I have been aware of the SSRN for some time but have only just got round to PDFing my article drafts and posting them up on the site. I am kicking myself for not doing this before as I have received some really helpful comments and communications generally from academics in Australia, American and Italy. Without this tool this would not have happened and I would be totally unaware of some the work now being undertaken, particularly in American, on the personal side of the subject, and even more importantly, on the history of the subject. For example, Professor Emily Kadens at the University of Texas Law School is working on bankruptcy and the death penalty and in particular the trial of John Perrott, a lacemaker of Ludgate Hill, who was executed at Smithfield in November 1761 for concealing, embezzling and removing his effects. Her article is eagerly awaited. As a direct result of the SSRN site my own research has also now been cited and discussed on some other blogs which are bankruptcy orientated, legal history orientated and news related. This has lead to some really fruitful exchanges which simply would have not occurred beforehand.
Other English insolvency academics who do not exhibit my ludite tendencies have however used the SSRN site for sometime. Professor Riz Mokal and Professor John Armour have particularly comprehensive entries and their work has been downloaded frequently, leading to very high rankings indeed. With the future direction of the REF research assessment exercise this species of engagement is essential for any English law academic. There are also entries for Professor Ian F. Fletcher, Professor Vanessa Finch, Professor Adrian Walters, Dr Sandra Frisby, Professor Andrew Keay, Professor Rebecca Parry, and Dr Paul Omar. SSRN is not reserved for academics! There are also entries from the practitioner field. Look Chan Ho, for example, scores very highly on the download count with a large portion of his publications on the site.
For students of the subject, which we all are for the entirety of our engagement, the resource should not be missed! Any intending user will have to be careful with copyright considerations when uploading their material. Advice can be sought no doubt from senior colleagues or the Authors' Licensing and Copyright Society (another essential sign up!)
Picture Credit: Muir Hunter Museum of Bankruptcy, KU (GP).