Cite Checking Is No One’s Best Friend

I am a member of the Journal of High Technology, and I must say that I love being an editor. I was  reminded of the fact earlier today. Any person that is on, or has been on, a law journal understands the idea of cite checking. This is the arduous process of going through every single legal citation that an author uses, ensuring that it is in the correct form, and that it actually cites to what the author claims it does. Although this does not sound that bad, it usually takes several teams five hours a week for a more than a month to handle this work. Which is due to the fact that there are about 300 citations on average in an article. New members of the journal are the ones that take on this task, and editors ensure they are doing the job properly. While several of us editors were sitting around the office table today, a cite checker came to the door between our sitting area and the cite checking area to close the door. While doing so they said, “it’s too hard to cite check with you people having so much fun out here!” Cite checking is not fun, but it is what everyone does as part of their time on the journal. Now my comments about cite checking not being fun should not scare anyone into not joining a journal. Being on a journal is great on the resume, and so is being published, especially if it is in the field of law you practice. Also, it’s not like we don’t play. In fact, I know that several of my fellow members can certainly hold their own on bar nights. We work hard and play hard, but as is true of much of life, you have to earn the right to play time by suffering through the work.

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