Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The care and feeding of living fossils: an official SSRN guide


This forum has already made much of the ritual abuse to which certain self-appointed guardians of academic purity have subjected the Chapman University School of Law for uploading old papers onto SSRN. This stunt has been castigated as "an amazing display of hubris" and a singularly "corrupt" instance of the unforgivable sin of "Sextonism." One observer went so far as to praise these acts of public flagellation as "an unsung virtue of blogging."

What exactly "Sextonism" represents and how the professoriate should react to it will be the subject of MoneyLaw attention momentarily. For now it suffices to demonstrate that Chapman, for all the perfidy that it was accused of committing, did nothing extraordinary beyond following SSRN's advice regarding older papers.

These are excerpts from SSRN's instructions to authors aspiring to be listed among the network's "Top Law Authors":
How can I get the rest of my papers up on SSRN?

You can post your older papers on SSRN by submitting them through the My Papers link in SSRN HQ. You can post any paper no matter how old as long as you have the electronic rights to the paper. You can post almost any paper published before the mid 1990's because almost all publisher copyright agreements before that time typically did not include electronic rights. Note, however, that any published papers older than one year will generally not be announced through our email abstracting journals. ...
And SSRN's advice for "[i]ncreasing readership for your papers (and download counts)"? Herewith the network's four-step guide to download glory:
  1. Include the URL for your SSRN Author Home Page at the bottom of your email signature.
  2. Keep only one copy of each paper on the web and post it on SSRN.
  3. Post your old papers on SSRN.
  4. Caution: Do not try to game the system.
As far as I can tell, Chapman did nothing wrong except trying to master the art of winning an unfair academic game. Promotional misconduct should be made of sterner stuff. Want live demonstrations of "corruption" and "hubris"? Follow . . . these . . . links


Anonymous Joe Hodnicki said...

Three cheers for celebrating non-achievement. Let's issue another press release.

9/26/2006 2:16 PM  

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