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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Word Dominates Law Review Submission Process; Only Hope for WordPerfect Mavens: Wake Forest

Word_logo_2We previously blogged the voluminous recent commentary on the submissions policies of the major student-edited law reviews.  My new colleague Tim Armstrong offers an additional twist:   among the Top 36 Law Reviews (as compiled by the Emory Law Library) that accept electronic submissions, only one (Wake Forest) will accept an article in WordPerfect; all of the rest require the article to be submitted in Word.  Indeed, ExpressO warns authors:

All of the 500+ law reviews in our pool accept manuscripts formatted in Microsoft Word. Authors choosing to submit in WordPerfect will have a smaller pool of law reviews from which to choose.

Tim notes that "[i]t's hard to see a technical justification for the dominance of Word" and recommends inclusion of non-Word formats as part of the open-access movement.  Tim also provides this helpful chart of the Word, WordPerfect, and ExpressO requirements of the Top 36 Law Reviews.

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WordPerfect users need not despair. Unless you are using fancy equations or other complex presentations, if your assistant is at all skilled at Word, it is not that hard to write your article in WP, then save it in the .rtf format, and then have your assistant clean it up and send it out as an .rtf document, or deven to be converted into Word. Have others found insuperable problems doing this?

Posted by: Steve Ross | Aug 8, 2006 7:57:14 PM

I agree with Steve. I find Word's constant and unfathomable hijacking of my formatting preferences unbearable, so I always compose in WordPerfect and then convert, when necessary, at the very end. The main problems with this is that the automatic cross-referencing codes don't survive the transition, so if you've used that function, all the cross-references have to be filled in by hand. And WordPerfect still can't handle Chinese characters in the format used by almost all other applications - of course, that's a problem for only a relatively small (but increasingly greater, I suppose) number of us.

Posted by: Don Clarke | Aug 9, 2006 12:52:08 AM