Practice Article

Using Law School Faculty Author Profiles to Promote Impact: The U.S. News & World Report Saga Continues

  • Allison N. Symulevich (University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus)


INTRODUCTION: When U.S. News & World Report announced that it would rank law schools’ scholarly impact, U.S. News asked law schools to work with HeinOnline, a legal database, to ensure the accuracy of the database-created faculty author profiles because they would be using Hein’s database to gather citation metrics to measure scholarly impact. DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM: This practice article describes a project at UNC Chapel Hill in the law library to ensure that their faculty publications were included in HeinOnline’s database and that HeinOnline Author Profiles were accurate. This case study helps librarians tackling either similar law library projects or similar projects throughout academia as metrics gathering for scholarly impact in a variety of manners, including educational rankings, becomes more prevalent. NEXT STEPS: Following this project, Hein contacted UNC to inform the law library they had identified an additional 119 articles for faculty members not previously attached to UNC faculty Hein Author Profiles. Some implications from this project are unclear and changing methodology, scalability issues, authority control concerns, lack of capturing interdisciplinary works, and an increased workload for librarians. Librarians, especially Scholarly Communications Librarians, are well equipped to promote our faculty’s scholarship by understanding the methodology of these educational ranking systems and by connecting our faculty and their research to the database tools of our field. This article represents just one field, but the implications apply more broadly.

Keywords: scholarly impact, law school ranking, author profile, citation metrics, educational rankings

How to Cite:

Symulevich, A. N., (2020) “Using Law School Faculty Author Profiles to Promote Impact: The U.S. News & World Report Saga Continues”, Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 8(1), eP2386. doi:

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Published on
14 Dec 2020
Peer Reviewed