Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Law Reviews

Several of the top law reviews have decided that law review articles are getting entirely too long, and have jointly declared their intent to seek articles that are under 70 pages. (For comparison, I've read scholarly articles in economics, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, political theory, and more, and in each of those disciplines, 70 pages would be an obscenely long article.)

What's interesting is that the Yale Law Journal -- one of the journals that is supposedly interested in shorter articles -- very recently published this article by Yochai Benkler. The article is 86 pages long. What I find amazing it is labeled an "Essay," which is the term that law reviews usually reserve for shorter pieces, as opposed to "Articles," which are supposed to be longer. Yale Law Journal is not alone, of course, in the startling behavior of treating an 86-page article as if it were a mere trifle that someone tossed off. It will be interesting to see if law reviews are serious about their purported interest in shorter articles.

Stuart Buck


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