This database grew out of a conversation between Ted Eisenberg and Joe Doherty at the 2006 AALS meeting. The plan was to create an annual bibliography for publication in JELS; in the process it evolved into this online database. The project was made possible by the support of Dean Mike Schill of UCLA Law, and by the hard work of Matt Morrison of the Cornell Law Library, Jill Fukunaga and June Kim of the UCLA Law Library, and many research assistants. Please contact Joe Doherty ( ) to report errors, omissions and suggestions, and to express your interest in helping us extend the database back to 2000.

Database protocols

We began this project with articles published after July 2005, though some earlier pieces have been swept up in the process. We selected the journals for inclusion in the database in multiple steps. First, we identified the main law reviews from the top 40 law schools in the country (USN&WR '06). Next, we selected major specialty journals (economics, business, etc.) from law schools.  We then expanded the list to legal journals not published by law schools (e.g., JELS). Finally, we added the top journals in economics, political science, sociology, anthropology and psychology. This produced a roster of 79 separate publications.

We then obtained hard copies or online PDFs of each journal (text databases do not contain tables) and perused each volume for ELS articles. The following rubrics were used to identify "empirical" research. (1) the presence of tables or charts based upon original empirical research, or (2) the inclusion of tables or charts from other publications (i.e., the Census) with more than a cursory interpretation of the data. The rule of thumb for (2) is whether another scholar would cite the article or the original source to support the proposition supported by the data. The third (3) rubric is whether the article contains a detailed description of the research methodology. This could include protocols for quantitative research (data collection) or qualitative research (interviews). If any one of these was met with satisfaction, the article was included in the database. As our aim is to be over- rather than under-inclusive, we also searched Westlaw for review articles with "empirical" in the title, and subjected them to  the same protocols. 

From the articles identified as ELS we collected the following information: author and affiliation (up to 4), subject categories (up to 3) and bibliographic data in Blue Book format. In the database, articles are searchable by author, title, subject and year.  The database output defaults to a general format with 10 cites per page. Users can select ISI format for the output, and can opt to have all citations displayed on a single screen. 

The database should be current through July 2007. The entire database file is available upon request.