James M. Donovan and Carol A. Watson have published "Will An Institutional Repository Hurt My SSRN Ranking? Calming the Faculty Fear" in the latest issue of AALL Spectrum.
Here's an excerpt:
Plans for a new IR project within the law school, however, can quickly find such worthy motives swept aside as faculty members invariably voice some version of the following comments: "Won't posting my articles elsewhere steal downloads away from SSRN? That would lower my rankings in SSRN and perhaps reduce my professional stature."
One can regret that law academics today reflexively cower at the thought of appearing to perform poorly on any new ranking system that crosses their path, no matter how dubious. Even so, there can be no denying that SSRN, or the Social Science Research Network, has earned a respectable cachet among the professoriate.