Tuesday, January 21, 2020

A preview of what Hein citation rankings might look like (courtesy of Ted Sichelman)

Recently, Professors Paul Heald (Illinois) and Ted Sichelman (San Diego) released law school faculty rankings that combined SSRN downloads and HeinOnline citations (here). (I'm skeptical about the value of SSRN rankings, as I've noted many times in the past:  e.g., here and here).  In their study, Heald and Sichelman included Hein-only rankings, combining both historical (all-time) and recent (2016) citations. In order to get a better estimate of recent scholarly impact, plus to get an initial view of what the US News citation rankings will look like, Professor Sichelman has kindly provided me rankings just based on Hein citations over a 5-year period (2012-2016).

Total scores were calculated based on 2 x mean + median (like the Sisk et al. methodology). Although U.S. News has not decided on its ultimate approach, it appears likely it will use a similar metric. Additionally, like US News plans to do, Professor Sichelman has included pre-tenure faculty. 

Some differences between Heald & Sichelman's data (which Professor Sichelman used to construct the rankings below) and US News are the following:   (1) Heald & Sichelman used spring 2016 faculty whereas US News will use fall 2019 faculty; (2) about two-thirds of the schools responded to Heald & Sichelman's requests for faculty name variants, whereas presumably a much higher fraction responded to US News's requests (those schools not responding effectively reduce their citation counts); and (3) Hein will use a slightly different citation identification methodology for the US News rankings than Heald & Sichelman's. All of these differences will lead to some shifts in the US News rankings from what appears below.

But given the high correlation (about 0.90) between Heald & Sichelman's Hein-only rankings and the Sisk et al. rankings (which do not include pre-tenure faculty and use Westlaw, which counts books, treatises, and non-law publications, unlike Hein), the rankings below should be roughly similar to the 2020 US News citation rankings. Of course, there are likely to be some notable shifts for a subset of schools.  I expect Irvine (#7 below, which has since lost both Chemerinsky and Fisk to Berkeley) will drop out of the top ten (but will probably remain in the top 15) while UC Berkeley (#15 below, which added Chemerinsky, as well as highly-cited Orin Kerr [Kerr was at George Washington for purposes of this study]) will move into the top ten.

1

Yale

2

Harvard

3

Chicago

4

NYU

5

Stanford

6

Columbia

7

UC Irvine

8

Penn

9

Vanderbilt

10

Duke

11

UCLA

12

Cornell

13

George Washington

14

Northwestern

15

UC Berkeley

16

Virginia

17

Georgetown

18

Minnesota

19

Michigan

20

Texas

21

UC Davis

22

Washington University, St. Louis

23

Boston University

24

Illinois

25

Fordham

26

St. Thomas (Minnesota)

27

Cardozo

28

George Mason

29

Florida State

30

Emory

31

William & Mary

32

University of Arizona

33

Wake Forest

34

Notre Dame

35

Maryland

36

Utah

37

Brooklyn

38

Colorado

39

Case Western 

40

Iowa

41

Washington & Lee

42

San Diego

43

Ohio State

44

Indiana/Bloomington

45

Alabama

46

San Francisco 

47

University of Florida

48

Southern California

49

North Carolina

50

University of Georgia

 

https://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2020/01/a-preview-of-what-hein-citation-rankings-might-look-like-courtesy-of-ted-sichelman.html

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