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April 15, 2007

Great examination of blogging and SSRN downloads

Paul Ohm has a new article that, especially in light of recent debates over SSRN download counts, is a must-read for any tech-interested law professors.  The article is entitled "Do Blogs Influence SSRN Downloads? Empirically Testing the Volokh and Slashdot Effects," and is, naturally, available via SSRN here.  Paul discusses this work, naturally, on the blog The Volokh Conspiracy here.  Here is the abstract from SSRN:

SSRN's download statistics are criticized for being biased in favor of bloggers.  Just how does the supposed bias work, and how strong is it?

This paper reports the results of a small empirical study undertaken in April, 2007.  While guest-blogging at the Volokh Conspiracy, the author used a small computer program to collect SSRN Abstract View and Download statistics every fifteen minutes. 

The study took on an unexpected dimension when links to some of the author's blog posts appeared in an article on slashdot.org, one of the most widely-read technology websites. This allowed the author to compare the Volokh Effect with the better known and more often studied Slashdot Effect.

This is a quickly-compiled draft summarizing and analyzing the results. There are many colorful graphs included. You should really click the Download link below. Seriously! Click it. You know you want to.  The odds are very good that the author is collecting data about this abstract page, as well.

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April 15, 2007 in Technology -- for advancing scholarship | Permalink


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