Monday, May 19, 2008

The Yale Law Journal Claims to Have Blind Review of Manuscripts...

...but do they really?  YLJ has some explaining to do!

UPDATE:  Dara Purvis, outgoing EIC of the Yale Law Journal writes:

To be honest, I am not 100% sure when and why the CV uploading capability was made, but I can tell you the only time that I as Editor-in-Chief looked at the CVs was to get contact information--professors often provide some contact information in the cover letter, but a few times they did not include enough and I checked the CV to see whether they provided any information other than what I could find through Google.  The Article & Essay Editors cannot access the CVs through our submissions system; the only person with capabilities to view it is the EIC.  In any case, I can tell you that we all have a very strong commitment to the anonymous review process--when we finally "broke the seal" after voting to accept a piece and found out who the author was, there was particular excitement if the author was junior--I would describe the committee's reaction to accepting Jill Anderson's piece, for example, as maniacally gleeful.

I'd also like to clarify an explanation in the comments on the post [at the link, above], that the first screening editor often knows the author of the piece.  This is true, but I want to emphasize that it's not our policy--as you can see in the submissions guidelines, we ask professors to redact any identifying information.  Unfortunately (and understandably, given that professors are generally submitting to a number of law reviews that don't require anonymity), professors generally don't do this--so the first editor with their hands on the piece usually knows the author, but only because the author didn't redact it.  That editor then goes through the piece and rigorously redacts any identifying information, so at either of the later two stages, the submission is sent around in completely anonymous form.

Of Academic Interest | Permalink

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