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 14: Conclusion and discussion

Rob van Gestel and Andreas Lienhard


The overall aim of this book is to gain a broader overview of the practices, policies, methods and criteria applied in the evaluation of academic legal research in Europe. To this end, we have asked experts from 111 European countries to describe the evaluation practices of legal publications in different contexts, such as the scrutiny by journals and publishers, PhD committees, funding bodies and national research assessment exercises. In addition, we have included a chapter on the EU context in research evaluation because it increasingly affects how research quality is perceived throughout Europe. We were curious to learn to what extent there is consensus about how the ‘quality’ of legal research is determined in a range of countries with different histories, traditions and (academic) legal cultures. In most of the European countries we studied, some similar questions arise regarding the evaluation of academic legal research publications. Institutions for higher education witness growing pressure to develop suitable procedures to evaluate their research. Additionally, increased requirements of accountability for research institutions and researchers to funding bodies have forced researchers and university man¬agers to address this topic.

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