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Publication Process

Once you are finished, you might be interested in trying to get your study published in a law school law review or in a peer-reviewed journal from a society and larger publisher.  Washington and Lee’s Law Journal Submission and Ranking website, Ulrich’s Periodicals, and ISI Journal Citation Reports are good resources for identifying both types of journals both within and outside of the United States.  (There is a peer-reviewed journal that is actually devoted completely to empirical legal studies work, Journal of Empirical Legal Studies.

While simultaneous submission of manuscripts to multiple journals is the norm for most law school law reviews (with August-October and February-April being the big submission “seasons”), most peer-reviewed journals require exclusive submissions.  (Some student edited journals like the Harvard Law Review and Stanford Law Review are also starting to experiment with peer or faculty review and may prefer exclusive submissions.)   You should always check the journal’s website for specific guidelines about preparing manuscripts for publication. (For example, the NYU Law Review has special guidelines just for empirical work.)  For more information and resources for getting published, see the Harvard Law School guide for publication by Michelle Pearse.

You might also want to consider depositing your data to make it available for replication and further use by future researchers.  Some journals might actually require you to submit your data for manuscript review or for publication.  While there are various options for storing and archiving your data, one of the most popular ones with social scientists is IQSS Dataverse. It has several features, including the ability to prepare data visualizations for users.   

For more information regarding publishing contact June Casey (jucasey@law.harvard.edu).  Also see the following articles:

Shari Seidman Diamond and Pam Mueller, Empirical Legal Scholarship in Law Reviews, 2010 Annual Review of Law and Social Science 581.

Robert C. Ellickson, Trends in Legal Scholarship: A Statistical Study, 29 Journal of Legal Studies 517 (2000).

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