We hope that all of you have weathered the pandemic as well as can be expected. It has been a tough year for everyone and a difficult period for publishing. Some press delays were inevitable and, like all journals, Legal Theory continues to experience difficulty finding competent and conscientious reviewers. The problem of finding reviewers appears to stem, in part, from the increasing number of submissions journals receive, as well as a proliferation of journals, which increases the number of invitations reviewers receive to referee manuscripts. The result continues to be sometimes excessive delays, though we believe this now occurs at Legal Theory only in a small number of cases. As always, we regret any frustration and inconvenience that this may cause our authors.
We continue to work on improving our performance. In 2019, the average time to desk rejection was 30 days, the average time to final decision was 4 to 5 months, and the acceptance rate was 8%. In 2020, the average time to desk rejection increased a bit to 34 days but, even though we received more submissions in 2020 than in 2019, the average time to final decision was 68 days, or 2 to 3 months. The acceptance rate for 2020 was 9.7%.
Despite the difficulty in finding people to review manuscripts, we are fortunate to have many excellent reviewers, whose careful efforts help authors improve the quality of their submissions and help the journal sustain its high quality. Each year, Legal Theory recognizes the contributions of referees who have been especially reliable in producing high-quality reports. The recipients of the Legal Theory Review Award for 2020 are Michael Pardo (Georgetown University), David Plunkett (Dartmouth College), and Marcia Baron (Indiana University). Many thanks to them and to all of our reviewers for their generous service to Legal Theory. And continuing thanks to our managing editor, Mariam Kazanjian, for keeping the journal—and all of us—on track.
We wish you well as we all begin to transition to something approximating normal.