This guide was created by the library staff to gather together in one location all the information faculty will need for researching, writing and publishing a scholarly article. For a brief overview of how to get your article published, see the section entitled "Submitting an Article." It covers article submission guidelines, directories of law reviews, articles that rank law reviews, and other related information. In many cases these sources will be enough to get you started. However, if you still have questions about the nuts and bolts of the writing and publishing process, the information provided below should answer some of your questions.
To ensure that the topic you select has not been preempted by another author, you may wish to do a preemption check of the subject matter. The Index to Legal Periodicals and Legal Trac are excellent online tools for this purpose. The Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals serves as a similar vehicle in the area of foreign and international law. Other possible sources to check are Hein Online, the law review databases on Westlaw, LexisNexis, and BNA electronic newsletters. If you plan to use these tools from home, with the exception of Westlaw and LexisNexis, you will need to have your law library patron barcode number to enter these systems. Contact the Circulation Department for help with your barcode.
Another online source of new and pre-published scholarship is SSRN, a service that is described in one of the next sections. Similar to SSRN is BePress, another legal scholarship repository that is free to search. If you need a refresher on how to use any of these online tools, the librarians will be happy to assist you. The advantage to searching both SSRN and BePress is that since they provide access to pre-publication articles and "works in progress" they act as useful preemption check services for areas of the law that are constantly changing.
To keep up-to-date while you research and write, you can subscribe to the weekly topical "e-journals" of SSRN, or the alert services of Westlaw and Lexis Advance. After you define a search, Westlaw and Lexis will send regular e-mail alerts about developments that may affect your topic. Bloomberg/BNA has a similar updating product for the several electronic services to which the library subscribes, and Smart Cilp, a service of the University of Washington Law Library, notifies subscribers about recent journal literature before the articles are formally listed in online indexes. Contact the Reference Department to get started with any of these services.