In the blawgosphere and in the emails that we here at Scholastica get about law review submissions, I see a lot of questions and a little bit of misinformation. I thought it might be useful to share some of my knowledge of "decision time" with legal authors, since many people have questions about it.
- Unfortunately, journals don't always give decisions: This is I know this is a big concern among authors so I'll tackle it first. I would love it if every author got a decision on their article, but journals don't always choose to send them. Some journals do send authors decisions -sometimes journals take longer to issue a submission decision than an author is expecting =) There are also journals that prefer not to send any decision if they're rejecting a submission. When a journal chooses not to give a decision to the author, the problem this creates is that the author's manuscript and submission pages show that the article is still under review. Unfortunately, this status could remain over multiple submission periods. What I've gathered over time from talking to editors is that journals have hundreds if not thousands of manuscripts to review and that they don't get around to issuing decisions to every author.
- "I heard offers from Scholastica don't come by email": Thousands of decisions are sent out by email from Scholastica. That said, there are also journals that choose to call authors personally or send them emails outside of the system to inform them of a publication offer. When a journal enters a decision of "accept" into Scholastica, they can choose whether or not to also send an email to the author. The ability to make decisions without sending an email brings me to...
- Stealth dings: This is related to the first point. Since editors can make decisions without sending an email, this results in what the legal blawgosphere refers to as the stealth ding. This is when the journal doesn't send an email and the author only sees the changed status of their manuscript by logging into Scholastica.
If you find this helpful, feel free to upvote this post on the upper left. Any questions? Feel free to leave a comment.