The Volokh Conspiracy

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Free Speech

Latest Journal of Free Speech Law Article Published 2 Months After It Was Submitted


One goal of our peer-reviewed Journal of Free Speech Law is to be able to publish quickly, when the author so prefers. We haven't always been as quick as we'd have liked, but it seems like we now have the proper staffing and procedures to be quite good about it.

Consider the article we just published today, Prof. Samantha Barbas's The Story of Beauharnais v. Illinois. It was submitted to us on Jan. 5, 2023. The article was blind-reviewed, and we accepted it on Jan. 16. (We tell people we will give them an answer within 14 days, and so far we have never departed from this commitment.)

The author took the time needed to do some edits and have the article cite-checked by a research assistant. (We prefer that, though if the author doesn't have access to research assistants, we can assign a student editor to do that.) One of our Executive Editors suggested some light edits, and sent it back to the author to accept or reject; we then had it proofread, and send those suggestions back to the author to accept or reject. There were a few e-mails following up on some of the proofreading questions, and, today, Mar. 14, the article was published, and we're submitting it to Westlaw and Lexis today. Indeed, if the author viewed the matter as more urgent, we could have published it more quickly still. (The article will be out in print in due course, but our sense is that fast electronic publication, including availability on Westlaw and Lexis, is much more important these days than fast print publication.)

In any event, this is just one of the advantages of publishing in our journal. So far (since Fall 2021), we've published 35 articles, and have 4 more accepted for publication and in the production process. These include articles by law professors from Yale, Stanford, NYU, Virginia, and Penn, as well as by law professors from many other U.S. schools, professors in other fields, foreign professors, think tank scholars, and practitioners. Some of the articles have argued for broader free speech protection and some for narrower protection (or just different protection). Some have been doctrinal, some theoretical, some historical. Some have focused on constitutional law, others on statutory speech protections, and others on broader free speech principles.

So submit your work to us; you'll get a quick answer, and, if we accept it, you'll get quick publication (if you want that).