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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Early Results from Our Fall Season Survey

Although we still have fewer than 20 responses to our survey, the preliminary results are interesting enough to be worth passing along.  For example, so far it looks like I'm chicken little: most journals report having substantial portions of their slots for articles still open.

 Fall bar chart 1 
There is some concern about selection bias, since potentially journals with more open slots have a stronger incentive to report their availability.  Editors, feel free to chime in, even if your book is full.   Below the jump: some more results.

We also asked journals whether they had accepted more articles in the spring than they did last year.  Again, the answer was pretty resoundingly no:

Fall bar chart 2 

Most journals reported they would begin reading submissions again in August, with a handful saying they would begin reading after their spring exams end or in June or July.   A plurality expect to finish their review in October, but a good third also thought they might finish by the end of September.  Only two expected to finish after October.

Most of our respondents so far have been "top-25 general-interest law journals," but we've had a mix of a number of others, as well.     

Posted by BDG on May 12, 2011 at 10:15 AM in Law Review Review | Permalink


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I wonder whether the first question could be a bit misleading. Not all journals have submissions caps. HLR might be an anomaly, but it doesn't really have a set number of "slots." While the articles committee might have a "goal" number of articles in mind, it will accept pieces even once that goal is reached. In recent years, it hasn't been (despite increasing efforts to publish more articles). In other words, there not a set "number of slots" available to be filled, and, even if the goal number of pieces were the ceiling, those slots haven't all been filled in recent years.

Posted by: Brandeis | May 13, 2011 11:10:01 AM

Hanah, we asked respondents to identify their journal, so that we could spot double-counting. Only about 1/3 of the surveys have specific journal information, so it's possible we have some redundancies. But at a quick scan I don't see any responses that are identical across all five other questions.

Anon 4:02, I'm inclined not to post the journals that identified themselves, since (because I'm a bonehead) the survey did not make clear whether that was intended to be public information, and my default would be to preserve the anonymity of respondents.

Admittedly, it would be nice to know more precisely when particular journals plan to begin their fall review. Even I don't know that, since I haven't tried to match respondents to their answer to that question. But that seems like a good topic for another post: encouraging journals to be clearer about when their fall review period is happening.

Posted by: BDG | May 12, 2011 4:54:38 PM

Will you reveal the names of the journals that participated, or is that just for Prawfsblawg bloggers to know?

Posted by: anon | May 12, 2011 4:02:00 PM

This is very interesting! My one question: How anonymous is the survey with respect to double-counting? Did you do anything to make sure that several different editors from the same journal didn't independently answer the survey?

Posted by: Hanah | May 12, 2011 2:28:27 PM

Editors, if you're still reviewing over the summer, please post!

Posted by: anon | May 12, 2011 1:29:27 PM

Very interesting and useful information! Thanks!

Posted by: Mediocre.law.prof | May 12, 2011 11:54:06 AM

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