Sunday, August 21, 2005

New ISI Report on Law Faculty Impact

The Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) is the gold standard for scholarly impact studies in the natural sciences.  Occasionally, they produce studies of "social science" disciplines (psychology, sociology, law).  Their 2004 report (which I only just discovered) on law faculties ranked by impact (more precisely, citations per paper published 1999-2003) is here.  The top six (all that was reported) are (with citations per paper in parentheses):

1.  Yale University (5.72)

2.  University of Texas, Austin (5.42)

3.  Harvard University (5.01)

4.  New York University (4.61)

4.  University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (4.61)

6.  Columbia University (4.54)

While I certainly would have expected the Texas law faculty to be in the top ten (see, for example, here), I must confess #2 surprises me (this is also prior to Stanford's Bernie Black joining our faculty).  Also surprising is the absence of the University of Chicago--though one explanation is that they publish so much that citations per paper may not be as high.  For example, in a study of most prolific law faculties (without regard to faculty size) for the period 1996-2000, the top five were:

1.  University of Chicago

2.  Harvard University

3.  Georgetown University

4.  University of Pennsylvania

5.  University of California, Berkeley

Note that the Harvard and Georgetown faculties are more than twice the size of Chicago's, and Chicago's is the smallest faculty in the top five.

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Tracked on Aug 28, 2005 9:29:03 AM