Thursday, December 13, 2007
As readers of this blog know, citation counts are one of the four methods used to rank law faculty scholarly performance (along with reputation surveys, publication counts, and SSRN download counts). (We discuss all four methodologies in our recent article, Ranking Law Schools: Using SSRN to Measure Scholarly Performance, 81 Ind. L.J. 83 (2006).)
Brian Leiter's citation count studies of individual professors by specialties (see tax study here) and of law faculties dominate this field, although prior work by Ted Eisenberg and Martin Wells (Rankings and Explaining the Scholarly Impact of Law Schools, 27 J. Legal Stud. 373 (1998)), also is important. For a critique of using citation counts to measure scholarly performance of faculty, see here.
SSRN has now entered the citation count field with its new "References & Cites" feature. To check it out, go to SSRN and click on "Search," and then "Beta Lab." In the left column, you will see the "References & Cites" with statistics on:
- Papers with Resolved References: Total number of papers in the SSRN eLibrary with resolved references.
- Papers with Cites: Total number of papers in the SSRN eLibrary with one or more resolved cites from other papers (described above).
- Note: The links for the two pages containing a paper's References and Cited By links (when available) are on each paper's SSRN abstract page.
- Total References: Total number of references to other papers that have been resolved to date, for papers in in the SSRN eLibrary.
- Total Cited by: Total number of cites to papers in the SSRN eLibrary whose links have been resolved to date.
SSRN generates these statistics by scanning each pdf paper on SSRN via CiteReader technology from ITX Corp. According to the company's website:
Identify, Quantify and Analyze: ITX CiteReader is a systematic process that scans documents using the Portable Document Format (PDF) to capture and link references together in a database. This citation data can be used for a variety of purposes, including:
- Identifying the most important works in a given collection.
- Analyzing patterns in citations.
- Providing hyperlinks to help researchers quickly move through a chain of research.
SSRN has begun its beta phase of tracking references and citations via CiteReader. Eventually each paper (e.g., here) will have a Citation Rank (as well as a Download Rank), and each author (e.g., here) will have a Citation Rank (as well as a Download Rank).
Presumably, SSRN soon will issue a public announcement about its new CiteReader feature.