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Empirical Legal Studies Database (ELSD)


This is probably not a best-seller amongst my solos and small law firm practitioner law library patrons, but if that rare question arises, maybe this database could help me find them the answer.

Empirical Legal Studies Database

And what is an ELSD? From their own description, here’s an excerpt:

“… 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….”

For the whole description, go here.

Thanks to excellent Law Librarian blog for the tip (and the Stark County Law Library blog as well for tagging it).

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