We are kindly inviting you to a seminar titled:


The evaluation of the quality of legal research

that will take place in Boardroom of the Faculty of Law, on Tuesday, 10th December 2019 at 16.00-17.30



  • Introductory address by Professor Jan Smits, Dean of the Faculty of Law,
  • Presentation by Janja Hojnik, Law Professor and Vice-Rector for Quality at University of Maribor, Slovenia,
  • Comments by Professor Monica Claes and discussion.



In The Netherlands and abroad there is an increasing discussion about the evaluation of the quality of research in the field of social sciences. The tendency within the VSNU, NWO, KNAW and other organisations is to move away from metrics as a way to evaluate the quality of research in this scientific field. The question of the quality of research has attracted also the attention of media; recently the NRC published an article ‘Hoe meet je de kwaliteit van wetenschappers?’. In other European countries, however, the metrics is still an established system of evaluation of quality of research.

The seminar will focus on the evaluation of law journals, which often serve as proxies for the papers’ quality. To this end, it would look at the position of law journals in the Web of Science (WoS), which is recognised as the most selective scholarly journal index worldwide with increasing importance in research evaluation and funding. It will show that WoS reflects several biases (e.g. against non-US law journals, non-English language law journals, yearbooks, specialist law journals etc.). WoS will then be paralleled with the Finnish peer-review-based ranking that is not (predominantly) citation-based. Some statistical analyses between the two rankings of law journals will be shown, complemented with presentation of attitudes of over forty editors of leading law journals towards WoS. It will inter alia be shown that 40 percent of the law journals categorized as “internationally leading” by the peers are not listed in WoS and that legal scholarship is characterised by highlighted regionalism in academic publishing and citation patterns.

Power point presentation: JIF Hojnik Maastricht