The Advantage of Lagging Behind
Edited by Rob van Gestel and Andreas Lienhard
If legal scholarship is lagging behind other disciplines in using more objective evaluation standards for assessing the quality of legal research, Germany is definitely not at the forefront of closing the gap. Skepticism towards seemingly more objective assessment methods is more widely shared than in other European countries. There is no state-sponsored performance evaluation exercise of law schools on the federal level; peer-review of manuscripts for the acceptance in journals or monograph series is rare; and the use of journal rankings, citation analysis or other bibliometric tools is almost non-existent. Doctoral and postdoctoral (habilitation) theses are usually evaluated inside the faculty without external review. The quality standards that do exist mostly refer to the substantive evaluation of individual pieces of scholarship. However, they are rather vague and subject to diverging interpretations.
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