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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Some Results from the Law Review Submission Practices Survey

Several drafts of my final exam ago, at the beginning of the month, I sent around a survey of law review submission practices.  Our response rate was lousy, and we have no way of knowing how representative the responses thus far are.  (Editors: still want to fill out the survey?  You can go here, and I'll post updates at the Law & Economics Prof Blog).   But, for they're worth, here's what we learned.  

First, there will be a fall season.


6. When do you expect to begin reading submissions for the fall cycle?

a. Before Aug. 1 6 42.9%
b. Aug. 1 - Aug. 15 7 50%
c. Aug 16 - Aug. 30 1 7.1%
d. Sept. 1 - Sept. 15 0 0%
e. After Sept. 15 0 0%

7. What portion of your available slots remain open for summer and fall placements?

a. None 0 0%
b. 1 or 2 slots 3 20%
c. Less than a third 3 20%
d. Between one-third and two-thirds 6 40%
e. More than two-thirds 3 20%

Next, the spring season at reporting journals starts & ends earlier than I thought.

1. When did you begin reading submissions for this spring cycle?

a. before Feb. 15 10 66.7%
b. Feb 15 - Feb. 28 2 13.3%
c. Mar. 1-Mar. 15 2 13.3%
d. Mar. 16- Mar. 31 0 0%
e. After Mar. 31 1 6.7%

2. When did you / will you finish reading submissions for this spring cycle?

a. Mar. 1-Mar. 15 0 0%
b. Mar. 16- Mar. 31 4 26.7%
c. Mar. 31- Apr. 15 7 46.7%
d. After Apr. 15 4 26.7%

Journal communications with authors are under stress, and not really what we would choose as our first-best:

4. How, if at all, do you indicate to authors that your journal is open for submissions?

a.  Post to our home page 1 6.7%
b. E-mail to our mailing list 0 0%
c. Change status to “accepting submissions” on bepress or scholastic 9 60%
d. Another way 0 0%
e. No particular way 5



9. When your journal makes no response to an expedite request, is it usually because:

a. You considered and rejected the piece 3 20%
b. You were aware of the piece but did not have time to consider it 8 53.3%
c. another reason. 4 26.7%

Posted by BDG on April 29, 2015 at 04:55 PM in Law Review Review | Permalink


Given the small number of responses, I see no value in these results whatsoever.

Posted by: Law Prof | Apr 29, 2015 5:00:14 PM

It looks like you received 15 responses. Even if your sample size is small and non-representative, I assume the responses are accurate as to the 15 journals that did respond. So, I think they have greater than zero value, you just can't extrapolate from the sample to the population.

Posted by: Stuart Ford | Apr 29, 2015 5:29:33 PM

I agree -- pretty useless.

Posted by: AnonProf | Apr 29, 2015 6:35:05 PM

Dear anonymous commenters: You're welcome, and thanks for the encouragement. To repeat, it would be more than splendid if someone who actually had access to this data -- say, the people at Bepress or Scholastica, whom we pay $100 or more per article for processing submissions -- would share it. For reasons known only to themselves, they won't. Failing that, if readers here are willing to actually encourage their own journal to fill out the survey, instead of just complaining about the low response rate, we might get somewhere. Be part of the solution, friends.

Posted by: BDG | Apr 29, 2015 8:03:08 PM

Thank you for running this survey -- great idea and very helpful.

Posted by: nonanon | Apr 29, 2015 9:52:03 PM

Given that you only have 15 responses, were the pie charts really necessary? LOL

Posted by: AnotherAnon | Apr 30, 2015 12:39:22 AM

BDG, thanks for this. It's interesting and helpful, even with the small sample size.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Apr 30, 2015 1:43:26 AM

BDG, did you collect information about the specific journals? It would be terrific if there was information about what rank range the responding journals fall into.

Posted by: anonyprof | Apr 30, 2015 1:30:02 PM

15 is hardly a representative sample.

Posted by: LawProf | Apr 30, 2015 6:22:15 PM

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