Observations on Scholarly Impact, October 2023

This semester, we have been curious as to the impact of promotion of our faculty scholarship, specifically our institution’s SSRN paper series. Our inquiry extended to how broadly a work is promoted, distributed, and how descriptive is its metadata via SSRN.  We typically distribute issues of our paper series multiple times throughout an academic year.  Some observations:

Downloads of works with tiles that include a case name increased by 21% in the week after distribution. No additional promotion efforts were undertaken during that time frame, for this example.

The “catchy” titles that are clever but not necessarily descriptive of the substance of the article saw the fewest new downloads in the week following the paper series distribution.

Short titles, succinct and descriptive of the substance of the paper, saw a greater number of new downloads in the week following distribution. This may suggest that drafting titles this way can boost downloads and therefore exposure.

Avoid “word salads” for titles. Longer titles are not necessarily more descriptive. In our examples, they received fewer new downloads than more succinct and descriptive titles.

These are one time observations for the intellectually curious on the subject of descriptive metadata. Our interest is peaked and we will continue to follow these trends.

A headshot of Professor Caroline Osborne

Find Professor Osborne's scholarship on SSRN and her SelectedWorks scholarship profile.

A headshot of Law Librarian Stephanie Miller

Find Stephanie Miller's scholarship on SSRN and her SelectedWorks scholarship profile