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advice that I am actually a little embarrassed to ask for

September 4, 2008

So I have a problem, which is not really a problem, and I sort of hesitate to even post about it because I hate when people do this kind of thing, but I genuinely want advice and I’m not posting this as a means of being falsely modest or getting people to shower me with praise or anything.

I submitted my big paper out for publication a few weeks ago. And my submission was successful—successful beyond my wildest dreams. Which isn’t to say that the Harvard Law Review came begging me to publish with them (they wouldn’t need to beg), but it is to say that I have received multiple offers of publication from specialty journals.

And that’s sort of where the problem lies. All of my offers are from journals with mostly similar “stats” as tabulated by the law journal rankings database. But I don’t know whether those rankings are what I should be focusing on in trying to figure out where to publish. Because, let’s be honest—at this point, what I care about is the best possible placement for my article, with the widest academic readership, and the most “wow” factor for my resume. ((Not that I’ve mentioned it in a while, but I do still think I’d eventually like to teach.)) Sure, had I only received one offer of publication, I would have accepted that offer and been thrilled—my writing, in print! Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! But that’s not what happened. Instead, I have multiple offers (from journals in more than one specialty area), and now I have to choose between them.

In choosing, do I consider the school as the most important factor? Or the “stats”? Because at least one of the journals offering me publication is located at a lower-tier school, but it’s also the one with the best stats. How much of a difference does the specialty area make? (I’m looking at Communications and Law versus Law and Technology.)

I know, I know—this is not a problem. And I am not posting this as a sideways way of saying, “Hey! Look at me! I’m special!” I’m genuinely perplexed. There’s not a lot of advice out there for this particular situation, particularly when the journals involved are all, more or less, of the same general caliber and reputation—basically, middle of the road. Are there any meaningful differences I should be considering other than the stats? Or should I just resort to some sort of game of chance to help me decide (“Spin the wheel of fish!”)?

Categories: The Task
  1. butterflyfish
    September 4, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Email Eugene Volokh 🙂 He’d totally know what to do!

  2. butterflyfish
    September 4, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Seriously though, congrats!

  3. September 4, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    If you’re on good terms with a well published professor, drop a call to them and ask. They’d be flattered I’m sure. And mucho congrats on the multiple offers!

  4. k
    September 4, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    Well, I have done that, but I haven’t heard back from my latest email. And I kind of have to make a decision about at least two of these offers tomorrow. Nothing like leaving things to the last minute.

  5. ^k^
    September 4, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    Take the red snapper! Verrrrry tasty!

    (and YAY! congrats for you! too bad I have no substantive advice to offer, other than I know the Boy knew all the good Tech & IP journals by the end of his tenure as EIC, and not all of them were at the schools you’d expect, so I’m guessing journal stats are more important than the school itself’s ranking. but I have nothing statistical to point to by way of backing that up.)

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