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Monday, January 02, 2006

Project on Peer-Review Law Journals

The primary venue for most legal scholarship is in student-edited law reviews.  Law professors are fairly familiar with the rhythms of this process: the March and August submission windows, the newly-instituted length requirements, the editing process, and even the need for an asterisk footnote.  Law professors are also fairly clear about the relative prestige of the various journals, although there continues to be  discussion about the actual list.

In comparison, most law professors are less familiar with the smaller but growing number of peer-review law journals.  Peer-review law journals are plentiful, but many have a lower profile.  Often such journals focus on a particular area of the law or look for a particular social science methodology.  As legal scholars become more specialized and rely on advanced methodologies in doing their research, the importance of such journals will continue to increase.

In the upcoming weeks I will be writing about the specifics regarding peer-review law journals.  I'll be taking a sample of such journals and exploring a bit more about who they are and what they do.  For each journal, I'll be asking questions such as the following:

  • What is the process for submitting to the journal?
  • What types of articles does the journal publish?
  • Who runs the journal?
  • Who are the peer reviewers for the journal?
  • What does it mean to have your article published in that journal?

I'm eager to hear your input as I begin this project.  Let me know if there are particular journals that interest you, or particular questions you have about the process.  I hope that this project will be of particular use to newer scholars (like myself) who may be less familiar with the peer-review process.

Special thanks to Grant Hayden for the tip.

Posted by Matt Bodie on January 2, 2006 at 07:36 PM in Life of Law Schools | Permalink


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» Peer-Review Law Journals from madisonian.net
Matt Bodie, at PrawfsBlawg, has kicked off a highly worthy project about peer-review law journals. According to Matt, hell be taking a sample of such journals and exploring a bit more about who they are and what they do. As they... [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 2, 2006 10:39:06 PM

» Peer-Edited Law Journals from PropertyProf Blog
In the coming weeks, Matt Bodie at PrawfsBlawg will be doing an interesting survey of peer-edited law journals:In the upcoming weeks I will be writing about the specifics regarding peer-review law journals. I'll be taking a sample of such journals [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 8, 2006 9:22:48 PM


I was wondering what could be a good set of questions for peer-reviewers to answer when reviewing an international law article.

Posted by: S.S | Sep 22, 2006 5:09:07 AM

I just have a couple of suggestions for the mechanics of this (worthwhile) endeavor, based on my practice experience (I represent authors, including a fair number of academics):

Please add a permanent link to the cumulative, preferably sorted by title and organized as a table, list.

Please ensure that each entry (even if it is not in a permanent summary) clearly states when the data was gathered internally to each item, so that it doesn't get separated from the date header in blawg entries.

Please ensure that each entry clearly identifies the organizational sponsor, if any, of a given journaland notes whether membership in the organization is a prerequisite to publication (hint: there is at least one "refereed" journal that requires organization membership).

Posted by: C.E. Petit | Jan 3, 2006 10:17:21 AM

On the (small) chance that you haven't already seen it, the LexisNexis list of peer-review law journals is here.

Posted by: Joe Miller | Jan 2, 2006 10:53:55 PM

Very cool project. I'd be interested in your thoughts on why there don't seem to be more faculty-edited journals focused on the major common-law doctrinal areas. I'm a property person, and I'd love to see someone establish a faculty-edited property journal. My main working theory (for which I have absolutely no evidence) is that the established professors who could get a journal off the ground with some prestige (say, Carol Rose) are happy with the present system of student edited law reviews. Plus, editing is a lot of work.

Posted by: Ben Barros | Jan 2, 2006 9:44:51 PM

Matt -- This is mostly just shameless self-promotion, but the Journal of National Security Law and Policy, which is run out of McGeorge, is a fairly recent addition to the peer-review journal world, and one that, for obvious reasons, I'm very much interested in (and have an article coming out in sometime later this year).

All of this is to say that this project is a great idea, and I hope you'll think of including JNSL&P in your survey...

Posted by: Steve Vladeck | Jan 2, 2006 9:20:07 PM

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