In spring 2017, I briefly discussed the issues with scholarship impact factor in law as a response to a recommendation by a law professor to create a rankings methodology based on Google Scholar citation.
Now US News is trying to get in the game of creating a ranking of law faculty by scholarship impact factor using Hein publication metrics. US News is asking each law school for the names and other details of its fall 2018 full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty. US News plans to link the names of each individual law school's faculty to citations and publications that were published in the previous five years and are available in HeinOnline.
As we are increasingly aware, the ethical Duty of Technology Competence requires lawyers to keep abreast of “changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.” To date, 35 states have adopted the duty.
In a previous post, I highlighted the risks of blindly relying on algorithmic results (relevant technology) as a potential violation of the Duty of Technology Competence. We now have case law from Canada focusing on the benefits of using algorithmic results to perform legal research. In fact, this case law may be interpreted as requiring the use of algorithmic results when ethically performing legal research.
The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ran an article articulating the concerns with following a particular citation style. The problem with the rules-heavy approach to teaching [citation] isn’t just the rigidity with which students are taught those rules or follow them. It’s that too often students are taught rules without any context or justification. That’s just "the way things are." Students are left following rules just because a [law review editor] told them to, none the wiser about their function or history. It’s a recipe for seeing writing as foreign or external — something a student is supposed to do but not necessarily understand. Just follow the rules, kid, and there won’t be any trouble.
Instead of taking this approach to citation, the author leads a discussion not about citation st…