Gaming SSRN Downloads:
There has been a lot of debate recently among lawprofs about whether SSRN downloads are a useful gauge of scholarly influence or quality. I'm pretty skeptical about using SSRN that way, and the following e-mail is an interesting illustration of the problem. A young lawyer who just sent out an article for publication to law reviews also sent out the following e-mail to a list of friends asking for their help in getting the article placed:

From: [Redacted]
Date: August 17, 2005 6:05:34 PM EDT
To: [Redacted]
Subject: Buzz!! (Shameless Self-Promotion)


I'm trying to create some buzz for a law article I've just posted on the SSRN (Social Science Research Network). Could you please please download the article? The more hits there are, the more likely the piece is to get picked up by a good journal. Of course I'd love it if you also read the article - but that's up to you.

Three easy steps:

click on this link:[Redacted]
click "Go to Document Delivery"
click "SSRN"

You should do this because (1) it would mean a lot to me, and (2) there are free door prizes for the first 50 people who click that link.

  The idea, I suppose, is that law review editors might check SSRN to see how many downloads the paper has. If a paper has lots of downloads, editors will assume it is getting lots of attention and perhaps is more worth publishing. I would hope editors can see through this, but you never know. Anyway, caveat editor.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Gaming SSRN Downloads:
  2. SSRN as a Measure of Scholarly Performance: