Wednesday, March 13, 2019

HeinOnline and co-authored articles

Dru Stevenson (South Texas) writes:

I've enjoyed your recent blog posts about the law school rankings. As far as I can tell, HeinOnline counts two-author articles as an article for each coauthor, which means that when faculty at the same school coauthor an article, citations to that article count once for each author, and twice for the institution, no?  In other words, for lower-ranked law schools that are concerned about their scholarly rankings, co-authored publications from their own faculty count double.  When USNews starts using HeinOnline citation counts, it will reward  institutions where a lot of professors co-author articles.  I'm not sure this would be a bad thing - coauthorship is much more common in some other academic disciplines, and I think the legal academy might benefit from more collaboration and scholarly mentoring relationships.  But it also is susceptible to gaming, of course.  Any thoughts on this?

Does anyone know if this is how Hein searches will work?  And thoughts on Professor Stevenson's question also welcome.  Signed comments will be strongly preferred, thanks.

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I don't know what U.S. News will do with it, but that's definitely how Hein counts things. This is also how Sisk (and you) count things, unless I'm mistaken. It makes complete sense if folks are at different schools, so I'm not sure it's so wrong to do so if folks are at the same school. Nonetheless, given the outsized role of US News, gaming is something to worry about.

Posted by: Michael Risch | Mar 13, 2019 4:37:10 AM

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