Document 11343650

2L and 3L classes
From: John Gordon
Sent: Friday, February 05, 2010 8:27 AM
Subject: Student ExpressO Account
Hi 2Ls & 3Ls:
In order to assist you in having your scholarly endeavors published, the
school has purchased an institutional ExpressO account for the law students.
For those of you not familiar with ExpressO, it is an electronic delivery
system for the submission of papers to academic journals. Merely by logging
onto the system (more on that below), you can upload a seminar paper,
independent study project, or law review note, and disseminate it to
journals across the country. And because the school purchased a completely
prepaid plan, you can (with very few restrictions), submit to an unlimited
number of journals.
The process is very simple. One thing to keep in mind is that you MUST use
your email address when you sign in because access is granted only
to those employing Boston College's domain name. First you go to the
following site:
Once there, you'll encounter some very straight forward directions that walk
you through the submission process. The screen will ask you to select the
subject matter that most closely approximates the content of your submission
and, once done, it will present you with the journals most likely to show
interest in the paper. You may select as many as you feel appropriate. If
your paper falls within the ambit of many topical journals (international
AND environmental, for example), you simply duplicate the process until
you're satisfied that you're casting the widest but most appropriate net
You will notice that this account does NOT provide you access to
all general subject matter law reviews. ExpressO has researched the
individual law reviews and has determined that generic law reviews are simply
not receptive to publishing outside student work. (By way of example, the
Boston College Law Review receives approximately 3,000 submissions annually;
it publishes about 20 of them. With all due respect to rising legal
luminaries, the likelihood of a student authoring one of those 20 pieces is,
um, de minimus. And to the extent that we do publish student work, it makes
enormous sense to select those authors from our own student body.) There may
be rare exceptions to this, and if you feel as if you are one of them, come
see me and we can discuss how best to proceed.
Finally, if you wish to add your paper to the law school's repository of
scholarly material, click the radial button indicating that you want to forward
your paper to NELLCO as well.
Wholly apart from the mechanics of uploading your material (which I have
little doubt you'll be able to navigate on your own), I have a few
suggestions that might optimize your paper's chances of receiving a more
thorough evaluation. Submissions without abstracts are at a severe
disadvantage when it comes to the selection process. As noted above, reviews
are inundated with submissions (and now that electronic submissions are
becoming more widespread, the number will only increase). Anything you can
do to make the article's subject matter accessible to the evaluators will
work to your advantage. You should expend a decent amount of effort,
therefore, on crafting a pithy abstract of 150-200 words that captures the
paper's content. That abstract should appear both at the beginning of the
paper AND in the space allocated for abstracts on the ExpressO submission
page. You should also fill in the keyword fields so a specialty journal can
search its collection of submissions for those papers that fall within its
topic nexus. (Toward that end, I think it's also helpful to have a title
that contains the word that actually reflects the paper's topic; if you're
writing about insurance law, for example, use the word insurance in the
title as opposed to - or in addition to - words such as risk management or
actuarial analysis.)
Finally, the importance of a cover letter cannot be overestimated. It should
contain a sort of abstract of your abstract and explain why the paper is
particularly relevant. The cover letter and abstract are your foot in the door;
you won't get a serious read if you don't cross that threshold, so it's worth
putting some effort into the presentation portion of submissions. (I'm happy to
review cover letters and abstracts for anyone who thinks that might be useful.)
Remember, now that you are able to use your BC email address for a year after
graduation, 3Ls are able to spend some time after the bar polishing their papers
and putting them in the best shape possible for submitting. It's not necessary,
therefore, to rush a paper onto ExpressO just because your time at the law
school is coming to an end.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
John Gordon
Office of the Law Review
Boston College Law School
Tel. 617-552-8557