Ranking the Top (Law?) Presses and Moneyball Analysis

Over on Leiter Law School Blog, Brian contemplates which are the top (most prestigious/high profile) academic publishers in law. He posits that Harvard, Oxford, Chicago, Yale, Cambridge, and Princeton (in no particular order) are the top presses and that it gets difficult to rank with precision beyond these presses. He does note that many important books have been published by other presses and that some presses are particularly good in certain subjects. In political science we have, from time to time, a ranking study of both journals and presses. I have set forth below the fold the top 15 presses as per a survey (of political scientists) published by Goodson, Dillman, and Hira in PS: Political Science & Politics (June 1999). I imagine that there is some degree of overlap in perceptions of the prestige of presses for legal academics.

Perhaps a relevant question on this general topic is how does a press play “moneyball” and rise in the rankings? Is the perceived quality of a press based simply on institutional inertia, or are there tangible steps that a press can take to improve it’s profile?

1. Cambridge

2. Princeton

3. Oxford

3. Chicago

5. Yale

6. Havard

7. California

8. Cornell

9. Michigan

10. MIT

11. Stanford

12. Johns Hopkins

13. Brookings

14. Columbia

15. Congressional Quarterly Press

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