Our mission is
- to publish high-quality scholarship touching on U.S. constitutional history;
- to free authors from the writing constraints, submission-process frustrations, and editing hassles of student-edited law reviews;
- to reduce the time lag between acceptance and publication; and
- to facilitate scholarly dialogue across disciplines.
Why Publish With Us?
Publishing with us offers huge advantages over student-edited law reviews. Publication decisions are made by leading scholars in the field rather than law students. Compared to the opaque and uncommunicative student law review process, with its long “radio silences,” we will provide prompt and transparent publication decisions with peer feedback, within one to four weeks of submission. As an author, you need not supply the elaborate scaffolding, lengthy background explanations, and tedious literature reviews required in standard law review articles. You can assume a readership with relevant background knowledge and proceed quickly into the argument.
Arguments on contemporary legal issues are welcome, but we also welcome analyses of purely historical interest. There is no requirement that you go out of your way to make a showing of relevance to some legal controversy of the moment.
You will not be required to endure the often tedious student-editing process, with its insertion of factual errors and laborious demands for additional footnotes – because students are trained to demand “authority” for widely-known factual propositions or to require footnotes for every sentence.
You will not have to wait months for publication decisions, and more months to see your article in print. We will decide within one week whether to submit your article for peer review, and will make a final publication decision within another three-to-four weeks. Your article will be published as soon as you have put it in its final form.
You will be able to reach an interested audience of scholars in adjacent disciplines without having to translate your work into “law review” norms and formats and endure the frustrations of the submission and editing process of student-edited law reviews.
Peer Review, Editing, and Publication Process
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The Journal employs a system of double-blind peer review. (That is, the author and reviewer identities will be withheld from one another.) All submitting authors will receive at least brief substantive comments explaining a decision not to publish. Authors of articles that proceed to peer review will receive more extensive comments whether or not their article is accepted for publication. The decisions following peer review will be to accept, reject, or offer a “revise and resubmit” option.
The Journal will publish articles that conform to the format and citation norms of the author’s particular discipline.
We will offer broad-brush editorial suggestions and very limited line editing, but will defer to the author’s judgment on substantive editorial questions.
Authors are responsible for their own footnoting and cite-checking. The Journal will provide copy editing of both the text and footnotes of articles to ensure that they are in a presentable and professional appearance. However, the ensuring conformity to the details of the applicable citation styles will be the responsibility of the authors.
We do not insist on conformity with any particular style regime (e.g., the “Bluebook” for law review articles), but ask only that the citations supply the appropriate information and be internally consistent.
Each article will be assigned a unique page range, so that it can be cited in other publications.
The Journal will put articles into the Journal’s style and design in a PDF document, which will be published by posting to the website. Although we will organize articles into quarterly “issues” for web-presentation and archiving purposes, there is no need to hold articles for completion of all the articles in an issue, as is the case with print journals. Publication (posting) will be done immediately on completion of the article—when it has been revised, polished, and formatted to the satisfaction of the author and the Journal. Published articles will promptly be sent to the various electronic databases for republication, such as Hein Online.
The Journal of American Constitutional History is a peer-reviewed web-based journal publishing high-quality scholarship on U.S. constitutional history. Our editorial board includes over 60 leading scholars in the field.
The Journal of American Constitutional History invites submission of articles from the disciplines of law, history, or political science that focus on historical questions touching on the American Constitution or constitutional development, or that contain a substantial element of historical analysis in addressing contemporary issues of U.S. constitutional law.