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Tuesday, August 06, 2013

The Angsting Thread (Fall 2013 Submission Cycle Edition)

Friends, I have it on good authority that Redyip is not yet visible but he is making preparations for his journey this autumn.  You know what that means. Feel free to use the comments to share your information (and gripes or praise) about which law reviews have turned over, which ones haven't yet, and where you've heard from, and where you've not, and what you'd like Santa to bring you this coming Xmas, etc. It's the semi-annual angsting thread for the law review submission season. Have at it. And do it reasonably nicely, pretty please.

Oh, one last thing: if you're bored while waiting for him to fly, Redyip whispered to me that y'all should feel free to read and send comments on this little paper.

Posted by Administrators on August 6, 2013 at 11:58 PM in Blogging, Law Review Review, Life of Law Schools | Permalink

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Comments

Judging from the slowness that was Expresso this morning, the mad dash is ON!!!

Posted by: Steve-o | Feb 1, 2014 8:53:16 PM

I haven't seen Redyip yet, but to get the angst started early this cycle, I just loaded my manuscript into the Expresso t-shirt cannon and shot it in the direction of Zarcon.

Posted by: 2/1 | Feb 1, 2014 9:06:06 AM

I've heard that mid-February is the sweet spot. That said, it seems like about time for someone to start a Spring cycle thread?

Posted by: waiting | Jan 30, 2014 9:34:10 PM

I'm submitting Monday morning. Anyone else or is it still too early?

Posted by: Early bird | Jan 30, 2014 4:28:30 PM

Ok, I know it's early and no one is reading this, but when are people starting to submit for spring? 2/1? Earlier, later?

Posted by: CP | Jan 2, 2014 3:21:40 PM

The McGeorge Law Review at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law is acquiring its final articles for Volume 45, Issue 4.

We are currently seeking one article with a maximum of approximately 15000 words or 25 single-spaced pages. Any articles submitted will receive expedited review, and all topics are welcomed. Additionally, we ask that this be an exclusive submission; if you submit an article under this call for submission, you agree to publish this article with the McGeorge Law Review if selected.

If interested, please submit your article with the subject “CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS” to the chief articles editor at [email protected] or to [email protected]

Posted by: McGeorge Law Review | Nov 21, 2013 12:10:43 PM

Cal ding yesterday off expedite.

Posted by: Guest | Oct 17, 2013 7:31:55 PM

yeah, FSU ding last night, too.

Posted by: cp | Oct 9, 2013 11:57:40 AM

Just got the FSU ding.

Posted by: anonymous | Oct 8, 2013 7:33:38 PM

Nothing from FSU. Does anyone know if the send offers and rejections last year, or just offers?

Posted by: anon2 | Oct 8, 2013 6:23:12 PM

Anyone hear from FSU on the exclusive window yet?

Posted by: anon | Oct 8, 2013 6:09:27 PM

Don't lose hope! I've received offers from specialty journals at Yale, Harvard, Columbia and Penn within the last week for an article submitted late August.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 5, 2013 12:24:13 PM

Wisconsin ding.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 4, 2013 8:50:36 PM

I submitted to the top 100 plus specialty journals on August 14th. Radio silence except for rejections (including some very badly worded rejections). I was feeling kinda down, questioning my paper's worth, but then presented the paper at an industry conference yesterday and got a wonderful response. So I'm just going to go with the feedback from economists and subject matter specialists over that of 3Ls who probably haven't taken banking law, and wait for the spring submission season. To all those out there who are similarly angsting, Winter is Coming, but then it'll be spring!

Posted by: Hating on the Fall Season | Oct 4, 2013 8:56:49 AM

Penn ding off expedite. Sorry if this is old news, but Penn is full.

Posted by: Walter White | Oct 3, 2013 9:37:03 AM

To answer anon @ Sep. 30, 11:56 PM, I submitted to FSU exclusively and did not hear anything back upon submission. I assume we won't hear anything until October 8. Since it is an exclusive submission, I'd imagine there is nothing motivating them to respond until then. Whatever pieces they accept are obligated to publish in their journal. So it makes sense for them to take as much time as possible reviewing all of the submissions.

Posted by: anon | Oct 2, 2013 9:47:10 AM

I guess that means my Georgetown ding is on the way, too.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 1, 2013 9:05:45 PM

Hi all,

I wrote in a few weeks ago about a confusing offer from a specialty journal. It seemed like they were offering but with the caveat that the piece "required substantial editing." I wrote back asking what that meant. No reply for weeks. I checked back in and they said they were "interested in exploring publication" in the summer issue, the edits would not be "substantive," and they'd get back to me in a week. The week passed with no response.

So, these guys really suck, and I'm just venting...

Posted by: anon non prof | Oct 1, 2013 8:14:26 PM

Georgetown ding

Posted by: Another anon | Oct 1, 2013 7:48:12 PM

Has anyone heard anything from FSU after submitting to their exclusive window?

Posted by: Anon | Sep 30, 2013 11:56:37 PM

HMCIC/A: I've added sections, removed significant material, tinkered with the title - everything short of changing the thesis. With the caveat that I did most (but not all) of this in the first couple of editing turns, where substantive changes were permitted, at the end of the day it's your article. And if, for example, you receive good suggestions from a colleague later than you had hoped, I'd think very hard about deciding not to include them because the editors have already been through a first turn of the piece.

Posted by: Guest | Sep 30, 2013 7:57:40 AM

Can anyone tell me what's the most they've ever changed about their article after they submitted their first round of edits and received back the first marked-up version from the journal. Is it allowable to remove a section, add a section, change the title, change your thesis, etc.? The more I read and shop the article, the more I want to change my focus a bit and change several of the footnotes, but not write a second article. Or, am I just expected to make finishing touches? What's the range of normal? Thank you.

Posted by: How Much Can I Change/Add? | Sep 29, 2013 11:18:26 PM

I received the same "we did not get a chance to read your article before we filled our journal" email and it confirmed my sense that most journals will not read your article without an expediate. After all, I submitted the first week of August so there is no reason, two months later, that I should have received an email saying that my article was not read unless the review process is less about giving attention to articles in the order that they are received, and more about staying ahead of the expedites. It is what it is, I guess.

Posted by: anon | Sep 29, 2013 3:45:13 PM

@ Ta-dow Your approach would also save a lot of paper.

@ Anyone else who cares to answer. I know it makes no practical difference in the end, but I'm still curious whether there is any real difference in meaning between the 2 general kinds of rejection letters that we get: (1) a straight-out, quick Michigan-type ding (which Michigan ding I strangely haven't yet received) or (2) a letter that comes when the journal is full and states "we were unable to reach a decision on your article before we filled our journal." I'm assuming that the latter letter just means they waited till the end to respond to articles that they had rejected earlier on. If there are any law review editors reading this, I would especially enjoy hearing your thoughts.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 29, 2013 1:54:30 PM

Anon - same here re difficult journals.

It just occurred to me that journals could be completely eliminated with virtually no loss to our academic pursuits. All articles could just go on SSRN, Westlaw, and Lexis for the purpose of accessibility(some arrangement would have to be made with the databases, of course). Then article quality would be determined by people evaluating an article's merits. Citations, presentations, and word of mouth would probably become proxy for quality.

Posted by: Ta-dow | Sep 28, 2013 9:01:39 PM

Ta-dow, I think it goes both ways, as I have privately mentioned to others that a particular journal is difficult to work with, and I have received word from other colleagues about specific journals that are unreasonable.

Posted by: anon | Sep 28, 2013 12:14:37 PM

Anon - I have no knowledge that there will be professional consequences for withdrawing, but I would worry that you might get black listed. If I were the EIC of a journal, and an author withdrew his article after my staff and I had put in serious work editing the article, I'd be strongly tempted to circulate the news that said author was a problem to work with.

It seems like you should have a conversation with the EIC about your problems with the edits and try to fix the problem. If you ultimately have a good faith, irreconcilable disagreement about the edits, then it would probably be ok to withdraw your article.

Posted by: Ta-dow | Sep 28, 2013 11:52:19 AM

Anon @ 7:40:16pm, I'm not sure whether they are constantly changing editors, but I have seen some of my prior changes (i.e., me rejecting their edits) undone. If I withdraw, I plan to revise it further and submit to other journals. I am not in any hurry to publish this piece. My question is: are there are professional consequences that may attach from withdrawing during the editing process solely on the ground that the editors are unreasonable/difficult to work with? If author withdrawals become common, would this change the dynamics of the editing process?

Posted by: anon | Sep 27, 2013 9:33:00 PM

@ Anon 9:38: Rather than withdraw, why don't you just say no to their changes and see what happens? That way you have the chance of publication vs. no chance if you withdraw.

Also, I received a notice today that Vanderbilt is full.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 27, 2013 7:40:16 PM

Anon 9:38: I can't speak to your actual question, though I'd be curious to see informed answers to it.

But I wonder why you rankle at the editors' "insist[ing] on conventions that they appear to have made up." Shouldn't publications have some leeway to "make up" conventions for the material that they publish? That's not to say that such insistence couldn't be overdone, but if they just want all articles to conform to their particular standards, arbitrary though they may be, I don't think that's necessarily problematic.

Posted by: Steve | Sep 27, 2013 10:12:56 AM

Today, I received a second round of edits/comments back from a law review on my article. Looking at the law review's work product, I have doubts about the judgment of the editors, who insist on conventions that they appear to have made up. I foresee further clashes and difficulties over the next couple of months in the editing process. As anyone withdrawn an article from a journal because the editors were unreasonable/intractable? Are there any professional consequences that may attach in withdrawing an article on this basis?

Posted by: anon | Sep 26, 2013 9:38:53 PM

I submitted to 70 journals this cycle in an effort to avoid using an offer from a lower ranked journal to get a read from the journals in which I hoped to publish. I only heard back from 20 journals, with many just saying that they are full. Lesson learned: playing the expedite game is a necessary evil. I will submit more broadly in the spring.

Any sense that offers are still being made?

Posted by: law prof | Sep 24, 2013 9:29:24 PM

FYI - Chicago just announced its selections via Twitter.

Posted by: Guest | Sep 24, 2013 8:58:54 PM

Still waiting on a Georgetown response here.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 23, 2013 12:31:32 PM

The ding I received from Northwestern said they were full.

Posted by: Murdock | Sep 23, 2013 9:15:54 AM

Received a top 60 law review offer and declined a top 70 law review offer. GW ding yesterday off of 8/13 submission and 9/12 expedite. Haven't heard from Texas, Georgetown, or Northwestern yet. Does anyone know if they are full?

Posted by: Batman | Sep 23, 2013 8:53:23 AM

Vanderbilt has completed its Fall review cycle.

Posted by: anon | Sep 22, 2013 9:20:44 PM

This weekend, dings from Vanderbilt and William & Mary. Submitted 8/9, expedited 9/8 and then again on 9/15.

Posted by: hmm | Sep 22, 2013 8:05:55 PM

@ Murdock I submitted to GW on 8-18. Hope that helps. I still haven't heard from Vanderbilt, Texas, and Northwestern on submissions from about the same time. Sounds like I'm just an expedite away from that.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 22, 2013 7:01:10 PM

Anon - if you don't mind, when (approximately) did you submit and/or expedite to GW? Recent dings from Vanderbilt, William & Mary, Texas, Northwestern and USC after expedite.

Posted by: Murdock | Sep 22, 2013 6:10:39 PM

GW ding today.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 22, 2013 3:19:04 PM

One way to force the editors to read, or at least take action on, every submission would be to provide them with access to a limited number of submissions at any given time (e.g., 20). It would be akin to Netflix--a law review can have at any point in time only X number of articles accessible in its queue for which it has not provided a final disposition (i.e., extend an offer or reject). And the order in which the articles are advanced in the queue should be based only on the date/time of submission (i.e., the editor cannot jump around the queue and pick which articles they look at next).

At the same time, a mechanism for limiting the number of law reviews where an author may have pending submissions may be needed as well.

Posted by: anon | Sep 22, 2013 12:55:34 PM

It’s a relief that this submission season is finally over. I’ve had placed several articles relating to the same (business-law related) area over years, and now I’m happy to accept an offer extended by a peer-reviewed specialty journal. This was my only offer. A very low response / expedite response rate, and a couple of impolite “stealth” dings via ExpressO. Good luck to everyone!

Posted by: G-Ice | Sep 22, 2013 8:59:23 AM

I second anon's suggestions.

Posted by: Another anon | Sep 21, 2013 4:35:46 PM

Dear Rob @ Scholastica and any Expresso reps who may be lurking:

As an author, I'd like to see a feature that indicates whether a law review actually looked at my article, CV, or cover letter. Something like a "Last Seen" or "Last Accessed" indication next to the article, CV, and cover letter. That way, I'll know whether my article has been read (or at least accessed) and whether some journals read the CV first or the cover letter first before reading the article, etc. The more transparency authors have regarding the editors' habits, the better.

In addition, I'd like to see for each law review an indication whether they have extended any offers. That is, set up a landing page for each law review that shows the dates/times of all offers extended (without disclosing author identities) so that we know which journals are active and which are not.

It is frustrating to spend money sending an article to a journal that is either inactive or inattentive, and yet appears to be "open for business."

Posted by: anon | Sep 21, 2013 4:30:25 PM

Alright, well I presume the Fall cycle is coming to a close. Plenty of silence, but a few nicedly worded rejections. But being a recent grad, only a judicial law clerk, and seeking my first non-note publication, I guess that was to be expected. When does the supposedly better Spring cycle start? Early February or is it March?

Posted by: New_Guy | Sep 21, 2013 1:43:49 PM

Thanks very much, Rob!

Posted by: Steve | Sep 21, 2013 10:07:31 AM

CP- you are right about the long term. The question is whether the incentives are properly aligned to make it past the short term. Given that there isn't a critical mass of journals that have moved yet, charging the constituency that is not seeing benefits is a bit tricky.

Posted by: anonanon | Sep 20, 2013 3:01:01 PM

UConn is full.

Posted by: anon | Sep 20, 2013 1:47:03 PM

Hi Authors (CP, Steve, et. al),

We care about authors. We've actually refused to do features that journals have wanted because we've felt these features are bad for authors. I wouldn't keep up with the angsting thread if we didn't care about authors.

More about "radio silence":

I know that some journals in the past have someone who takes a day or so to sit down and go through all the leftover manuscripts and reject them.

Remember that these editors have hundreds of manuscripts to go through and reject. Unfortunately, there are some editors that decide that "radio silence" is just as good as a reject. I disagree.

The submission period is a touchy thing. For instance, no one wants their article to be rejected close to the time it's submitted – although, editors often quickly know what they aren't going to accept. The consequence is that it may sit in the queue forever and they don't go back and give it an official rejection. Then the next board comes in and they have their own volume to worry about and they don't want to reject the last board's manuscripts.

One thing this does NOT mean, however, is that articles aren't being read. All the editor has to do is click on an author's manuscript, cover letter, and CV and read it.They don't have to even download it to their computer. This makes it much faster for editors to read your piece – it's much easier to miss an article if an editor has to download them all to her computer and keep track of the ones that she has and hasn't read. Again, you can see Scholastica from an editor's perspective here: http://bit.ly/1gDmJqY

We're trying very hard to influence journals to give every author's piece the attention it deserves. We're working on ways to get journals to end the practice of "radio silence". Authors spend a lot of time writing their articles and deserve to receive decisions.

Rob Walsh
Co-Founder, Scholastica

Posted by: Rob Walsh | Sep 20, 2013 1:02:58 PM

But aren't all of these comments about Scholastica sort of missing the point? I mean, there are a few journals that except articles through both, but Scholastica's long-term goal is surely to capture more journals who will only accept submissions through Scholastica. And once that happens, authors will use Scholastica (or miss out on a potential - no matter how unlikely - placement). So if I'm Scholastica, I don't care much at all about individual authors. If I can get more journals to convert exclusively, that's all I need.

Posted by: CP | Sep 20, 2013 12:25:42 PM

U.C. Davis ding today.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 20, 2013 12:04:29 PM

Agree on Scholastica. I used them in a prior cycle and found it no better than ExpressO. Indeed, overall I found the journals rather non responsive. I used ExpressO this cycle and rec'd an offer within 2 weeks. I also do not plan on using Scholastica.

Posted by: Mr T | Sep 20, 2013 3:35:32 AM

I agree with Dublius. I've used Scholastica the past two cycles and only a handful of law reviews read my submissions. It is unlikely that I will use Scholastica in the next cycle.

Posted by: anon | Sep 19, 2013 7:50:35 PM

Ding from William and Mary on 8/13 submission.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 19, 2013 7:12:32 PM

I'd heard a few times that UCLA is full, so I abandoned my wait and see strategy and went ahead and expedited. They promptly replied that they were full. Once they became full, why didn't they just select all remaining submissions and reject them?

I assume that's as easy on their side (i.e., editors', not just those at UCLA) as withdrawing from all remaining law reviews is for us. Are they (again, not picking on UCLA, but all editors who don't bother to send rejections when they fill up) mean? Does it make them anxious to close off options even when they don't need them? Are they lazy?

Anyone?

Rob from Scholastica?

Lurking editor(s)?

Posted by: Steve | Sep 19, 2013 7:05:41 PM

Hi Dublius and anonanon,

Rob from Scholastica here. I'm really sorry that the journals aren't giving you a decision on your article. I understand how frustrating this must be for you – not getting an answer on my article would be frustrating to me too.

Unfortunately, we can't **force** the journals to make decisions on articles – we can just give them the tools to. We're trying to identify ways that we can encourage the law reviews to be more proactive about making decisions and sharing them with authors.

We provide excellent tools for journals to manage the thousands of articles they receive. They can read articles at the push of a button, write custom reviews to share their thoughts on the article between members of the editorial team, and more. It's definitely not lost in an email inbox somewhere. If you're curious about what things look like on the journal's end this help page article may be useful (http://bit.ly/1gDmJqY). Since they have so many articles to get through, however, I do know that they don't always write back to every author with a decision – which is something that we'll try to help with on our side.

Don't hesitate to let us know how you feel about the submissions process. You can always start a topic in our forum (https://scholasticahq.com/conversation) or email me at rwalsh [at] scholasticahq.com.

Rob Walsh
Co-Founder, Scholastica

Posted by: Rob Walsh | Sep 19, 2013 11:35:43 AM

Has anyone heard from Georgetown or Vanderbilt in the last week? I expedited last Thursday and other than being told UConn and UCLA are full, I've only gotten an actual rejection from Harvard.

Posted by: Batman | Sep 19, 2013 10:44:40 AM

I hear you, anonanon. I feel like with ExpressO, I paid for a delivery. But with Scholastica, with their luxury fees, I feel like I actually paid for a _read_. But that's not what I'm getting. Of seven submissions on Scholastica, I've gotten only one rejection, with total silence otherwise. What's the point of renting a Ferrari if it doesn't go faster than your Toyota?

Posted by: Dublius | Sep 19, 2013 6:14:29 AM

I just got an offer from a very good specialty journal, so at least some boards are reading out there.

(I also am requesting more intrarhyming couplets from Steve.)

Posted by: Dublius | Sep 19, 2013 6:05:14 AM

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