Matt Bodie at Conglomerate Blog has an interesting interview with Jean-Gabriel Bankier, manager of the bepress Legal Repository. One interest Q&A:
Lots of legal academics seem focused on their SSRN downloads as an indicia of scholarly impact. If only SSRN downloads are publicly available, then bepress downloads don't "count" toward scholarly impact. Are you worried that authors are going to direct readers to SSRN and away from bepress?
Authors with papers in the bepress Legal Repository are emailed download statistics every month. We have seen that papers posted to SSRN and the bepress Legal Repository have comparable downloads-per-posted-days rates. This isn’t an issue of bepress hiding figures. Rather, we are concerned that popularity and scholarly value not be conflated. SSRN feels differently, and this is reflected in their approach. It’s an honest difference of opinion. I think at the end of the day, authors want their research to be read by those who would learn and benefit from it. This means creating multiple paths of discovery to their work, via SSRN, bepress, law reviews, institutional repositories, and other venues.