Bibliometrics, #legaled and PLT

This is a quick aside regarding some research I’m doing at the moment. I am analysing 10 articles concerning PLT and scholarship of teaching and learning (“SoTL”), using bibliometrics. This includes looking at the citation counts for the articles, and for the items cited in the articles, together with the bibliometric tools supplied by Google Scholar, Web of Knowledge (Journal Citation Report), and Scopus (SCImago).

It would not be news to law school academics that legal education journals, and many law journals, do not rank highly in these bibliometric tools, if at all. The citation counts for articles engaging with SoTL in PLT are nearly non-existent (although it takes time for services like Google Scholar to pick these up). I’m interested in promoting SoTL in PLT, so I’m thinking about strategies to achieve this.

It seems that conventional bibliometric tools are not a lot of help when measuring impact, quality and engagement for these articles. I’m hoping my institution will connect to an altmetrics database so I can explore alternative tools. Because the articles are not appearing in the conventional databases, I’ve had to manually search for citations, journal rankings, etc – very tedious, but generative.

I find it interesting how publishing in or citing articles from interdisciplinary publications can improve citation counts for an articles. Those articles that tap into areas like psychology, ICT, or management/organisational studies appear more likely to be cited and shared.

I’m also interested how “mediatizing” scholarship and research through social media, SlideShare, YouTube, Prezi, etc can expedite dissemination – more on this later.


Paper plug: ‘Gatecrashing the Research Paradigm…’

MonashNice to see Monash University Library directing law students to our co-authored article ‘Gatecrashing the Research Paradigm: Effective Integration of Online Technologies in Maximising Research Impact and Engagement in Legal Education’*

* Kate Galloway, Kristoffer Greaves and Melissa Castan, ‘Gatecrashing The Research Paradigm: Effective Integration Of Online Technologies In Maximising Research Impact And Engagement In Legal Education’ (2013) 6 (1/2) Journal of the Australasian Law Teachers Association 83.


I’ve just updated my WordPress to version 3.9.1 – it has taken a while to debug the auto-update process for my site, but I think this is finally sorted. I’ve also re-installed the Twitter updates widget in the sidebar. I think everything is working properly, but if you notice something is awry, I would be pleased if you let me know.


“War Stories” in PLT – Discussion

I manage a discussion group on LinkedIn, “Practical Legal Training Educators Australasia”. It can be a quiet affair, in which I share online sources that I think might be of interest. Recently, a good discussion  emerged around the use of “war stories” in PLT.  You can have a look, and contribute, here.



From North America: David Curle: Legal Education in the Age of the MOOC

In his blog post, Curle observes:

“just as solutions for the legal services industry are coming from outside the industry including new technology and borrowed business models, so are law schools starting to see influences from elsewhere in education”

“[a] tightly-woven web of stakeholders that each hold parts of the reform puzzle; creating a new legal educational system that is truly forward-looking will require the cooperation, effort, and some sacrifice by the schools themselves, faculty, the bar, and legal ethics regulators.”

The blog post does say that much about MOOCs, however massive open online courses are at least symbolic of how information and computer technology continues to generate social change, which extends to how professions evolve, and how practitioners will work.

Imagine a circumstance in which it is possible to complete academic legal qualifications through a MOOC; what implications might flow for the practical legal training component of legal education?

Could regulators strategically drop the Ormrod compartmentalised 3-stage model of legal education, and favour integrated models of pre-admission legal education?

As a PLT practitioner, what kind of work might you need to do to scaffold the practical legal education of a MOOC educated graduate?

I suggest a bit of horizon-scanning involves war-gaming such scenarios, in planning for the future.


NVivo for Mac (Beta) released

Further to my previous post, QSR International have released a Beta version of NVivo for Mac.

I intended to trial this version with future literature reviews, however the Beta version does not accommodate imports from citation managers, at this stage. It is possible to import PDF files, so you could still do literature review work, but without classification and attributes sheets automatically set up for the “reference” classification. Also, the Beta version does not yet include the Framework Matrices tool.

At first glance, the Mac version is fast and smooth. It will be interesting to see how it runs when handling a heavy data load.



Updates backstage

I updated the WordPress scripts for this site today. It seems that is ticking along okay, but please do let me know if you encounter any problems. You can contact me through the ‘contact or subscribe’ menu on the toolbar, or via the comments.