Have you thought about trying to publish in a law review or journal? This guide contains a variety of resources to help you in that process.
This guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
You may reproduce any part of it for noncommercial purposes as long as credit is included and it is shared in the same manner.
Over the years, many ranking systems for law journals have evolved, incorporating a variety of methodologies and factors, including frequency of citation, prominence of author, etc.. Although such rankings can be useful for getting an idea of the prestige or "impact factor" of a journal, they should be taken with a grain of salt and in consideration of other factors that might be important to you. Ranking of journals is frequently a subject of articles and blog postings. Play close attention to how the data was compiled---e.g. through database searches, opinions of experts in the field, etc..
Law Journal Submissions and Ranking The Washington & Lee Law School Library produces this site that lists law journals by subject, country and other factors, and allows users to rank journals by impact factor or immediacy index. (Both are based on citation counts more or less, see ranking methodology). Provides contact and submission information.
Allen Rostron & Nancy Levit, Information for Submitting Articles to Law Reviews & Journals (last updated 2023).
Bridget J. Crawford, Information for Submitting to Online Law Review Companions (last updated 2023).
Michael Goodyear, Information for Submitting Articles to Specialty & Non-Flagship Law Journals (last updated 2021).
Nancy Levit et al, Submission of Law Student Articles for Publication (last updated 2016).
ISI Journal Citation Reports (Harvard ID and PIN required)
Ranks journals in a wide range of disciplines including about 100 law journals. Rankings are based on citation counts in thousands of journals in the sciences and social sciences. From the initial screen, select Social Sciences Edition and View a group of journals by Subject Category (the default). On the next screen, select Law and View journal data by either Impact Factor, Immediacy Index, or Cited Half Life.
Most Cited Journals on HeinOnline This top 100 list is based on HeinOnline's citator feature called ScholarCheck. You can also use ScholarCheck to create your own metric. They also have a collection of most-cited law journals.
Eigenfactor This is a relatively new system that ranks journals as Google ranks websites (mapping relationship structures). The coverage of law is not comprehensive, but it is useful for looking at journals in the context of the social sciences generally.
Google Scholar Metrics Google Scholar launched publication metrics in April 2012. They provide five-year h-index and h-median numbers for ranking purposes.
Measuring Quality - Writing for and Publishing in Law Reviews (Choosing Where to Submit and Publish) A great guide compiled by the Gallagher Library at the University of Washington Law School, explaining the most common ranking factors, including important an extensive selection of articles and surveys.
Is the journal available in places where scholars will find, and hopefully cite to, its contents? Some considerations include:
Is it open access or freely available? Check the journal's website for contents and the journal's policy. You can also check the Directory of Open Access Journals, but the coverage for law is not extensive.
Is it in Westlaw, Lexis and other subscription databases?
Is it indexed by Legaltrac (a.k.a Legal Resource Index)? See title list (downloads as an Excel file).
Is it indexed by Index to Legal Periodicals and Books? See title list.
Is it included in Tables of Contents Services, such as Current Index to Legal Periodicals? See title list.
In addition to Washington and Lee's Law Review Submissions and Ranking website, there are several directories that can be used to find out more information about law journals that are currently being published.
Many law reviews now have blogs and websites that accept shorter submissions. See Colin Miller's Submission Guide for Online Law Review Supplements, Version 7.0 and Information for Submitting to Online Law Review Companions by Bridget J. Crawford. Washington & Lee also lists selected ones on its Law Journals: Submissions and Ranking website.
The Harvard Law School subsidizes Scholastica journal submissions for current students with publishable academic work.
To access this support, you must receive sign-off from your faculty supervisor that your article is ready for submission and/or that submission will further your academic goals.
Before we activate your account, we ask you to complete a tutorial and quiz about submission strategy. You may also want to set up an appointment with a librarian to discuss strategy and how to select journals for submission. We encourage you to review the Law Library’s Guide to Publishing in Law Reviews and Journals.
Send a request using your Harvard email to email@example.com. Include or separately forward the approval from your faculty supervisor.
When you contact us, we will send you a link to an online tutorial and quiz. Once you have completed the quiz, and we receive your request and faculty approval, Library staff will add you to our Scholastica account. Once you acknowledge our invitation, you will be free to begin your submissions. Your account will remain active through the end of the pilot unless you reach your maximum number of submissions
Note: Please keep track of your journal submissions and notify us when you reach 50, as Scholastica does not limit them automatically.
Allen Rostron and Nancy Levit compiled a table of journal policies for publication, Allen Rostron & Nancy Levit Information for Submitting Articles to Law Reviews & Journals (2021).
Michael Goodyear, Information for Submitting Articles to Specialty & Non-Flagship Law Journals (2021)
Sherpa/RoMEO is a searchable database of publisher's general policies regarding copyright and the self-archiving of journal articles on the web and in Open Access repositories. Each entry provides a summary of the publisher's policy, including what version of an article can be deposited, where it can be deposited, and any conditions that are attached to that deposit.
Journals have different policies for receiving submissions. Your best starting place is to check the journal's website, which usually provides details about its policy. We have collected on this page some potential resources that you can use for submitting an article.
If you do get an acceptance for publication, you might be asked to sign an author agreement/contract with the publisher. Some standard agreements require things such as transferring copyright or prohibiting what you can do with your own work. See Benjamin J. Keele, Advising Faculty on Law Journal Publication Agreements for a brief basic review of terms to consider.
Hosted by Science Commons, you can enter the article information and choose the rights you want to retain and generate a standard addendum on pdf to provide for the publisher's consideration. http://scholars.sciencecommons.org/
Developed by the Kernochan Center for Law, Media, and the Arts and the Program on Law & Technology at Columbia Law School, this website provides a good introduction to author rights and samples of contract language.
Creative Commons (CC) provides creators with standardized licenses that describe, in plain language, what actions are and are not allowed with their content.
Journal publication agreements vary widely, but there are some resources that help authors get an idea of what a journal's standard policy has typically been. While the journal publication agreement itself must always be reviewed, looking at these resources at the time of submission can be helpful, particularly if it is important for you to retain certain rights in your work. Regardless of what a publisher's standard agreement states, you can always try to negotiate different terms. If the publisher is unwilling to budge from its position, you then need to decide how important it is to you to publish in that particular journal.
Regardless of your plans for formal publication of your work, you are encouraged to deposit your student papers with the university's open access repository, DASH. Doing so will enable you to share your work with other members of the Harvard community, as well as the world at large. If you are concerned about making your content available open on the Internet, you also have the option of submitting only the metadata (e.g. title, your name). See HLS Student Papers Series in DASH for details.
You might also want to deposit your paper (or its metadata) in SSRN or another working paper repository to associate yourself with the work and make it available for feedback from others in the field. Scholars frequently make their "working papers" or drafts available for early feedback and reaction from colleagues.
The SSRN Legal Scholarship Network hosts research paper series for academic and other research organizations such as the Harvard Law School, Public Law & Legal Theory Research Paper Series. Scholars can publish their work in a large number of law-related e-journals within SSRN's Legal Scholarship Network's four areas including Law & Economics, Public Law & Legal Theory, Legal Studies and Law Research Center Papers.
Giving the proper author credit for research is the goal of Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) iDs. ORCID is a non-profit, community-driven, Open Access effort to create a registry of unique researcher identifiers.
“ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognized.”
You can create a new ORCID or link your existing ORCID using Harvard ORCID Connect, HarvardKey required.
This resource tracks academic conferences worldwide, including ones concerning law. E-mail alerts are available.
A Service from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law & University of Washington School of Law, which tracks Law-Related Calls for Papers, Conferences, and Workshops . You can sign up for alerts of new additions.
HLS also offers many prizes for its students papers generally. See Harvard Law School Writing Prizes for more information.
Often included in many student writing competitions is the opportunity to have your work published in a journal. See Awards and Competitions (HLS Program on the Legal Profession) for a list of competitions.
Chat with us! Chat with a librarian (HLS only)
Contact Historical & Special Collections at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet with Us Schedule an online consult with a Librarian
Hours Library Hours