20 German L.J. 1 (2019)

handle is hein.journals/germlajo20 and id is 1 raw text is: 


German Law Journal (2019), 20, pp. 1-20
doi: 10.10 17/glj.2019.6


CAMBRIDGE
N  1 I 1R IIY PRE LSS


Marnix   Snel*


(Received 24 July 2017; accepted 12 December 2017)


Keywords: quality standards; research quality; methodology


As  legal academics, we constantly engage  in the process of evaluating works  of legal scholarship. In a
variety of contexts  and  with different purposes,  we  either explicitly or unconsciously  put quality
labels on the work  we come   across and produce  ourselves. We  consider  some  works  to be outstand-
ing, inspiring us to start new  research  projects, or making  us want  to cooperate  with  or hire the
author.  We  encounter   pretty good  works  which  we  believe should  be  published  in our journals,
or that we decide  to build on when  we  conduct  our own  research. And  we-all   too often, according
to some-encounter works that we instantly dismiss as poor quality, sometimes even making us
seriously doubt  the capabilities of those that authorized publication.  While  it makes  perfect sense
that we pass such judgments,   it does raise the question of how, and especially on what grounds we  do
so: What   standards  do legal academics  use  for evaluating works  of legal scholarship?
   Given  the long  history of legal scholarship, one might   expect an answer   to that question to be
quite highly  developed.2  One  is likely to be disappointed, however.  Unlike  their colleagues  oper-
ating in other academic   disciplines, legal academics rarely engage, individually  or collectively, in a

  *Marnix Snel is an associate professor in private law and legal research methods at the University of Curayao, a research
fellow of the Tilburg Institute for Private Law, and a visiting lecturer at Nyenrode Business University. Email: m.v.r.snel@
gmail.com.
   'See Lee Epstein & Gary King, The Rules ofInference, 69 U. CHI. L. REV. 1, 18-19 (2002) (There seems to be a long tradition
of legal academics denigrating articles published in their journals. Over the years, they have referred to the content in these
journals as 'junk stream,' 'manure,' '[not] readable by humans,' 'fuzzy wuzzy,' 'junk science,' 'spinach,' 'boring, too long,' rife
with 'assertions unconnected to an empirical basis,' dependent on 'anecdotes,' 'opaque' and an 'open scandal.').
  2See Mary I. Coombs, Outsider Scholarship: The Law Review Stories, 63 U. COLO. L. REV. 683, 706 (1992).

o 2019 The Author. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the German Law Journal. This is an Open Access article, distributed
under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/1icenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted
re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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