You’re a law review editor reading dozens of submissions per week, trying to find some articles that you want to publish. Your life is busy and stressful, and sometimes you feel like you just don’t have time to deal with authors who are inquiring about where their submission is in your selection process.
We get that. Authors get that. But there are still some easy ways to offer authors — who are also stressed out by the article selection process — at least a small sense of comfort about where their submission stands.
Here are 3 super easy ways that your law review can make the article selection cycle a little more bearable for authors:
1. Let authors know that you’re reviewing their submissions.
One of the most frustrating aspects of being an author submitting to law reviews is not knowing if and when your article is being read. Authors understand your law review is getting hundreds of submissions, and they want to be sure that their article is not lost in the abyss that is your Manuscript Table!
As a law review editor, you have a really easy way to let authors know that you are reading their submissions: use the submission hashtag to tweet out that you’re actively reviewing articles! It’s as simple as:
We’ve started reviewing articles! If you’ve submitted or are planning on it, we look forward to reading your article soon. #LRSubmissions
That’s all it takes! And if you’re feeling really communicative, you can even tweet out mid-cycle that you’re still busy reviewing.
2. Send rejections! Trust us, authors love them.
Alright, authors probably don’t “love” rejections. But from all the authors we’ve heard from, we understand that getting a rejection is much more satisfying than never ever hearing back about a submission.
Don’t believe it? Read for yourself: authors want to hear a decision from you.
Why wouldn’t you want to make authors happy — not to mention keep your Scholastica account neat and tidy?
If you’re not going to publish an author’s article, you can let them know in a couple ways. You can Make a Decision on each article as you go, you can Quick Reject multiple articles at a time, or you can Bulk Reject when you’ve finished finding all the articles for your volume.
Hate the idea of emailing an author to tell them that you aren’t going to accept their article? You can still let them know without emailing them. Scholastica has a feature where you can send a decision to an author’s Scholastica account without emailing the author — that way they can see your decision when they log in, and you don’t have to feel like you’re ruining someone’s day by sending them a rejection email.
No author is going to dislike your law review because you send them a rejection. The probability of creating unhappy authors is much higher if you never send them a decision!
3. When you’re done reviewing submissions, let authors know so they can stop angsting about whether you’re going to publish their article.
We get it: you found great articles to fill your volume, and you just want to be done! By spending just an extra 15 minutes, you can do two things to be a very classy publication and offer all the authors you didn’t publish this year some closure.
First, you can close your law review to new submissions, and let all the authors you didn’t publish know that your volume is full. This means that authors will not continue to submit when you’re definitely not going to review their article, and the authors that have already submitted know that you’re all set for your volume.
Second, you can send a thank you to everyone who submitted. Maybe it’s via the Bulk Reject feature in Scholastica, where you can tell all the authors you didn’t publish that you appreciated their submissions and look forward to reading work from them in the future. Or maybe you send out a tweet again, to quickly get the word out that you’re done choosing articles from a great pool of submissions.
However you notify authors that you’re done reviewing submissions, they are sure to be more fond of your law review than of a law review that leaves it’s submitting authors hanging!
It’s not hard to reach out to authors, and the three ways listed above are some of the easiest ways you can communicate effectively with authors that want to publish with your law review. If you’re not doing any of the above points already, we hope you try some of them out!