Law and Psychology Journal Impact Rankings
Note: A previous version of these rankings appears in the AP-LS Newsletter.


Updated August 2018 | Because of the field's interdisciplinary nature, it is difficult to find comprehensive rankings of academic journals geared toward Psychology & Law. These journals are often scattered throughout different "categories" in traditional indices, and most indices only cover a selection of the relevant journals.

On this page is a list of psychology and law academic journals along with different measures of impact. Each measure uses a different method and data source for calculating impact. A full description of these measures is found at the bottom of the page. The measures below are valid August 2018 - July 2019.

  • SSCI (Social Science Citation Index / Journal Citation Reports): The average number of citations articles in a particular journal received in three years.
  • Change: The absolute change in SSCI impact factor from last year to this year.
  • Trend: SSCI Impact Factor linear trend over past five years (b)
  • Westlaw Impact Factor :Average number of law review / legal journal citations articles in a particular journal received.

This ranking takes a broad view of "psychology and law" and includes journals that 1) are interdisciplinary, 2) contain at least some emphasis on the law, and 3) contain at least some emphasis on psychology, psychiatry, or the social sciences. Although we tried to be comprehensive, we may have missed a journal. If you have any suggestions, comments or questions, feel free to contact us at

1European J. of Psych. Applied to Legal Context3.52+1.24+.66--
2Law and Human Behavior3.23+.41+.300.21
3Criminal Justice and Behavior2.17+.07+.160.03
4Psychology, Public Policy, and Law1.89-.02+.080.40
5Legal and Criminological Psychology1.84+.02+.070.02
6Law and Society Review1.63-.07+.110.30
7Psychology, Crime, and Law1.60+.19+.080.02
8Journal of Empirical Legal Studies1.49-.04+.090.79
9International Journal of Law and Psychiatry1.28+.08+.110.05
10Annual Review of Law and Social Science1.18-.60.000.54
11Law and Social Inquiry1.09+.14+.090.38
12Behavioral Sciences and the Law1.06-.59-.010.06
13Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice0.89+.28+.12--
14Psychiatry, Psychology, and Law0.79+.13+.060.01
15Journal of Law and Society0.71-.09+.120.11
16Int. J. of Forensic Mental Health0.67-.69----
17Crime, Law, and Social Change0.66-.01+.060.03
18Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology0.38-.62-.010.01
19Psychological Injury and Law------0.00
20Law and Psychology Review------0.37

Scatterplot of Impact Factors

The graph below plots each journal's impact factor in the psychology/social science literature (SSCI/JCR) and in the legal literature (Westlaw). Only journals that are ranked in both databases are included. The two reference lines represent the median impact factors across all psychology journals in SSCI and all legal journals in Westlaw. These lines create quadrants that identify journals that are high-impact in both psychology and law, only one of the fields, or neither. (Note: The Westlaw database ranking added several hundred journals in 2017, many with low imapct factors. This has significantly reduced that median IF.)

Scatterplot Graph

Measure Detail

Social Science Citation Index Impact Factor
The Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) is the most common source of impact factor ratings. The SSCI is quite comprehensive within psychology and the social sciences; however, its database contains only a limited selection of legal journals and law reviews. Therefore, this ranking is biased toward each journal's impact within the psychology / social science literature.

SSCI Change
This represents the absolute change in the SSCI/JCR impact factor from this year compared to the previous year.

SSCI Trend
For journals with at least five years of SSCI impact factor data, a linear regression analysis was conducting predicting SSCI impact factor from the past five years of data (2013-2017). The resulting unstandardized regression coefficient (b) is reported. This coefficient represents the average year-to-year change in SSCI impact factor over this time period. For example, a trend of +.08 means that a paricular journal's impact factor has been rising by an average of .08 each year. Please note that this is a raw metric -- a .08 change is likely not meaningful to a journal with a very high impact factor, but it would represent a large drop if the journal's impact factor was only 0.40 in the first place.

Westlaw Impact Factor
Average number of law review / legal journal citations articles in a particular journal received. These journals appear in the Law Journal Rankings compiled annually by John Doyle at Washington and Lee University's Law School. The impact factors are calculated from articles that appear in the Westlaw database and are current as of 2018. Westlaw is a comprehensive database of legal journals and law reviews, but it does not contain any non-legal social science journals. Therefore, this ranking is biased toward each journal's impact within the legal literature. Also, because of the different reference groups, these impact factors are not directly comparable to the SSCI impact factors.