If you’re an SSRN user, you got the notice in your Inbox yesterday; if you’re not, follow the links at the top of Leiter’s post here. Read the comments, too. It’s hard to know what to make of this acquisition, but for those not familiar, here’s a quick backgrounder: SSRN.com (“Social Science Research Network”) has, for a very long time, been a repository for freely available research online, particularly in law. Most law faculty post their papers on SSRN, where anybody else may freely download and read them. SSRN also has other categories: I post my papers there, and there’s an entire set of categories for philosophy. When you post a paper on SSRN, it makes you swear that you have the right to do so, and underscores that it does not take copyright in anything. I’m a heavy user of the site, as is every legal academic I know (that’s how I got to it: I read lots of law journal articles). Elsevier has now bought SSRN.
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