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Vol. 14 No. 1 (2021)


Best of the Best of the Best? How International are Top International Law Journals Really?

DOI:  [Google Scholar]
Published: 2022-07-21


This paper reports a pilot study on publication patterns in the twelve top international, single-subject law journals. It has been found that these journals almost exclusively publish US law school-affiliated authors, with foreign-based lawyers authoring less than 5% of all the papers published in these journals. This outcome contrasts heavily with the outcomes for the control group of multidisciplinary science journals, where authorship distribution conformed with the number of scientists working in three macro-regions (US, EU, and China). The results of this study indicate that law journals are most probably jurisdiction-focused, and the number of citations relies more on the size of a jurisdiction covered by the journal than on the international appreciation of the texts. Furthermore, it may indicate that bibliometric factors used to measure scientific output cannot be applied 1:1 to measure the quality of legal research.


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