Make decisions on articles faster by using templates.

This is the second post in our Must-Have Law Review Email Templates 2-part series. Click here to view the first post.

Communicating with authors while you’re mid-review of submissions is one thing. Letting authors know whether or not your board has decided to publish their article is another, sometimes uncomfortable, thing.

Templates for both publication offers and article rejections are important tools that all law reviews should keep on hand. A publication offer template is arguably the most enjoyable to compose and send — and your board probably already has one. But having a template for letting authors know your board is not extending an offer is equally important, though often overlooked. Don’t let nerves, lack of time, or “but we’ve never sent rejections before” stop you from letting authors know the fate of their article.

We’ve drafted some starter templates to help your board let authors know whether or not you have decided to extend a publication offer. Remember: you can save up to 10 different decision templates on Scholastica for easy use and reuse, and you can let multiple authors at once know that you’re not extending publication offers on their articles.

These templates are also online in a Google doc, formatted so that they can be copied and pasted right into Scholastica. If you do use these examples to create your own templates, we’d recommend updating them so they reflect the personality and values of your board. As long as you send a polite and clear decision letter, your submitting authors will appreciate it!

Decision not to publish

When you’ve determined that you’re not going to extend an offer on an article, it’s easy and courteous to let authors know. You can send rejections one-by-one, or wait and reject a bunch of articles all at once every couple of days. Drafting a rejection email doesn’t have to be hard! Use the example below for inspiration as you draft your own rejection template.

Here’s an example decision not to publish email:

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Dear {{AUTHOR-FULL-NAME}},
Thank you for your submission to the _{{name of your law review}}_.
Our team has reviewed your article, and we will not be extending a publication offer on your piece, _{{MANUSCRIPT-TITLE}}_.
We appreciate that you took the time to submit to our publication, and we look forward to reading work by you in the future.
Best wishes,
{{SENDER-FULL-NAME}}

Decision to publish

Finding an article you want to publish is exciting! Based on our experience working with law review editors, acceptance letters that are clear, direct, and convey exactly what publishing with your law review entails are great ways to secure an article.

Here’s an example decision to publish email:

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Dear {{AUTHOR-FULL-NAME}},
On behalf of the _{{name of your law review}}_, I am pleased to inform you that we are extending a publication offer for your article, _{{MANUSCRIPT-TITLE}}_.
Should you accept our publication offer, please know that on average we spend {how long you spend working with authors on revisions} working with authors on revisions. We don't anticipate your piece taking any longer to prepare, and expect your article to be published in our {{issue number}} by {{when you're taking the issue to print}}.
I would appreciate it if you could accept or decline our publication offer before {deadline}. If you have any questions about your offer or decision to publish with us, I am happy to answer them for you.
We look forward to knowing what you decide!
Best wishes,
{{SENDER-FULL-NAME}}

Rejecting articles that old boards didn’t reject

The most common thing we hear from editors who don’t want to send rejections to authors is “our law review has never sent rejections, so how could we start now?” That’s a tough and awkward position to be in, but it’s not something that is difficult to change. By drafting a polite decision email and sending it to all the old articles in your manuscript table, you’re able to clear out your queue and leave your next board with a fresh slate!

Here’s an example email for rejecting articles that old boards didn’t reject:

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Dear {{AUTHOR-FULL-NAME}},
Previous editors of the _{{name of your law review}}_ were unable to extend your article a publication offer, and so this article has been declined for publication. We appreciate your choice submitting to _{{name of your law review}}_ and look forward to reading future articles by you!
Best wishes,
{{SENDER-FULL-NAME}}

Access these email templates so your team can use them

We hope you find these sample decision letter templates useful! For those reading this who are Scholastica users, or if you’re interested in learning more about how to communicate decisions to authors via Scholastica, be sure to check out our help doc: Editor Guide > Make decisions. We’ve also put these email templates into a Google Doc so they’re easy for you to access and personalize for your own use!




Elli Olson

This post was written by Elli Olson,
Business Development