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Paper Spotlight: How SSRN Can Increase Citations

This week we’re highlighting a second paper that reviews the benefits of using SSRN. In SSRN’s Impact on Citations to Legal Scholarship and How to Maximize It, Rob Willey and Melanie Knapp discuss how the number of citations per paper can be increased by distribution on SSRN.

Knapp and Willey examine a range of factors that contribute to the number of citations on papers, including paper length, length of title and whether the paper had been distributed on SSRN.

The researchers found that 87% of the most cited published papers (papers with at least 24 citations) had also been posted as preprints to SSRN. In stark contrast, only 46% of the least cited papers (three citations or less) had an SSRN version. These results indicated that posting to SSRN may have a beneficial effect on the final number of citations for a paper.

How an author presented a paper on SSRN also seemed to have an effect on citations. The number of key words selected, the abstract length and the length of the time gap between posting on SSRN and publishing in a journal were all factors that seemed to have an effect on citations.

Has posting to SSRN increased the number of eyes on your paper? Tell us about the effect SSRN has on outreach.

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