Scholastica Blog

Developments, thoughts, and observations

Wikimedia Commons: Law School Library

It’s about that time again—law review submission season is kicking into high gear! As authors prepare to send out their submissions, and editors to make final article decisions, we wanted to provide a few resources to help along the way.

Below is a list of some of the best guides and motivational articles that we found for law review editors and authors. Please feel free to comment with thoughts and additional shares!

Resources for Law Review Editors:

Above the Law, How to Get Law Journal Work Done Without Losing Your Mind

Work, work, work, and a side of more reading—this can be the experience of most law review editors. There is a way to stay sane though! Alison Monahan, founder of The Girl’s Guide to Law School, is here to help.

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Are you preparing to submit to law reviews on Scholastica but unsure of where to start?

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Academia: July Snapshot

There is a ton of information to keep up with in academia as news surrounding academic publishing, higher education, and technological innovations continues to surface and develop. In an effort to capture a snapshot of some of the top stories this month, we thought it would be helpful to compile a July overview.

Below are some of the top stories that caught the Scholastica team’s attention. Do you have any articles or blog posts to suggest adding? Let us know!

Open Access Publishing

Open and Shut?: The Subversive Proposal at 20

Richard Poynder interviews cognitive scientist Stevan Harnad about the future of the open access movement, in recognition of the 20th anniversary of Harnad’s Subversive Proposal.

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Nick and Cory during Thursday pairing

As a company, how do we keep the right hand knowing what the left hand is doing? And for that matter, how about the rest of the body?

Scholastica was founded by three people, and when we started it was easy to keep everyone in the loop. As we’ve grown, we’ve experienced the common challenge of keeping everyone in the loop without adding long meetings or time-consuming email updates.

I wanted to share an experiment we’ve been trying to keep information flowing across company areas: weekly company-wide pairing, which we call Pairing Thursdays.

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Assign an Editor

We’re always looking for ways to make the Scholastica user experience better. We made some great improvements this past month that we wanted to share with you. Read on to see how we’re making your life a little bit easier, because it’s all the little things that add up to big time savings!

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David Burkus

Can we make creativity happen? Or are moments of creative breakthrough out of our control?

I recently had a chance to interview David Burkus, professor and scholar of management and strategic leadership at Oral Roberts University, about the titular puzzle of his new book The Myths of Creativity: The Truth About How Innovative Companies Generate Great Ideas.

Disclaimer: Burkus uses Scholastica to manage and publish the journal Strategic Leadership Review.

The myth

"Eureka!" shouts the lone artist from her tower, as she begins furiously recording her latest surge of divine inspiration. Simultaneously, somewhere in a bustling metropolis, there is a business team vigorously shaking hands and patting each other on the backs to celebrate a job well done. "It must have been a combination of our innovative genes and harmonious brainstorming sessions!" they say.

The above anecdotes may be a bit of an exaggeration, but we are all familiar with plotlines of people achieving great ends due to lucky breaks or inborn talents. Of course, these triumphant closing chapters aren’t showing us the whole story. There is in fact much more intent behind creative breakthroughs than we often credit or realize.

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Wikimedia Commons: MOOC poster April 4, 2013 by Mathieu Plourde

“The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing,” Socrates taught us. The Socratic method of learning through constant questioning and deliberation remains a staple of American law schools. Young lawyers, like their professors, must learn to approach their practice with a Socratic frame of mind, thinking critically and analyzing facts and evidence from all angles.

Why then shouldn’t law students and professors apply the same Socratic methodology to legal education – questioning instruction styles and approaching subject areas from different angles in order to improve learning? Call it a Socratic examination of the Socratic method if you will.

MOOCs, a curious acronym that’s catching fast in higher education, are giving law students and educators a chance to do just that.

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Peer reviewed research is the coin of the realm in academia - it’s how discoveries and breakthroughs are verified, how progress for a given field is measured, how scholars prove their worth and how knowledge is produced. The peer review process is an essential quality assurance mechanism, so it was understandably big news when John Bohannan reported in Science that a sham paper he’d authored with major scientific flaws had been accepted by 157 open access journals - about 60 percent of those he’d submitted it to.

Bohannan was targeting Open Access publications from the Directory of Open Access Journals and from Jeffrey Beall’s list of “predatory” publishers due to interest (and skepticism) in the quality of open access publishing. Open Access journals publish their research articles online and make them available for free, whereas traditional journals charge a subscription fee. This practice has been proposed and advocated for by international organizations as a solution to the increasing cost of subscription fees to scholarly journals, but Bohannan and Beall have shown that, coupled with the pressure to “publish or perish,” Open Access publishing can undermine the value placed on substantive peer review.

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Andy Mabbett

Andy Mabbett earned a degree in Computer Studies from Sheffield City Polytechnic in 1986. In addition to working freelance crafting and curating on-line communication, content, and communities; Mabbett is an active Wikipedia editor; Wikipedian in Residence for ORCID; author of five books about Pink Floyd; and a journalist. He is also an active ornithologist and photographer. Visit Andy’s Wikipedia Page for more information about him, including his ORCID ID.

Wikipedian and Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) Ambassador Andy Mabbett is on a web-linking mission of epic proportions. For the past 15 months he has been working in conjunction with ORCID and Wikipedia towards integrating ORCID identifiers into Wikipedia and its sister projects on a global scale. Mabbett’s goal is to expand the benefits of ORCIDs, which are unique scholar identifiers, by giving academics a means of linking Wikipedia works they have contributed to or that mention them to their ORCID IDs. At the same time, the ORCID integration project will give Wikipedia visitors a way to learn more about the writers or subjects of the articles they are reading, via the individuals’ linked ORCID pages, in order to know the qualifications of the sources their information is coming from.

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Attendees Gather Before the ORCID Outreach Meeting

This past Wednesday and Thursday, May 21 and 22, the Scholastica team was excited to attend the 12th bi-annual ORCID Outreach Meeting.

The free meeting was hosted by Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) as an educational offering for those new to the organization and those seeking ways to integrate ORCID IDs into their academic communities.

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