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17 May 2006


Christopher Zorn

Fair enough, Jeff. But my (admittedly, imperfect) understanding of the process suggests that publication in law journals can also be brutal, albeit in a completely different way. The more important difference seems to me to be the goals served: Peer review's small-"c" conservative bias is good for ther scientific enterprise, but sometimes comes at a cost to the publishability of really innovative work, while the law-journal bias toward "hot topics" and unconventional ideas works in the opposite direction.

Jeff Yates

First, thanks to Law & Courts section head Mark Graber for posting this on the Law & Courts discuss list.

To add to the above post, after reading the announcement, I mentioned to a colleague that the law review win was evidence of an ELS "migration" - a rather open ended comment, perhaps not completely thought through (imagine that coming from me).

He appropriately asked "which way?" This is a good question: does this announcement indicate a shift to more political scientists publishing in law reviews, or, alternatively, more law profs publishing in pol sci journals? Possibly both? I wonder what the implications might be for both groups of professors.

On a number of the law blogs there seems to be some grumblings over the law review process and calls for more peer reviewed publishing. My only advice on that is: be careful what you ask for - While I'm a fan of the peer review process, it can be brutal; especially when tenure and promotion depend on navigating it successfully.

Jeff Yates - J.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Political Science
University of Georgia
SSRN page: http://ssrn.com/author=454290

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