ATTN LR AUTHORS: would you prefer a rejection, or to never hear back from a law review?

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Elli olson
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Posted by Elli Olson, community karma 507
I work with lots of law review editors here at Scholastica, and I've been wondering... 

Given a law journal has decided not to publish your article, would you rather:
1) receive a rejection in Scholastica from the journal, or 2) never hear anything from the journal?

Thanks in advance for sharing what you think!
over 1 year ago

16 Comments

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Paul Diller, community karma 2457
Definitely a rejection, and as promptly as possible.
over 1 year ago
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Mark Lemley, community karma 7859
Absolutely a rejection.
over 1 year ago
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Yxta Maya Murray, community karma 10087
rejection.
over 1 year ago
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Erika Lietzan, community karma 3507
Rejection.
over 1 year ago
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Paul Savoy, community karma 867
There is nothing worse than submitting an article to a publication, whether it is a law journal or any other periodical, and hearing nothing. Rejections aren't pleasant, but non-replies are simply lacking in civility.

Paul Savoy
over 1 year ago
I always consider it a reflection on the journal and the law school when I don't hear back from a journal. While I understand the volume of submissions that some journals receive, I am unable to understand how the Board (or the advisor) could allow the journal to simply not inform scholars of their rejection. It makes me question whether to submit to those journals in the future.
Steven Nelson – over 1 year ago
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Elli olson
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Elli Olson, community karma 507
Thanks for your responses! Probably feels like a silly question, but it's one that I haven't had the chance to directly ask authors.

I've been trying to encourage the editors I work with to send rejections when they're not going to publish a submission. I am glad that now I have some real author feedback about receiving a rejection instead of never hearing anything!
over 1 year ago
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Jacob Sherkow, community karma 6437
Without question, a rejection.
over 1 year ago
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Brad
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Brad Landau, community karma 1197
Always Rejection notice
over 1 year ago
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David Goodwin, community karma 557
Rejection. It eliminates ambiguity (i.e., no writing and asking whether the piece is still in consideration).
over 1 year ago
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David Hoffman, community karma 2827
The harder question is would you prefer just a rejection or a rejection after being told that you got a board read but they couldn't achieve the "greater consensus."  Some things are best left unsaid!
over 1 year ago
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Verna Williams, community karma 967
As unpleasant as it is, hearing a rejection is preferable.  It's bad enough that the process makes me feel like a cog in an immense wheel. A rejection injects a little humanity into the system.  That said, getting an email with "Rejection of your Article" as the subject line is a little crushing.  
over 1 year ago
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Ido kilovaty
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Ido Kilovaty, community karma 2867
Definitely a rejection, for two reasons -- 

First, when law reviews send you a confirmation e-mail, they promise to get back to you as soon as they have a decision. Some of them don't even bother sending you a rejection e-mail.

Second, when you receive a rejection, you can rest assured that the law review received your paper, had some sort of decision making process (even if they did not bother reading your paper at all), and ultimately decided not to publish you, which is OK, but it is better knowing that it reached them and they rejected it. 

And please, no "we enjoyed your paper, but we will not publish it". Just send a brief rejection, no ingenuity required, I will handle it.
over 1 year ago
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Marc Randazza, community karma 1307
A rejection.  

Why would anyone prefer to just never hear anything?  


over 1 year ago
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Miriam Cherry, community karma 1257
Confirming what others have said:  rejection.
over 1 year ago
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Elli olson
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Elli Olson, community karma 507
Hi all-

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts! After reading your comments my colleagues and I have been even more vocal than usual when talking to editors about making decisions. I've also started creating some new resources for editors who need more convincing about making rejection decisions (here's one example - there are more on the way).

If you have any other ideas you'd like conveyed to law review editors, I posted a question about it here. We're trying to make more educational resources to share with [new] law review editors. Please let me know what we should absolutely be communicating when we work with new editors!

Thanks,
Elli
over 1 year ago
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David DiMatteo, community karma 309
A short note indicating rejection is fine.  At least that way the author has some indication that the article was in fact received and considered. 
over 1 year ago
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