It can be hard to keep up with all the authors who are submitting to your law review. Being responsive when authors try to communicate with your law review can feel stressful - and sometimes impossible - when you’re trying to stay caught up with work, school, and other law review deadlines.
However, taking a couple extra minutes to respond to authors can improve the way authors think about and respect your law review. But how can an editor like yourself make time to respond to every author?
Based on our experience, having templated responses for the most common inquiries your journal gets is the easiest way to make sure you are addressing the concerns of your submitting authors. We created some basic templates that can be used to respond to the most common author communications. We’ve also created a Google doc with these templates formatted so that they can be copied and pasted right into Scholastica.
The starter templates below are meant to help you draft your own templates, specific to your law review and the authors that submit to your publication. We’d recommend adding some more personalization than is currently in our templates, so that your correspondence remains courteous without being a hassle to send. Having these quick and easy replies can help relieve editor and author stresses during article selection!
Sometimes authors will reach out to your journal to make sure that you’ve received their article. While authors always receive a confirmation email from Scholastica letting them know that their submission to your journal was successful, sometimes they want to hear from editors themselves that the manuscript is on the article selection team’s radar. The goal for your confirmation of receipt email should be to let authors know that yes, you did receive their article and that they can expect their submission to work its way through your review process.
Here’s an example confirmation of receipt email:
One of the most common reasons authors reach out to law reviews is to submit and confirm receipt of an expedite request. Whether or not your law review intends to expedite review of an author’s article because of their request is up to you. Either way you should courteously communicate your decision to the author. When you let an author know that you will or won’t review their article on an expedited timeline you’re actually doing them a favor. Authors can take your expedite decision into consideration when deciding whether to take or decline their current publication offer.
Here’s an example response to an expedite request email:
A great time to reach out to an author is when your board is in the final stages of reviewing her article and you’ve determined that you might be extending a publication offer. Once an author knows your journal is seriously considering her submission she can factor that possibility into the decisions she might be about to make on other publication offers she’s received. Sending an author a message that her submission is going on to a (final) board review has two benefits: first, it might let an author who wants to publish with your law review delay accepting offers from other law reviews until your board has a chance to make a decision; second, if an author has already accepted elsewhere, it gives them a chance to let you know before your board spends time reading and discussing their article.
Here’s an example notification of board review email:
We hope you find these sample author correspondence templates useful! For those reading this who are Scholastica users, or if you’re interested in learning more about how to communicate with authors via Scholastica, be sure to check out our help doc: How do discussions work? 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!