Wednesday, September 16, 2009

From the World of Law Reviews: Game Theory and Law Review Submissions

As the height of the law review submission season is coming to a close, I thought I would observe an interesting approach by a law review editorial board and some other general observations.
Law Reviews Gaming it Up. The editors at the University of Cincinnati Law Review, who will ultimately publish my piece on fixtures Groping Along between Things Real and things personal, engaged in a nice piece of behavioral prediction in making the offer to publish. In the offer letter the editors offered two choices: (1) I could expedite with anyone over the next two days; or (2) I could expedite with only the top 30 law reviews over the next 10 days. This strategy is genius from the law review editor standpoint. First, its highly likely that the reviews most likely to take the piece out from under Cincinnati are those ranked between 31 and 51. The strategy by Cincinnati reduces to almost near absurdity the time frame for journals to respond. On the
other hand, if they are likely to lose an article to a top 30 journal, then 10 days will likely not be needed for that decision to reveal itself. This is the kind of law review gamesmanship that I like and support! Has anyone else seen an offer like this before?
Lex Opus is a good secondary alternative to Bepress's Expresso. In some ways, the system operates just a smoothly. Another feature that I liked was Lex Opus allows law reviews to view the work sua sponte and make the author an offer -- I received one offer that was not unattractive. That seems to me to be a pretty good idea and, though I imagine that such offers are rarely accepted, it is still a nice feature. But the best feature is its cost -- its free.
Peer Review of General Law Review Articles. Brian Leiter this morning posted a link to PRSM -- A consortium of law reviews engaging peer review processes. Journals that have signed on to the consortium include The South Carolina Law Review, The Mississippi Law Journal, Stanford Law Review, and the Wake Forest Law Review. It will be curious to see if this is successful.

Marc (MLR)

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