South Carolina Law Review Peer Review Pilot Program:

Sounds like an interesting and worthwhile project, though one that might be difficult to execute:

The South Carolina Law Review is pleased to announce the launch of a Peer Review Pilot Program for Volume 60. Because we believe the current system of legal scholarship publication may be improved by changing how articles are selected, our Pilot Program will explore the feasibility of article selection through peer review in the context of a major, general interest law review. More specifically, the South Carolina Law Review's Pilot Program will employ the following procedure:

(1) Authors will submit manuscripts (i.e., finished drafts ready for publication, not working papers or incomplete drafts), addressing any area of law, to the Pilot Program specifically by emailing a cover letter and copy of the author's manuscript to (see below for more details). Deadline for submissions to the Pilot Program is October 1, 2008.

(2) We will send all received manuscripts to volunteer peer reviewers for peer review. Each manuscript will be sent to at least one but more typically two anonymous peer reviewers, where each reviewer will have expertise in the area of law addressed by the manuscript. Not only will the author not know the identity of the reviewers, but also the identity of the author will not be disclosed to the reviewers, for the sake of focusing the evaluation on substantive merit rather than other factors. Peer reviewers will consist of legal practitioners, scholars, and judges. In the event that the volume of submissions to the Pilot Program makes peer review of all manuscripts logistically impossible or impracticable, the South Carolina Law Review editorial staff reserves the right to make an initial determination of which manuscripts will or will not be sent out for peer review. This initial screening by South Carolina Law Review's student editors is a last resort and will be avoided if at all possible.

(3) Peer reviewers will provide feedback and recommendations to the editorial staff no later than December 1, 2008. Each reviewer will independently review the manuscript, paying special attention to the following factors: insight, timeliness, novelty, significance to the field, quality of analysis, scope of analysis, and appropriateness for inclusion in a general law review like the South Carolina Law Review. Each reviewer may also provide feedback on additional factors if he or she chooses.

(4) Based on careful consideration of the peer reviewers' recommendations and the needs of the journal, the South Carolina Law Review editorial staff will choose whether or not to publish each manuscript. We may elect to reject a manuscript outright, accept a manuscript outright, or request the author to revise his or her manuscript in light of reviewer comments, with acceptance conditional on such revision or else the author's convincing us that the revisions are not required.

(5) Accepted manuscripts will then enter the ordinary student-editing process, in which the South Carolina Law Review's staff will edit manuscripts for grammar, style, citation format, and accuracy of quotations and facts. Each peer reviewed manuscript published in the South Carolina Law Review will be prominently marked as a peer reviewed piece....


If you wish to submit a manuscript to the Pilot Program, please email your manuscript to sclawreview [at] by October 1, 2008. Please include the words "Pilot Project" in the subject line of your email, and please provide a cover letter (1) clearly indicating your desire to participate in the Pilot Program and (2) providing the names of three people who might be appropriate peer reviewers for your manuscript, based on subject matter expertise. You may also provide names of people who you believe would not be able to review your manuscript objectively or fairly. Please also fill out this brief survey providing your opinion regarding the need or lack thereof for peer review in legal publishing.

Peer Reviewers

If you wish to volunteer as a peer reviewer, please contact the student Peer Review Editor for Volume 60, Dr. John P. Zimmer, at ZIMMERJP [at], providing the area or areas of law in which you have sufficient expertise to serve as a peer reviewer. Unless a particular volunteer peer reviewer requests otherwise, we intend to ask each reviewer to review no more than a single manuscript during the Pilot Program, since we recognize that your time is valuable.

If you do not wish to submit a manuscript or volunteer as a peer reviewer at this time, we would still like to hear your opinion regarding the need or lack thereof for peer review in legal publishing. Please take a moment to fill out this brief survey. Your response will help us achieve the Pilot Program's primary goal: to improve legal publishing through the collective wisdom and experience of the entire legal community.