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Law Journals, Biomedical Journals, and Restraint of Trade

Curfman, Gregory, Law Journals, Biomedical Journals, and Restraint of Trade (November 26, 2021). Available at SSRN: or

“Scholarly law journals permit manuscripts to be submitted to multiple law journals simultaneously, while scholarly biomedical journals generally require that manuscripts be submitted to a single journal at a time. This article compares and contrasts the two different approaches to manuscript submission, underscoring the pros and cons. The multiple simultaneous submission policy of law journals allows authors to select among acceptances from (potentially) multiple journals, and law journals may compete for manuscripts they would like to publish. Publication of law journal articles is often accomplished expeditiously. In contrast, the single manuscript submission policy followed by most biomedical journals eliminates competition among journals, and the ad seriatim submission process results in a slow pathway to manuscript publication. The principal focus of this article is on whether the single-submission requirement of biomedical journals constitutes restraint of trade in possible violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act. In the light of the Biden Administration’s renewed focus on antitrust and the importance of competition in the U.S. economy, it is timely to re-examine the single manuscript submission policy of biomedical journals and open a dialogue among the scholarly community on whether this practice is in violation of antitrust law.”

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