AUTHORS: rejection or no rejection, what's your preference?

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Posted by Elli Olson, community karma 667
I recently spoke with a lead articles editor at a law review that historically doesn't send rejections. Can I get a show of [virtual] hands -- do you prefer to never hear back about your article or to receive a rejection from the law review?

I feel like we all know the answer... but 2 & 3Ls who've already taken their evidence courses might find actual author responses more credible than my recommendation to make prompt rejections.

Note, we did a similar thread last year that was so useful for getting editors to start making decisions!

14 Comments

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Tabatha Abu El-Haj, community karma 7157
Definitely prefer rejections.
over 3 years ago
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David Driesen, community karma 18677
I very much prefer a rejection. I actually stopped submitting to some prominent law reviews for a number of years, because they did not reject my articles. I figured they were not reading them and there are plenty of other law reviews. 
over 3 years ago
Exactly!
Steven Nelson – over 3 years ago
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Andrew Pecoraro, community karma 1227
Highly favor rejections over silence.  
over 3 years ago
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M. David Armstrong, community karma 4427
Provide the rejection.
over 3 years ago
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Brian Knight, community karma 5837
Much prefer a rejection. The information it provides helps me make a decision going forward. 
over 3 years ago
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Danica Brown, community karma 731
Hi Eli,

When we click desk reject with that message, doesn't that send a notification to the authors?
over 3 years ago
Hi Danica: You're right! When you reject an article on Scholastica, the author will receive the message you included in your decision.
Elli Olson – over 3 years ago
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Eliot Tracz, community karma 827
Rejection. It is a common courtesy and I'm more likely to submit to a journal again in the future if they send rejections.
over 3 years ago
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Jeff Todd, community karma 5037
Rejection preferred, even if boilerplate.
over 3 years ago
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Shawn Fields, community karma 10591
Definitely send the rejection. With a prompt notification, I can plan accordingly.
over 3 years ago
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Christine Scott-Hayward, community karma 1817
Yes - always a rejection!
over 3 years ago
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Dov Waisman, community karma 6157
Please do provide the rejection. 

over 3 years ago
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Marketa Trimble, community karma 12677
I prefer to be notified.
over 3 years ago
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Shawn Fields, community karma 10591
I know this post is a bit old and I've already replied to it, but I thought I'd update with a conversation I recently had with the head of a journal at my school.  He said the journal's policy was not to provide rejections because they do not have time for individualized rejections and "boilerplate rejections would be a bit callous."  I emphasized what I think is the uniform opinion of authors: please, please send even a boilerplate rejection.  So much better than radio silence and having no idea whether you're still in the running.
over 3 years ago
Thanks for sharing, and speaking with the journal at your school, Professor Fields! I have encountered similar logic from editors I work with. Not sure this is the case for your school's journal, but I've heard a couple horror stories about authors responding negatively to a law review after receiving a boilerplate rejection -- leading future boards to stay away from "offending" authors in any way (i.e. sending any rejections). Did you have any advice for editors at your school about how to deal with such a situation, should they encounter it? I don't have much to tell editors who feel this way besides that it's rare and shouldn't keep them from communicating with authors submitting to them.
Elli Olson – over 3 years ago
My advice would be similar to yours: that kind of response is quite rare and should not drive a policy of non-communication. In the unfortunate circumstance that an author feels offended and replies unprofessionally to a rejection, I would recommend not considering that scholar's work in the future. But I can say from experience and from talking to my colleagues that we find it much more offensive to be left in the dark than to be given notification of some kind, even if boilerplate.
Shawn Fields – over 3 years ago
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Eric Yordy, community karma 407
Definitely prefer rejections.
over 3 years ago
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