Evaluating Academic Legal Research in Europe
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Evaluating Academic Legal Research in Europe

The Advantage of Lagging Behind

Edited by Rob van Gestel and Andreas Lienhard

Legal academics in Europe publish a wide variety of materials including books, articles and essays, in an assortment of languages, and for a diverse readership. As a consequence, this variety can pose a problem for the evaluation of academic legal research. This thought-provoking book offers an overview of the legal and policy norms, methods and criteria applied in the evaluation of academic legal research, from a comparative perspective.
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Chapter 5: Evaluation of academic legal publications in Austria

Elisabeth Maier


Dissertation, habilitation and the appointment procedure for professorships are the typical steps of an academic career in Austria. In all procedures publications represent the most important performance indicator. Guidelines about good scientific practice are established, but an official ranking of law journals does not exist. An Austrian particularity is, that there is no clear distinction between academic and professional legal research. A review system comparable to open peer review is used in most journals. PhD dissertations are reviewed by two supervisors, special doctoral programs for law students started around 2009. The habilitation thesis is reviewed by a committee, also the appointment procedure for professorship is implemented by a committee. Some universities make bibliometric analysis additionally. Funding agencies use a double blind peer review system for evaluation. There are not exact definitions for quality criterions in all procedures – this is a point of criticism in Austria.

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