Thursday, March 04, 2010

SSRN Question

My school is contemplating subscribing to SSRN's Research Paper Series (RPS). We already have a significant number of articles by faculty members on SSRN, but an RPS would allow us to "brand" our scholarship and create our own working papers series as well as take advantage of other features we can't use now. This enhancement would not be cheap, but the cost would be worth it if, as SSRN states, it leads to an "increase in readership" for our faculty scholarship.

I see that many law schools do have an RPS. Do those of you whose schools have one find that the readership of your faculty's scholarship has increased since it was established? Was the investment worth it? Is it the academic equivalent of a vanity license plate, or does the RPS promote downloading of faculty scholarship?

I look forward to comments on this issue from OOTJ readers.


Betsy McKenzie said...

Dear Marie,
I can answer for Suffolk, where we have a subscription to SSRN. We really do feel that it has increased the visibility of our faculty members' scholarship. It has increased the branding, (far more than a "vanity plate!"), pulling together in one place the disparate scholarship by all our faculty. We believer that more people are finding and reading the articles through SSRN than would find them in the other venues where they are published. It is creating new audiences, building recognition of these scholars as being Suffolk scholars, which is very important to my school. It has been very worthwhile to us.

Michael Bromby said...

Hi all,
I blogged about this (after your prompt) but I'd been meaning to write something about law schools and SSRN anyway. There's interest across our university in one or two depts/institutes. See Digital Directions Blog Post
How expensive it is? I've had a quick look around the site, but it's clearly designed for viewing papers and there's little guidance on the costs, as I far as I can see.