The Most-Cited Law Review Articles of All Time by the Supreme Court of Canada
Scholars use citation counts to measure the impact of scholarly works in a wide range of disciplines, including law. The aims of this study are twofold: to present the methods most commonly used to measure the impact of scholarly works and to determine which law reviews and articles the Supreme Court of Canada has cited most since its creation. Part II of this study reveals that legal scholars typically use three methods to generate lists of important works: the periodical citation method; the judicial citation method; and the peer rating method. The choice of method depends on the research objective. Part III of this study adopts the judicial citation method to identify the law reviews and articles most cited by the Supreme Court and provides a qualitative analysis of the top three articles. It focuses solely on publications in generalist, peer-reviewed, and university-based law reviews that were created in or before 1982. This study finds that two law reviews — the McGill Law Journal and the University of Toronto Law Journal — and 39 articles have been particularly successful. These articles were predominantly written in English by male law professors holding degrees from elite law schools and concern pressing constitutional law issues. As society shifts to tackle biases in all professions, including academia and law, the attributes of the most-cited articles can be expected to evolve — and the gender gap to close — in the years to come.
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