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Friday, February 15, 2013

The gift of grift?

I am impressed, I think, by the new law review entrepreneurs. Here is my guess as to what is happening. Scholastica and their associates at prestigious Scholastica-only law reviews have identified a herd of academics (law professors) who are desperate for prestige publication and whose acts of desperation are often 100% subsidized by equally status-desperate moneybags (deans) who have been acclimated (by ExpressO) to pay-to-play in the law review submissions game. So long as these desperadoes remain either unaware that they are being scammed or aware that someone else is paying for the scam -- and the operators don't get too greedy -- the money will flow, the operators will split the take, and tuitions will rise ever-so-slightly as cash is moved out of the law schools and into ... the pockets of a few non-law academics (who are cleverer than their marks) and a few fancy law reviews at top-tier law schools. Who knows, maybe this will catch on more broadly and develop into a feature of a new normal in legal academic publishing as it appears to be in other fields, where allegedly predatory publishers and their proxies seem to be dining well. My guess, given the stinginess of law professors when it comes to our own money, is that deans can put a plug in this new budgetary siphon by simply empowering us to pay our own way when it comes to pay-to-play. But I could be wrong.

Posted by Ross Davies on February 15, 2013 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

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Blog post of the week.

Posted by: dave hoffman | Feb 15, 2013 11:54:59 AM

I'm AD for Faculty Development at a law school, and I informed the faculty and Dean that I did not recommend opening an institutional Scholastica account at this time. The amount of faculty flak for that decision was, in my opinion, quite disproportional to the potential impact of it. Only 8 journals/reviews accept submissions only through Scholastica. The student law review side of Scholastica might be free, but the $5 bar to entry on the faculty side, in my opinion, is outrageous. The net out-of-pocket expense from the law school would be far greater if the faculty started using Scholastica for all or most submissions instead if ExpressO. I have to believe ExpressO by the summer can come up with some ways to remedy the over-saturation problem on the students' end. I hope to support it in that endeavor. The $2 per submission cost seems worth the expense for the service if faculty use good judgment regarding the number of submissions.

Posted by: Jen Kreder | Feb 15, 2013 2:44:22 PM

But what represents good judgment? I just submitted my latest piece. I only sent it to places I honestly thought would want it and might publish it. That was 80 journals. Is that too much or too little?

Posted by: Anon | Feb 15, 2013 5:15:43 PM

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