Search the Lounge


« Duke-UNC-Duke Energy Board Diversity Conference Today | Main | How Charitable Are You? »

April 16, 2010


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Similar results on the identical issue here. 26 reprints, 2 responses. Frankly, I was very happy to see the responses I did get, but wondered if the silence from others was: a) "I'm too busy", b) "this sucks" or c) "I never got it". Guess I'll never know.


I stopped mailing reprints years ago. I suspect that most of them get tossed immediately.


Tim, I guess it is a matter of expectations. I don't expect to get a note acknowledging that I sent a reprint, and certainly not a thank you note. For what is there an obligation to thank? The recipient usually does not request the reprint, and they are doing me at least as much of a favor by reading the article as I to them by sending it. And I usually do not send such notes out myself. Longer responses with substantive comments are obviously a different story.

Miriam A. Cherry

Don't take it personally; the recipients are, presumably, busy. I think the norm/expectation is that the person will look at it, when they have time, and maybe write a quick email if/when they have time. And they may not have the time.


I'm not sure I ever receive thanks/acknowledgments on off-prints, and I don't send thanks/acknowledgments when receiving off-prints either. I now receive a lot of them (sometimes several a day). I save the ones that look to be of potential interest. I figure if someone notices, reads and uses what I've sent them, that's more than thanks enough.

I do acknowledge books when I receive those, and I hope for the same when I send those out (but often don't get it). Those are more rare, and I figure more costly (in various ways) to the author to send.


I think that things have changed for the worse, here. When I had a reprint from a student note back in the early 90s, I sent it out to (probably) 20 or 25 profs who worked in the area. Even in those days before widespread use of email, I received acknowledgments from about 50 percent via snail mail--just simple cards with little more than "thank you" or "looks interesting." Now, however, I sometimes don't even get an email from relatively close friends who work in the same area. I'm old school, but I think that at least friends and acquaintances ought to receive at least a one sentence email thanking the author for sending it out--especially if you send them the pdf or ssrn link via email. None of us are too busy for that.


I think your expectations are set very, very high, and verge on needy. If I received one of those reprints, I would envision emailing you, if at all, only when I had finished reading the reprint. And you have not waited terribly long; I might not even have opened it before now. So I would vote for "flattered."

P.S. In point of fact, I don't think I received one of your reprints -- and if I did, you neglected to write anything particularly personal on it. Why have I been neglected?

P.P.S. I realize you cannot verify the above. If am wrong, please accept this comment on your blog post in lieu of a thank you for your reprint. If I am right, I guess I accept your blog post in lieu of a reprint, even though it seems to lack that personal touch.

Juliet Moringiello

Hi Tim - I'm one of the offenders, but the reprint is in my "take on the next plane trip" pile. That means I'll read it on Wednesday, and I'm looking forward to it!

You are always very gracious about acknowledging reprints and I can think of only a handful of people who are as diligent as you about doing so. I think you all set a good example. It's the collegial thing to do and it doesn't take very long.

Orin Kerr

I look at this a bit differently.

Every law professor has westlaw access, SSRN access, library access, and often direct access to pdfs on journal websites. As a result, It's not like the sender is doing a huge favor for the recipient by getting him or her a paper copy. Indeed, I think the opposite is true: The author is asking the recipient for the favor of reading the article to which the recipient already has access. Given that, I don't think thank yous for receiving a reprint are to be expected.

In general, I send thanks mostly if I am particularly interested in a particular article or the person who sent reprints is a student or newbie who might really appreciate the encouragement of a reply.

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • StatCounter
Blog powered by Typepad