The Peer Reviewed Scholarship Marketplace (“PRSM”) began with the South Carolina Law Review’s Peer Review Pilot Program, an experiment started by Dr. John Zimmer, a member of the journal at the time. The Pilot Program was a great success. Numerous authors submitted manuscripts to the South Carolina Law Review, and many other legal scholars and practitioners volunteered to serve as peer reviewers. Relying on the reviewers’ evaluations, the South Carolina Law Review chose three articles for publication in a special Peer Review Issue (Volume 60, Book 4). This special issue also featured a favorable foreword by Judge Richard A. Posner as well as an essay describing the South Carolina Law Review’s experience with peer review.
The Pilot Program’s success encouraged the creation of PRSM, a consortium of student-edited legal journals that believe that peer review can enhance the quality of the articles that journals select and ultimately publish. PRSM works much like the familiar manuscript submission vehicle ExpressO but with a peer review component. Authors submit their work exclusively to PRSM, whose administrators then arrange for double-blind peer review of each manuscript. After six weeks, PRSM members will receive a copy of the article with the reviews, which will assist the student-editors in publication decisions. As with ExpressO, members will make their own independent offers to authors, who are free to accept or decline. If an author is unsatisfied with all offers—or receives none after a designated date—he or she is free to resubmit his or her reviewed manuscript through ExpressO or another preferred vehicle.
PRSM thus benefits all parties: authors, reviewers, journals, and the legal community that relies on scholarship published in student-edited journals. All authors receive valuable feedback from their peers, and successfully placed authors further benefit from the “peer reviewed” certification of their published manuscripts. Reviewers are offered an opportunity to comment on new scholarship pertinent to their areas of expertise and thereby participate in the “gate-keeping” article selection process. Student-edited journals are given an additional tool to spot and select the most novel and valuable research for publication. Finally, PRSM’s peer review process produces higher quality scholarship for the legal community that reads and relies on the profession’s journals.
For more information about South Carolina Law Review’s experience with the Peer Review Pilot Program and creation of PRSM, click here..