarship connects with the scholarly community. Look for the “Explore this Author” link at the top left of the author’s profile.

Users will be redirected to an interactive chart of facets, each of which can be used to analyze the author’s work or his/her relationship to other authors or journals. Facets include:

  • Topics: Frequent topics about which this author has written.
  • Cited by: Authors who have cited this author.
  • Cites to: Authors who have been cited by this author and the specific articles in which they are cited.
  • Related Authors: Authors similar to the author in question. Calculated by an algorithm which takes into account all facets, as well as organizations, people, and locations within the texts of the author in question.
  • Co-Authors: Authors who have co-written with this author and the articles they authored together.
  • Publications: The journals in which the author is most frequently published.

Here’s an example of what “Explore this Author” looks like:

For more information, see the HeinOnline blog.

HeinOnline is available onsite at the UW Law Library and the Wisconsin State Law Library.  Individuals with a Wisconsin State Law Library card may also access it online.

WHS Receives Grant to Digitize Early Citizen Petitions to WI Legislature

Congratulations to the Wisconsin Historical Society for receiving a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to digitize citizen petitions submitted to the Wisconsin Legislature between 1836 and 1890.

Here’s more information about the project from WHS:
The project will arrange, describe, preserve and make the petitions digitally available to the public. When the grant ends in October 2021, more than 2,500 petitions will be digitized and viewable online and detailed descriptive information about more than 15,000 petitions will be searchable alongside other archives finding aids.
Citizen petitions are formal communications between citizens and the government that illustrate early settlers’ role in shaping government decisions and policies. Citizen petitions reflect the issues and topics important to early Wisconsinites and the United States as a whole.

Petitions discuss topics of local interest like county boundaries and school development as well as topics with statewide impact such as railroad construction and natural resource management. The petitions also reflect a local look at national issues such as treatment of American Indian tribes, suffrage for women, and prohibition.

Abbie Norderhaug, the Assistant State Archivist and head of the Government Information Section here, is leading the project.
Wisconsin Library Services also received an NHPRC grant to develop a community-driven strategic planning process to design an Archives Collaborative.

Malamud Building Gigantic Journal Database for Data Analysis

The journal Nature has an interesting piece on public domain advocate, Carl Malamud’s project to “build a gigantic store of text and images extracted from 73 million journal articles” for data analysis.

No one will be allowed to read or download work from the repository, because that would breach publishers’ copyright. Instead, Malamud envisages, researchers could crawl over its text and data with computer software, scanning through the world’s scientific literature to pull out insights without actually reading the text.

The legal status of the database, which a cooperative project with Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), is uncertain.

For the moment, [Malamud] is proceeding with caution: the JNU data depot is air-gapped, meaning that no one can access it from the Internet. Users have to physically visit the facility, and only researchers who want to mine for non-commercial purposes are currently allowed in.

Interview with Professor Miriam Seifter on UW Law’s Hastie Fellowship Program

PrawfsBlawg has an excellent interview with Professor Miriam Seifter on UW Law’s William H. Hastie Fellowship Program.

“The Hastie Fellowship is an academic fellowship program aimed to help prepare candidates for the law teaching market. The program is named in honor of William H. Hastie, who was a renowned lawyer, teacher, judge, and civil rights advocate who, among other things, championed the value of legal education. The Fellowship was founded in large part by Professor James E. Jones, who was a labor law expert and one of our celebrated professors here at Wisconsin. The program has been around for over 40 years, and it reflects a commitment to foster diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.”

For more about the Hastie Fellow Program and a list of fellows, see the UW Law website.  We also have links to the Hastie fellows scholarship in our UW Law School Digital Repository.

More Recent UW Law School Faculty Scholarship

Here is the latest faculty scholarship appearing in the University of Wisconsin Law School Legal Studies Research Papers series found on SSRN.

To access all the papers in the University of Wisconsin Law School Legal Studies Research Paper Series, please use the following URL:

Recent UW Law School Faculty Scholarship

Here is the latest faculty scholarship appearing in the University of Wisconsin Law School Legal Studies Research Papers series found on SSRN.

To access all the papers in the University of Wisconsin Law School Legal Studies Research Paper Series, please use the following URL: