Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Brooks Blog reaches 500,000 page views

. . . and 505,397 to be exact with over 450,000 visitors since I launched this blog June 15, 2006. The most read blogposts are:

1. "We are sorry for any inconvenience caused" (8 October 2010) - 23,179 views

2. "Journal rankings for philosophy" (29 September 2011) - 22,987 views

3. "The top philosophy journals: initial results" (18 January 2011) - 17,902 views

4. "Why publish journal articles?" (4 January 2011) -  6,670 views

5. "Hegel's philosophy attacked by Australia's opposition parties, or "The Politics of What?!" (6 September 2013) - 3,362 views

6. "Equality: the ticket to greater citations?" (2 January 2011) - 3,126 views

7. "Journal of Moral Philosophy joins Thomson Reuters ISI" (11 July 2011) - 2,676 views

8. "Senior academics threaten resignations over Big Society" (23 June 2011) - 1,848 views

9. "Thom Brooks on 'Guidelines on How to Referee'" (2 December 2010) - 1,479 views

10. "The UK citizenship test is 'unfit for purpose': news round-up" (18 March 2013) - 1,300 views

Clearly, my blog has become a central focal point for debates concerning academic journal rankings. I have a strong interest in these discussions given my founding the Journal of Moral Philosophy and I became increasingly alarmed at how many developments worldwide were taking place without full consultation with journal editors and their readers. This led me to re-launch with Carol Gould the Association of Philosophy Journal Editors to bring together philosophy journal editors to share ideas about best practice and the promoting our profession. I know my ranking of philosophy journals has been used by departments in North America and Europe -- and I am tempted to start a new discussion about what these rankings should look like now...

This list also contains some surprises. While my guidelines piece has been well received, I would have thought my piece on publishing advice - which I'm perhaps known for even  more and ranks in the top 100 most downloaded SSRN papers all-time - would have made my top 10 blogposts. A second surprise is my news round-up capturing initial media interest in my work on reforming the UK citizenship test makes the top 10, but not a post covering the much wider coverage - in 300+ media outlets - my report on the test received later that spring.

Of course, the biggest surprise of all is that my blog has continued to be received so well for so long. Much of the credit - as always! - must go to my old friend Brian Leiter for his warm support since day one. Much more credit must go to you, my reader, for taking the time to visit these pages. I am extremely grateful - and hope I can provide much of continuing interest in the days, weeks, months and even years ahead!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Join Progress

Go on. Join Progress, the New Labour pressure group promoting progressive politics in the UK. Tell them I sent you.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Progress strategy board elections

I'm running for a place on the strategy board of Progress, a New Labour pressure group which aims to promote a radical and progressive politics for the 21st century founded in 1996.

My statement is:

I’m standing for election because I believe that I can promote Progress effectively to the Labour Party and wider electorate with new ideas. I am a proud member of both and believe that a strong Progress can strengthen Labour. I am an effective, award winning media commentator with frequent television, radio and newspaper interviews well placed to defend our message and make the case for Labour in the next general election.

I lecture at Durham University’s Law School and recently promoted to Professor of Law and Government. I teach advocacy and public policy with special interests in criminal justice and immigration policy. My research develops a new model for better incorporating the voices of victims in the criminal justice system through greater support for restorative justice. My work features in an award winning book, Punishment, and the spring issue of Demos Quarterly, a new online journal from Demos. These ideas have also caught the attention of the Labour Party and I am quoted in the Labour Party’s ‘Stronger, Safer Communities’ policy consultation on Your Britain. I am also known for my work on immigration. I’m originally from the US earning UK citizenship two years ago and made international headlines exposing serious flaws in the ‘Life in the UK’ test in my report--the most authoritative available--covered by over 300 news outlets.

I’d be honoured to join the Strategy Board and ensure our voices are heard within Labour and win over voters to win the next election.

Learn more about the candidates from the Progress Online website.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Durham ranked #1 and again at #1

Durham University was voted to have the number 1 most beautiful university building in the UK, with its University College (also known as Durham Castle), by Times Higher Education. The Castle is Norman and built by a cousin (I believe...) of William the Conqueror. It is the oldest continually used higher education building in the world.

Durham University's new Law School building is voted the number 1 most impressive Law School building in the world(!).

So two more reasons why Durham University is the place to be...

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Another reason to love SSRN (Social Science Research Network)

There are a great many reasons to love the SSRN. First, it's the best online library of fabulous, first-class research I've seen in the subject matters I love most (law, philosophy, political science) and beyond (economics, etc.). Secondly, I know of no better website to get one's work "out there" and available for others to read. I have lost count of the number of colleagues that have well and truly transformed -- always for the better -- my work published online which has made a significant difference to improving the formal, final drafts I've published.

But a third is the insightful data the SSRN provides authors about their work. My latest:


Your Publicly Available (Scholarly and Other Papers) and Privately Available Papers on SSRN as of 20 August 2014 have:


(Note: The totals above are calculated specifically for this author letter as of 20 August 2014 for all your papers on SSRN (summing the data on both your publicly and privately available papers) and therefore may differ slightly from the numbers on the SSRN site.)

Your Author Statistics as of 08/01/2014 (out of 260,471 authors in SSRN, based only on Publicly Available, Downloadable Papers)

519 is your AUTHOR RANK, based on 23,285 TOTAL DOWNLOADS.
475 is your AUTHOR RANK, based on 2,923 DOWNLOADS IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS.
23,827 is your AUTHOR RANK, based on 11 TOTAL CITATIONS.

You can find the complete table of the Top Authors Ranking by Downloads and Citations at"

SO my recommendation to readers is that - if you're not already on SSRN - you should do!