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How to Get Published: A Guide to Human Rights and Social Justice Journals: II. Preemption Checking

The Importance of Preemption Checking

  • Preemption checking refers to the process by which editors determine if a submission offers a sufficiently original thesis to warrant publication.
  • Journal editors seek to publish only articles whose thesis contributes to the academic debate or human rights practice. Such articles typically present a novel research question or offer a new perspective on a previously researched topic. 
  • As an author, you should expect the editors of the journal where you have submitted your piece to conduct a thorough preemption check of your work. This section seeks to shed light on the preemption process itself and to give you some tools to conduct your own preemption check.
  • Preemption is also a good practice as you begin your research process. It will help you determine if your thesis is original and help identify sources for your research. Preemption also helps identify journals or publications of interest for your manuscript. For more on how to choose the right publication, see Section III – Picking Your Publication.
  • Note: The links below are resources for current Berkeley students. These links will not work for those unaffiliated with UC Berkeley. Please consult with a reference librarian at your institution for access to these resources.    

Overview of the Preemption Check

Background Information: consulting treatises, encyclopedias, and other reference works on the same topic. 

Monographs, edited volumes and other books.

Consider searching in legal journal indexes, such as Index to Legal Periodicals (ILP), Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (IFLP), Academic Search Complete, Social Sciences Citation Index, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts.

Consider also attending workshops, webinars or conferences on the topic in order to get a sense of the state of the research and what would be considered cutting edge for that particular topic. 

Note: Current Berkeley Law students can request to meet with a reference librarian. Reference librarians are available to discuss research strategies and resources for papers, journal notes, and other research projects. For more see, Student Research Appointments & Help.