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“The Journalists” is a five-part series where we interview the editorial board of some of the more popular legal journals in the country. Previously we have spoken to the editors of the Indian Journal of Law & Technology, as well as the NUJS Law Review. In this edition, the team at the Jindal Law Jounal talks about the journal’s selection process, the challenges faced by academic journals, and the most common errors that authors make.
Bar & Bench: Broadly speaking, what are some characteristics that all good articles have?
JLJ: The best submissions we have received are alike in their incisive analysis and tenacious engagement with a particular set of legal issues. We look for articles that set out to disrupt what are widely considered “settled positions” of law.
B&B: How are editorial board members selected?
JLJ: As this is our inaugural issue, the Board Members were selected by the JGLS faculty through a common test that required us to edit an extract assigned to us and accurately citing the article according to the Blue Book (19th ed). Selection was also based on our performance as note editors for the faculty edited Jindal Global Law Review. In future, the present members of the board will conduct selections based on a similar testing methodology and will assess the performance of potential candidates based on the effort and interest they demonstrate as note editors.
B&B: What is the editorial procedure once a submission is received? Do you have blind reviews?
JLJ: The Board of Editors selects an abstract after careful consideration. The article is first peer-reviewed by individuals with specific knowledge of the themes being dealt with in the article or essay. After the piece is returned to us with edits, the Board reviews it and provides general comments. Then a single Board member along with two assistant editors work on the article to provide more in-depth and incisive edits. We do have a blind review process, but this is relaxed for articles that deal with a very specific area of law where direct collaboration between the reviewer and the author has produced better results for us.
B&B: What common errors do you notice in submissions?
JLJ: The most common error we notice is that submissions are not written in a linear, structured manner. Many submissions also attempt to engage with too many issues within the limited confines of a law review article.
B&B: Thoughts on present academic research environment in Indian law schools?
JLJ: As Indian students gradually realise the importance of working within a particular field of law and the important role that publishing plays in giving their work credibility, we are sure to see an improvement in the academic research environment in India. Student-edited law reviews are yet to truly take off though.
The JLJ Editorial Board consists of Pujitha Makani, Mekhala Dave, Bhavna Ragunath, Gavin Pereira, Shreyas Gupta, Vaibhav Malimath, Viren Bansal, Praveen Chacko, Krithika Balu, Deepti Narayan and Shivangi Sud.