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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Redyip, Expresso, and the Rite of Spring

I’ve reached a point where Redyip’s call and the February/March law review submission season no longer bring the torment that they brought me not all that long ago.  But given the angst unfolding in the comments below, I thought I might dip into my Expresso archives to provide one small set of data to those trying to get a feel for the how the process might unfold.  That information, plus a few scattered thoughts on (and an invitation to discuss) Expresso, after the jump. 

Apart from the two pieces I’ve got circulating now (note to law review editors: get ‘em while they’re hot!), I’ve submitted four traditional-sized articles via Expresso during the Spring season.  (Before that we used to make copies and stuff envelopes.)  In each case, I sent the article to roughly the “top 50” general law reviews.  Here’s how they shook out in terms of time to first offer:

Article                        Date Submitted                        Date of First Offer

   1                                       2/22                                         2/28

   2                                       2/26                                         3/24

   3                                       3/14                                         4/4

   4                                       3/2                                            3/13

 All of these were what we referred to back in my Articles-Editor days as pieces that came in “over the transom.”  In other words, there was nobody “walking it down the hall” or otherwise serving to flag the articles on my behalf.  I accepted one of the four offers on the spot.  Expedites of the remaining three yielded an additional offer for only one of them.  (Only once has an expedite request generated multiple offers for me.  That was back in the days of paper submissions.)  At least once I received a post-acceptance e-mail from a journal to which I had directed an expedite request asking whether the piece was still available.  (To the best of my recollection it came well after the deadline.) 

I don’t think there are any grand lessons here, other than that sometimes it takes a while.   It certainly wasn’t the case that the strongest pieces went the most quickly.  In fact, I think the best piece is the one that took the longest to generate an offer. 

With respect to Expresso, I’ve often thought that it could be made more useful as a one-stop-shopping spot, at least on the author side.  It’s nice that I can use it to see when journals have acknowledged receipt, and to track when and where I’ve expedited.  It would also be useful for me to be able to see what journals have already taken a pass when it comes time to expedite.  To be sure, I’ve already got that information in the form of e-mails from those journals that send them.  But it would be convenient were it automatically aggregated in one place.  I’m not familiar enough with how things look on the journal side to know whether a change like this would increase the odds that a journal that has decided to pass would inform authors of that, but if so that, too, strikes me as potentially valuable.  As I noodle on it, it seems like a "confirmation of receipt of expedite request" function would be useful, too, insofar as it would provide a sense of who's really taking a look.

It might be worthwhile to revisit the conversation started in this post by Lawrence Cunningham.  Authors, how could Expresso improve from your perspective?  Editors?


Posted by Chad Oldfather on March 3, 2011 at 02:43 PM in Life of Law Schools | Permalink


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New to the academy. What the heck is Redyip?

Posted by: Huh? | Apr 28, 2011 4:29:24 PM

Another reader thanks you. This is a very helpful post.

I like your ideas about Expresso improvements. It would be nice for authors to be able to enter information (on, e.g., confirmations and rejections) into the "delivery status" screens/lists.

Posted by: gulp | Mar 4, 2011 9:26:13 AM

Thanks for this, Chad. As you thoughtfully recognize, first timers have a lot of anxiety and a lot of questions. I appreciate the additional information--plus, it's simply nice to have something relevant to the process to read while playing the waiting game. I will say, and this is likely a minority view, and perhaps even a minority view within my own set of various emotional states, there is something that is sometimes kind of fun about this. I'm sure I won't be saying that if I end up getting nary an offer, but, for now, I'm--again, sometimes--enjoying the anticipation--checking the email inbox, reading posts and comments here, watching my article on SSRN to see if anyone's reading it there.

Your information about your experience with top 50 law reviews is helpful to read about--as you say, sometimes it takes a while, the wait time can vary, and it doesn't necessarily correlate to the merits of the piece. I'm wondering if anyone has any anecdotal evidence about the wait time for lower tiered law reviews. I'm guessing the process is similar i.e. wait time varies, can take a while, etc. but am curious to hear what your experiences are.

Thanks for this post, Bodie's post, and the many comments here that help to make this experience sometimes fun and other times at least bearable!

Posted by: son of Redyip | Mar 3, 2011 3:31:30 PM

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