23 Case Study: CALI’s eLangdell® Press

Deb Quentel

This peer review case study was provided by Deb Quentel, the Director of Curriculum Development and Associate Counsel at the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI). As part of producing the open textbooks published by CALI’s eLangdell® Press, she manages the peer review process through her established network and author suggestions. The system she uses is outlined below in the invitation she sends to potential reviewers.

Invitation to Peer Review

Dear [professor]:

Professor [author name here] has suggested that I contact you.

[author] has recently completed a casebook entitled [snappy book title here], for CALI’s free eLangdell® Press casebook series. The book will be released at no cost to students or faculty and with a Creative Commons license when it is completed. You can see CALI’s other books here: https://www.cali.org/the-elangdell-bookstore

CALI is providing its authors with reviews of casebook chapters. And, CALI compensates reviewers $[??] for each reviewed chapter. We ask that reviewers write at least one page summarizing their thoughts about the chapter. Things CALI and the author are interested in include:

— did you see the cases you expected to see for this topic’s coverage (were any you expected to see missing),
— were the cases appropriately edited,
— any thoughts on the chapters questions (there will also be a teacher’s manual released to faculty only), and
— any thoughts on the chapter in general, including its organization

Today, I am writing to ask whether you would be able to review a chapter from the book. Rather than me “assigning” you a chapter let me list all 10 and perhaps one will be of particular interest to you. A few chapters are already assigned. I would ask that you select an unassigned chapter if possible. Thank you.

Chapters are as follows:
[list of chapter numbers and titles – sometimes I send a more detailed TOC, it depends what “condition” the book is in. Not all authors make the TOC.]

To the extent possible – considering that [author] has suggested several people as reviewers for some of the chapters – the peer review process is anonymous. Thus, I’d prefer that you come to me with questions and send your comments directly to me. Thank you.

To avoid crowding your email inbox, I will be sharing a Dropbox folder with you later today. It contains the book. If you’d like to look at it, please join the Dropbox and copy the file to your hard drive. And, if you’d prefer to receive a copy of the book by email, please let me know. I am working with [author] to have the peer review process completed in the next few weeks. He is working to complete the book in time for fall 2017 adoption.

Thus, I am asking everyone to complete the review of their chapter by 9 a.m. Monday, [date about 2-3 weeks from date of email].

I would really appreciate it if you would let me know whether you are interested in reviewing a chapter.

Thank you for your consideration of my request.

Best regards,


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Authoring Open Textbooks Copyright © 2017 by Deb Quentel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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