Monday, September 8, 2008

Back at Work/Faculty Scholarly Productivity Study

The law school is back after losing a week to Hurricane Gustav. We’d had only two weeks of classes before that, so its almost like starting the semester all over again. I’ve got to re-learn the names of new faculty and staff that I’ve forgotten during our nine-day labor day weekend.

So I lost a week's work for the short articles and the new CALI lesson I’m writing, and for verifying Loyola’s data for professor Michael Yelnosky’s “Study of Scholarly Productivity of Law Faculties” in 3rd and 4th Tier Law schools. I got stuck doing that because I compiled, maintain, and update the the current faculty publications bibliography for our faculty.

Prof. Yelnosky has done a lot of good work, but I found discrepancies in the data he had for three of our faculty. We’ve addressed one of those three, and he’s going to get back to me on the other two, but that’s a 10% error rate for us. His student workers did NOT compile lists of the “qualifying articles” for each faculty, they just did the Westlaw queries - which they did compile and which Michael sent me - and, I guess, tallied the qualifying articles on a piece of paper. (“Qualifying articles” are those published by faculty in the list of top law reviews that he’s using.) So he can’t tell me what 4 articles Professor A at our law school he’s counting, he just needs me - and, presumably, someone at all the other 90-100 schools in tiers 3 and 4 - to verify his numbers and send him the discrepancies.

The thing is, this just screams to be some sort of huge, on-line collaborative project. Had he actually generated the lists of qualifying articles and put them on the web with his other data, we - meaning myself and any other borderline obsessive-compulsive types out there - could be cross-checking the results of OTHER schools ourselves. I don’t think that would be difficult to set up. Maybe I’ll post something on the ALL-SIS listserv and see if any other librarians have got ensnared in doing this at their law school.

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