UW School of Law > Students > Academic Policies > Journals for Academic Credit

Framework for Seeking Approval of a New Student Journal for Academic Credit

This memo was approved by the UW Law School faculty on November 12, 2009 to provide a framework within which students and faculty members wishing to establish a new student journal may seek formal recognition as an official UW Law School journal.

In April 2009, following an inquiry from a student interested in forming a new journal, the Executive Council and the Dean concluded that any proposal for a new journal must come from a faculty member. That faculty member must be willing to commit to serve as the journal’s faculty adviser and will bear responsibility for presenting the proposal to the Dean, the Associate Dean for Library and Computing Services, the Curriculum Committee, and the faculty. There was a strong presumption that, for any specialized journal, the faculty adviser would be a professor who teaches in that area. A faculty member proposing a new journal would need to make an initial commitment to serve in that capacity for roughly 5 years, which, together with the required workload, would likely exclude from consideration junior, untenured faculty. Seeking approval of a new journal would normally follow this procedure:

  1. A faculty member willing to serve as advisor to a new journal should have an initial "scoping" meeting with the Dean to review the relevant resource issues, including adjustments to the faculty member’s teaching, research and service mix, to free up enough time to serve as faculty advisor. After reaching a tentative agreement with the Dean, the faculty member would have similar scoping meetings with the Associate Dean for Library & Computing Services on library and IT support issues.
  2. The faculty member interested in sponsoring a journal should submit to the Curriculum Committee a proposal to establish a new journal for academic credit as a new course offering. If the proposal is approved by the Curriculum Committee, it will be submitted to the faculty for approval at its next regularly scheduled meeting.
  3. Just as some new course offerings are approved first on a probationary basis and then reviewed at a later date before being granted final approval, an application for recognition as an official UW Law School student journal (the "Initial Proposal") should be approved by the faculty first on a probationary basis. Before the faculty is asked to give final approval to granting academic credit for work on a student journal, a second application should be submitted to the faculty (the "Second Proposal").
  4. The Initial Proposal should set forth the criteria for awarding academic credit for student work, including how student members will be trained and supervised, and how student work will be evaluated by students and faculty advisors. These criteria and procedures should be compared to the criteria used for awarding academic credit to members of existing student journals. An outline of the administrative structures and academic credit policies of the Shidler journal as of May 2009 is attached as Appendix A to this memo.
  5. The Initial Proposal should specify the criteria that would be applied to change a new journal's status from probationary to full recognition as equivalent to existing journals. For example, successful publication of two or three annual volumes of the journal might be proposed as such a criterion.
  6. The Initial Proposal should contain a commitment by one or more faculty member to serve as the journal’s faculty advisor, plus a commitment by one or more faculty members as backups in case the primary faculty advisor(s) cannot continue to serve. The faculty advisor should commit to supervise the journal from the time the Initial Proposal is approved by the faculty until either a Second Proposal is submitted to the faculty to request full official status equivalent to existing journals, or the faculty member reports to the faculty that the journal did not successfully fulfill the conditions for ending its probationary status and is ceasing operations. The Second Proposal should contain a commitment by one or more faculty members to serve as faculty advisor of the journal until a replacement faculty advisor agrees to serve in that capacity.
  7. The Initial Proposal should contain an analysis of the following issues:
    • The target audience for the new journal, what journals already exist that target that audience, and how the new journal would distinguish itself from existing journals from the perspective of the target audience; and
    • The target population of potential authors of articles for the new journal; what journals already exist that solicit articles from this population of potential authors; and how the new journal would distinguish itself from existing journals from the perspective of prospective authors.
  8. The Initial Proposal should contain pro forma budget estimates covering revenues and expenses for the probationary period, and should identify sources of funding to cover all projected expenses in excess of revenues as well as a reserve fund to cover expenses in the event that revenues fall short of projections.
  9. The Second Proposal should provide a report on the operation of the journal during its probationary period updating all major elements of the Initial Proposal in light of experience during the probationary period, and provide new projections for the future operation of the journal.
  10. The Initial Proposal should specify where the journal will be located during the probationary period; the Second Proposal should specify where the journal will be located after it is granted full official recognition.

Last updated 3/11/2011