And then there was the notice for the same article informing us that we climbed to the top ten in "PT: Tax Policy (Topic) and SE: Primary Taxonomy (Topic)." And another notice for "PPTSR: Other (Topic), PPTSR: Other (Topic) and PT: Tax Policy (Topic)." I am just quoting these notices but it appears that there are four different ones.
Like USN&WR this seem pretty meaningless to me. Yet like USN&WR my fear is that these top ten lists are taken seriously. Are they going to begin appearing in decanal glossies? Will SSRN finally get to the point of creating a category for each professor so we can all be in the top ten in something.
Increasingly SSRN reminds of the letters I get telling me that my son has been "elected" to the Who's Who of High School Students and all I have to do is pay $50 to have his name listed and receive a copy of the book. Oh, and I need to fill out a form about my son because they actually do not know anything about him.
Is SSRN "false applause" similar to USN&WR? Maybe. In the day of cost free downloading I think it is similar. It is as subject to manipulation? Sure it is. The right title will get you a glance and maybe even a download whether the article is read or tossed in recycling after gathering dust for a few weeks. Or just write to everyone cited or thanked to alert them to your new posting and BAM! you've got a bunch of download right there. And then you can tell your Dean or list it on your resume. You are so important!