To upload or not to upload, that is the question…

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6 Responses

  1. Orin Kerr says:

    I would probably wait until your article is further along. My sense is that readers expect that a piece posted to SSRN is basically done; the author may tweak the details, but for the most part it’s all there, the footnotes are complete, and the like. As a result, most people who read the draft on SSRN won’t re-read the piece when it is published; they’ll figure they read it already.

    Finally, my sense is that it is considered better etiquette to send someone a draft than a link when asking for comments. If you just send the link, some might think that you’re more interested in boosting your download numbers than actually receiving comments. Better not to run that risk, I think.

  2. Frank says:

    As a matter of professional advice, Orin is on the mark….it probably ought to be as polished as possible. On the other hand, if what’s in SSRN is basically the same as what’s in a law journal, what’s the point? Simply to increase accessibility?

    I have put up a few things that are unfinished, and getting edited and revised as we speak. I think what I’ll do, when a final version is done, is to highlight somewhere in the abstract page the main revisions, so readers who’ve already read the first draft know where to look for new things. I just think that in fast-moving fields, it’s important to get ideas out there and “into the mix,” even if the pieces that contain them fail to maximize one’s reputation for polish, meticulousness, and detail.

  3. Ben Barros says:

    Based on advice I’ve received from many sources, it is important for junior faculty to be sure that anything they post (or just circulate to a senior faculty member) is in a relatively polished state. Of course, once it’s polished, the comments won’t be as useful, but first impressions matter a lot. And posting a polished draft still gets your ideas out into the mix a year or so before they come out in print.

  4. joe says:

    Amusing that law professors are concerned about “downloads”. I guess it’s better than worrying about billable hours.

  5. Miriam Cherry says:

    Downloads don’t really count for anything (at least not yet) so in my mind not worth the downside…

  6. This seems to seal any sense that SSRN was a “working paper” venue. I’m trying to think of a witty phrase analogizing to “video killed the radio star,” but it’s not happening.