The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
In 2008, when I submitted my first article to law reviews, ExpressO by BEPress was the leading service. At the time, some journals still accepted paper submissions, but the preferred method was electronic through ExpressO. The process was straightforward. Professors with academic accounts could submit to an unlimited number of journals for a flat fee. This model led to a torrent of submissions. Journals would get blanketed with far too many articles. After all, there was no incentive to budget with a free-for-all plan.
Over the past decade, the landscape has shifted. I first became aware of Scholastica, an alternate submission platform in 2013. At the time, the nascent system allowed law reviews to ask authors about race and other demographic information. The California Law Review and NYU Law Review made that field mandatory. (I wrote about the issue here, here, here, here, and here). I soon became much more familiar with Scholastica. The model was different. Each submission would cost a flat fee of $6.50. The interface was also much snappier, and easier to use. And the site made it far easier for authors to communicate with editors.
Year after year, more journals were added to Scholastica, and more journals left Expresso. In recent years, few of the top 100 journals remained on Expresso. It was only a matter of time before Expresso had to shut down. Now it has happened.
My librarian circulated this email from Expresso:
After nearly two decades of serving the law community, this will be the last submission season for ExpressO.
This was not an easy decision. However, we are moving on and looking to the future, focusing on growing our premier institutional repository platform, Digital Commons (DC) and Expert Gallery Suite (EGS).
We are tremendously proud to have served authors, editors, and institutions, and we wholeheartedly thank the community for making ExpressO a success.
To help mitigate impact to our users, our final season will be phased accordingly:
March 31: Last day to submit to law reviews.
June 30: Complete service shutdown.
While March 31 will be the last day to submit your articles for publication consideration, all accounts, including those for law reviews, will remain open and accessible until June 30. This allows users to continue to manage their submissions, make and accept offers, and download submission information.
Now Scholastica has an effective monopoly. I hope the quality of service does not diminish.