11 Va. J.L. & Tech. 1 (2006)

handle is hein.journals/vjolt11 and id is 1 raw text is: VIRGINIA JOURNAL OF LAW & TECHNOLOGY
WINTER 2006                  UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA                  VOL. 11, No. 1
The Relative Value of American Law Reviews:
A Critical Appraisal of Ranking Methods
Ranking law reviews is not a novel initiative. Data regarding the
relative value of legal periodicals was first published in 1930, in an
article primarily concerned with the overall contribution of legal
periodicals to the development of positive law. Since then many
attempts have been made to rank American law reviews by various
This Article, however, focuses not on actual rankings but on
ranking theory and methodology. It offers an introductory
discussion of the goals of law review rating, and the essential
attributes of reliable and beneficial ranking methods, followed by a
systematic and comprehensive analysis of the advantages and
shortcomings of the various methods that can be used to assess the
relative value of American law reviews.
The Article rejects direct evaluation of quality, either by an expert
committee or a general survey, and indirect evaluation of quality by
authors' national prominence, article rejection rates, editors'
academic aptitudes, and library or database usage. It then explains
that if properly adjusted and carefully administered, citation-based
methods might afford quantitative measures of various aspects of
academic quality. Finally, the Article discusses the weaknesses of
complex ranking methods in which several indicia of quality are
taken into account.
C 2006 Virginia Journal of Law & Technology Association, http://w,ww.v.jolt.net. Use paragraph numbers
for pinpoint citations.
T    Faculty of Law, University of Haifa; LL.D. summa cum laude (Hebrew University, 2000),
LL.M. studies completed with distinction (Hebrew University, 1997), LL.B. magna cum laude (Tel Aviv
University, 1996). I am grateful to Guy Davidov, Ron Harris, Yoram Shachar, and Jonathan Yovel for their
helpful comments.

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