Self-Publication Scandal at the Law Review

Second year student Hubert H. Hammerson was recently caught up in one of the biggest scandals the University of Toronto Faculty of Law Review has ever seen, when he attempted to use his editor position to publish his own paper. Hammerson serves as an editor at the Law Review, where he is part of the decision-making process that chooses which submissions will make publication. Hammerson’s behaviour started raising eyebrows when he began passionately arguing for the publication of I Kant Even: Fitting Abstract Legal Issues into a More Abstract Philosophical Context.

Fellow editor Maximillian Bookreader explained that arguing for a paper to be published is highly unusual behaviour at the Law Review. “Most of the editors share the secret method behind the Law Review: we skim the papers, then just try to think of reasons to reject them so we don’t have to keep editing.” Hammerson’s genuine interest in the subject matter also tipped people off. Charlamagne Souvignon, a 1L editor, explained that even he felt that Hammerson’s interest in the paper was suspect. “As a 1L, I tried at first to read the papers, but there’s no way someone could have actually read this whole thing. Hammerson was citing paragraph numbers like he had read every paragraph. Eventually the editors came to an inescapable conclusion: Hammerson wrote this paper.”

Hammerson vehemently defended his conduct and argued that what he was doing was in line with the spirit of the Law Review. “I was just trying to get my Kant paper published so I could put it on my résumé. What’s so wrong with that? Isn’t that why anyone becomes an editor? Do you mean to tell me that people become editors and don’t even try to just publish their own papers? Everyone else also speaks exclusively in rhetorical questions, right?” Hammerson has been reassigned to another editing group, and gave a terse “No comment” when asked if he would be editing any of his own papers in his new group.

After Hammerson’s conduct was exposed, the Law Review did an internal review of publications over the past five years. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a senior editor revealed that they have determined that 23.69% of papers that have been approved for publication were approved by editors who also wrote the paper. Shrugging their shoulders, they said, “That’s actually somewhat lower than we expected.”

Author’s Note: This is complete satire. I always conscientiously read the Law Review papers I was assigned to, and so has everyone else, I am sure. Everything is on the up and up, nothing to see here.