The Social Sciences Research Network is "devoted to the rapid worldwide dissemination of social science research and is composed of a number of specialized research networks in each of the social sciences". I've used it on and off over a few years to download papers from various academics, but only just got around to uploading my own papers recently.
Out of the JungleThe Legal Scholarship Network (LSN) is directed by two US academics and is mainly US in terms of content - see here for the full list of the LSN Research Paper Series.
Most of the ones listed are from the US, but Ulster's Transnational Justice Institute has a series and so have Warwick, LSE Legal Studies, Queen Mary, Oxford and Westminster law schools. Each page can be badged, much as what Marie was discussing in her blog post, but there is a financial cost to setting up the series.
- Working Papers or 'work in progress' can be uploaded
- Seminar papers from external visitors could be collated
- Papers published elsewhere can be entered, so long as an exclusive copyright isn't assigned
- It brings together all outputs from across a school or grouping
- Downloads and views can be tracked
- Citations are linked when citing papers are within SSRN
- Gives greater exposure, serendipitous finds etc.
- Fairly short links can be given on a website or CV
The all-time Top 10 for the LSN (downloads since 1997)is an interesting collection. Daniel Solove's 'I've Got Nothing to Hide' and Other Misunderstandings of Privacy had 226,199 views and 81, 974 downloads yet had only been cited in one other paper within the SSRN. Google Scholar (yes, I know, Google is making me stupid and I will address this in the next blog post!) gave me 50 citations, so this functionality doesn't work so well with SSRN. You can also link to other papers by the same author, and SSRN lists other papers that other people viewed and then downloaded.
In relation to cost, I don't seem able to find the 'price list', but it is free for the single user, such as myself, but schools or centres would probably need a critical mass of contributors and/or papers to make it worthwhile. SSRN suggest that an 'increase in readership' can be obtained, but I suspect that the downloading of scholarship has to be compared to what was available before - this is likely to be university staff or school/centre homepages that are perhaps incomplete, or do not monitor downloads.