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Monday, December 26, 2011

Northwestern University Law Review Mea Culpa

NorthwesternThe current issue of the Northwestern University Law Review contains a remarkable "clarification" regarding Katherine Y. Barnes (Arizona), Is Affirmative Action Responsible for the Achievement Gap Between Black and White Law Students, 101 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1759 (2007), which disputed the "mismatch" theory proposed by Richard H. Sander (UCLA) in A Systemic Analysis of Affirmative Action in American Law Schools, 57 Stan. L. Rev. 367 (2004):

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2011/12/northwestern.html

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Comments

What is the norm for US law reviews? If a scholar publishes an empirical piece, is the data and the computer code released to the public, so that replication can be attempted? If not, why not?

Are there any significant studies of affirmative action as to which the date and program have not been fully released to the public for replication? If so, what studies?

Posted by: person | Dec 26, 2011 7:37:59 PM

I hope Arizona considers revoking her tenure. This is as bad as it gets in academia -- forging results. She may claim that there is another explanation but there is nothing to back that up. The facts are that any number of precautions could have prevented this error and she didn't take any of them.

Stephen Glass is smirking at this mea culpa.

Posted by: John | Dec 26, 2011 8:21:39 PM

Nevermind.

Posted by: Walter Sobchak | Dec 27, 2011 9:08:31 AM

Whatever her skills are as a law professor, her computing skills are poor. let this be a lesson to everyone:

1. Use a version control system. There are as many religious wars about the best system to use as there are about the best text editors to use, but almost any system will work.I recommend the combination of Subversion and TortoiseSVN for PC users. Amazingly enough, most of these systems are open-source and free.

2. Keep off-site backups. Don't just depend on your university's network. Burn some DVDs and keep them in a safe-deposit box if you have to.

Posted by: Eric Jablow | Dec 27, 2011 9:55:58 AM

And the non-favored students who wind up in programs inferior to their abilities---does anyone care about them?

I thought race-based remedies were subject to strict scrutiny, not this commme ci, comme ca attitude of Barnes'.

Posted by: Marty | Dec 27, 2011 10:28:30 AM

So politicians lie for political and monetary gain. Scientists lie for monetary and political gain. Law professors lie for political gain. Where,O where are we going to find ten just men to save the world? Are we doomed?

Posted by: PTL | Dec 27, 2011 11:01:30 AM

Will Barnes lose tenure, or move on up to Harvard Law.

She's clearly committed to producing the "research" outcomes the legal culture demands to buttress the rationale for its power and income stream in an important legal domain ...

Posted by: Fred Blotnick | Dec 27, 2011 2:10:36 PM

What, too cynical?

Posted by: Fred Blotnick | Dec 27, 2011 2:41:35 PM