“I spoke with some editors at a T-10 law review that had a black list of authors that had faked expedites in the past that they passed on their faculty and new editors.”

April 26th, 2012

I’m amazed this kind of institutional knowledge can survive–for long at least. And even if it exists, I suppose you only burn one journal, and you have a lot to gain.

TJ Chiang’s comment is right-on:

Contrary to the main post, if the private blacklist is the only remedy then I would submit that any rational lower tiered author or those without any letterhead should ALWAYS make up fake expedites to the top journals. On the one hand, you have the benefit of placing in a top journal (if you get away with it). On the other hand, you have the loss of:

*the value of future placements in the same journal, but
*discounted by the miniscule chance you would ever legitimately place in said journal without dishonesty
*discounted by the miniscule chance of being caught

Lets plug in some (I hope reasonable) numbers. Suppose that an author has a 0.1% chance of getting an acceptance without dishonesty, and a 1% chance with the fake expedite, and he expects to write 20 future articles in his lifetime (all with these same odds). The chance of even one future placement in that journal without dishonesty is (1–0.999^20 = 0.0198) or roughly 2%. Discounted further by the chance of being caught (say there is a 5% chance, which I think is a wild overestimate) and the loss is a less than 0.1% chance of a future placement. An author is ten times better off to submit the fake expedite.

Though, dishonest scholars who act like this will likely get burned in some other fashion.