[Andrew Morriss (guest-blogging), August 15, 2005 at 9:03pm] Trackbacks
Scholarly impact and rankings:

Rankings systems like U.S. News' require lots of data to make them work. This is problematic with things like the reputation survey because the survey is likely generating mostly silly numbers. But there is some hope that a new source of data is going to be available via SSRN.

At the rankings conference last spring, UT Prof. Bernard Black and U. Cinncinnati Prof. Paul Caron presented a work in progress on the SSRN rankings. Unfortunately it doesn't appear to be on line yet, but it should be at some point since it is in the conference issue of the law journal that will come out later. You can look at the tentative versions of SSRN's rankings data of schools and authors (link requires logging in, I believe).

Assuming they fix it so I can't enhance my rankings by paying my kids to download my papers repeatedly, which I am sure they will, this is potentially a very interesting development. Having a reasonably objective measure of faculty productivity and impact will give a much better picture of schools' scholarship. Not perfect, of course, but better than what we have now.

UPDATE: The Black and Caron paper is available here.