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Faculty: Law Library Services: Publishing

ExpressO

ExpressO is shutting down in the middle of 2021. 

ExpressO is a service allows authors to electronically submit manuscripts to their choice of 750+ law reviews. For an overview read the "Getting Started with ExpressO" page and set up your account using your NUSL email. ExpressO also provides FAQ about the submission process. NUSL has an institutional account with ExpressO. Students will be subsidized for up to 50 submissions from Northeastern's student account. To use the institutional account, contact Elliott Hibbler to have your name and email added to the subsidized list of users.

ExpressO has created this guide for the 2020-21 submission cycle.

The hardest part of using ExpressO is figuring out where the login screen is. You can click on "My Account" and then the arrow in the ExpressO box, or just click this link: ExpressO login.

 

Scholastica

Scholastica is a service that a small but growing number of law reviews are using to accept submissions.The law library has an institutional account with Scholastica for use by faculty and staff. To sign up, contact Elliott Hibbler. He will add your name and email to the account, and Scholastica will email you instructions on how to claim the account.

Where to Submit

Washington and Lee Rankings

The law library at Washington and Lee University maintains a database of law reviews with information about how often they are cited. 

There is some correlation between a law school's ranking in the U.S. News and World Report rankings and in the ranking of its flagship law review. 

Other Disciplines

The law library can help you develop a list of other journals from other disciplines to target with your submission. Contact Elliott Hibbler for more information.

How to Submit Articles

Allen Rostron and Nancy Levit have compiled a list of submission information and preferences for more than 200 law reviews. The report is available on SSRN at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1019029. The authors usually update this report once or twice every year.

The Author Agreement

Transfering Copyright vs. Granting a License

It is preferable to keep your copyright on an article, but a number of journals, especially from commercial publishers, require that you transfer the copyright to them. If you do transfer your copyright, look for language about the rights the journal licenses back to you, especially the ability to re-use your work in other publications. Actively negotiating for the right to publicly post your article, or at least a pre-publication version of your article, is the best way to increase its visibility.

Permissions to Post Your Article Elsewhere

Even if you keep your copyright, you will likely be granting the publisher a license to disseminate the work in various formats. Be cognizant of contract terms granting an exclusive license.

However you structure your agreement, it is a good idea to have specific language about what can be posted to an institutional repository, and what can be posted to SSRN, and when it can be posted.

Expediting Other Reviews

If you have submitted your piece to multiple journals, you may recieve an offer from a journal before other journals have made a decision. 

In this case, it is common to ask the journals still considering your piece to expedite their decision. Expresso has this functionality built in.

Be strategic in asking for expedited reviews. An acceptance in one law review is a signal to other law reviews of the quality of the offer, but that signal is only as strong as the law review making the offer.

Unless a journal specifically says otherwise, an expeditied decision resulting in an offer does not commit you to accept. You can use that offer as the basis for expedititing a decision at yet another journal.   

SSRN

The Social Science Research Network, or SSRN, is an online repository with much legal scholarship. It is not only a repository of published material - authors frequently post both working papers and articles accepted for publication before they come out. 

Choosing when to post an article online is difficult. One the one hand, getting your ideas into the scholarly conversation as soon as possible stakes your intellectual territory. On the other hand, readers will be seeing a version of the article without refinement that comes from the editing and publishing process.

SSRN also has a service where paper abstracts are organized into subject-specific eJournals, and emailed to subscribers. Most subject-specific eJournals require a paid subscription to receive, while school-specific eJournals, like NUSL's, is free. To subscribe, you need to log into SSRN. The Law Library does not manage individual SSRN accounts; to recover your password, go to https://hq.ssrn.com/login/pubsigninjoin.cfm, click on “Forgot Password,” and use you school email address. 

Contact Elliott Hibbler for help in subscribing to eJournals or posting your article.

Note that while access to individual papers is free, and posting is free, SSRN is a commercial service. All faculty have access to SSRN