Scholastica vs ExpressO

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In today’s episode of Law School Tech Talk, they discussed Scholastica, a multidisciplinary open access journal submission tool.  Scholastica claims to be gaining popularity among law reviews as an alternative to bepress’s ExpressO, which our law school uses. The list of publications currently available includes 54 journals, yet the panelists stated that the Iowa Law Review is the only one they know of that is using Scholastica exclusively at this time. Most law reviews still use ExpressO and some are using both.

Most of the discussion about Scholastica is presented from three perspectives: publishers & editors, faculty, and students.  Some concerns that have been addressed are escalating costs due to faculty blasting mass submissions to a large number of journals. A caveat to this is that because it's so easy to point, click, and submit, editors are over inundated with submissions and are using automation tools to deselect submissions based on certain criteria, such as one’s history of publication. Scholastica argues that it's going to provide more tech support and enhancements and some welcome the competition. One example is the ability of the author to submit their articles with anonymity. Other issues include concerns about authority. One panelist pointed out that career impacting publishing decisions are being made by law students who are not yet professional scholars. One tip for faculty is to better target your submissions and to make a better argument for your article and its placement in a particular journal. These issues are likely to be addressed at the next National Conference of Law Reviews in March.

A post at Law Prof Blog on February 5 notes that Professors Allen Rostron and Nancy Levit have revised their article, “Information for Submitting Articles to Law Reviews & Journals,” which includes charts about law school journal submissions.