Professor Mathias Siems of Durham Law School in the UK has recently conducted an interesting analysis of which legal articles generate the most attention on SSRN. His article is entitled, Legal Research in Search of Attention: A Quantitative Assessment.
From the abstract:
Based on a sample of 1107 papers of SSRN’s Legal Scholarship Network, this article finds that a short title, a top-20 university affiliation, US authorship, and writing about topics of corporate law and international law have a positive effect on downloads and/or abstract views.
It doesn’t appear in the abstract of this article, but the author also suggests that pairing an attention getting shorter title with a longer more explanatory abstract may increase readership.
Siems does caution against using “the findings of this article . . as telling SSRN users ‘how to increase their SSRN downloads,'” however. They may be other, unexamined variables at play.