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.