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Daily Archives: June 27, 2021

Citation Databases for Legal Scholarship: Ranking the Top 28 Law Faculties

Beatty, John, Citation Databases for Legal Scholarship: Ranking the Top 28 Law Faculties (June 16, 2021). University at Buffalo School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2020-018, 2021 Yale Conference on Citation and the Law, Available at SSRN:

“The 2019 announcement by U.S. News that it would introduce a new law faculty ranking based on legal scholarship citation data from HeinOnline was met with concern by the legal academy. One of the criticisms of the proposed ranking is the choice of HeinOnline as the citation data source. HeinOnline was criticized both for inaccuracies and because its citation data is limited to the legal journals that it carries. This study examines the effects of the data source on metrics and rankings by using three sources of legal scholarship citation data: Google Scholar, Westlaw, and HeinOnline. It compares six years of citations to works by all of the tenured and tenure-track members of the top twenty-eight faculties as determined by recent citation studies by Sisk and Heald and Sichelman. Rankings generated using Sisk’s method, originally developed by Leiter, on the data from the three sources showed moderate to high correlation (0.77 to 0.96) to each other. Total citations and total publications for each faculty were moderately to highly correlated to rankings using this method. Faculty size showed low to moderate correlation. Citations-per-faculty member showed very high correlation (0.98 to 0.99) to all three sources. The main differences between HeinOnline and Westlaw were due to the possibility of obtaining citations to works outside of Westlaw’s database, especially books. Inclusion of citations to outside works would improve the HeinOnline results and bring them closer to the Westlaw results. Differences between both legal databases and Google Scholar were largely the result of the inability to separate citations to multiple editions of a book and the inclusion of several highly-cited articles in medical, economic, or political science journals. Use of normalized or scaled indicators would be a helpful method to include citations to these interdisciplinary works while not allowing their much-larger numbers of citations to skew the rankings. Because citations-per-faculty member is such a strong driver of the Leiter method, a school could game the rankings by buying out or otherwise moving low-cited or unproductive faculty, thereby reducing the number of faculty and increasing citations-per-faculty member. Use of metrics like the h-index, which only takes high-cited papers into account, or other composite metrics, would reduce the opportunity for gaming in this manner.”

What does this new Google Scholar “Public Access” feature mean for me or my work?

Libvine, Melissa Rothfus – “Google Scholar recently released a new feature to the Scholar Profile section that tracks whether articles that are supposed to be open access under funder mandates are actually freely available. The feature is controversial. Some have decried the accuracy of the information and the suggestion to use Google Drive to make… Continue Reading

Generational amnesia: The memory loss that harms the planet

BBC Future – “As each new generation inherits the world, vital knowledge is forgotten. In the latest in our Wise Words series, Richard Fisher explores the language that has emerged to describe that phenomenon. Can a generation be forgetful? It’s certainly true that older generations can fail to remember what it was to be young.… Continue Reading

ODNI Report on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence submitted to Congress a preliminary report regarding Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) that relays the progress the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force has made in understanding UAP – Office of the Director of National Intelligence Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. 25 June 2021 Vox –  “UFOs are real.… Continue Reading

Google is starting to warn users when it doesn’t have a reliable answer

Vox – “Google is testing a new feature to notify people when they search for a topic that may have unreliable results. The move is a notable step by the world’s most popular search engine to give people more context about breaking information that’s popular online — like suspected UFO sightings or developing news stories… Continue Reading

Client Portals: A Must-Have Service for Today’s Law Firms

Via LLRX – Client Portals: A Must-Have Service for Today’s Law Firms – Jim Calloway is Director of the Oklahoma Bar Association Management Assistance Program and co-author of the ABA books “How Good Lawyers Survive Bad Times” and “Winning Alternatives to the Billable Hour: Strategies That Work.” In this article he explains how beyond secure… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, June 27, 2021

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, June 27, 2021 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the… Continue Reading

The Broken Promise of Retirement

The New York Review: “If the US does nothing to fix its retirement system, 2.6 million formerly middle-class workers will be plunged into poverty by 2022….Pensions represent more than their economic value. They carry a powerful moral recognition: workers deserve financial stability and the freedom it brings throughout their lives. Municipal and state employees contribute… Continue Reading

Facebook can track you across the web. Here’s how to stop it

CNET: “No, the Off-Facebook Activity tracking rumor is not a hoax. Here’s how to keep the social media platform from tracking your web browsing. If you haven’t been using the privacy feature Facebook introduced last year, now’s the time to start. It’s called Off-Facebook Activity and it lets you see and control data that apps and… Continue Reading

Library and Information Science Dissertations and Theses

Best Reference Sources for Doctoral and Master’s Dissertations and Thesis in Library and Information Science (fee and free/search); LIS Ph.D. and MLIS Thesis and Dissertations “General reference databases are listed first which is followed by the repositories and digital libraries of individual countries and universities. It also provides information on the online availability of electronic… Continue Reading