Regent University School of Law is producing some of the most-viewed legal scholarship in the nation.
The Social Science Research Network (SSRN) ranks Regent Law in the top 20% of U.S. Law Schools for total new downloads. That ranking has been climbing steadily since 2016 and shows no sign of slowing down. As of December 1, Regent Law is ranked 67/350.
SSRN is a worldwide collaborative network that is devoted to the rapid worldwide dissemination of scholarly research. The eLibrary currently contains more than 826,000 downloadable electronic documents in Adobe Acrobat PDF format from over 400,000 authors.
SSRN states that its objective is “to provide rapid worldwide distribution of research to authors and their readers and to facilitate communication among them at the lowest possible cost.” Any author may upload papers for free, and most papers can be downloaded without charge.
Judge Patricia West (Ret.), interim dean, is proud of the Regent Law faculty. “It’s exciting to see our Christian legal scholars continuing to integrate their faith in scholarship and influence legal minds through this platform,” she said.
Because of the network’s commitment to open access and its broad-based, worldwide readership, the law school views SSRN as an important part of its mission to influence the legal profession with scholarship written from a Christian perspective. That emphasis is paying off. Regent Law authors have achieved almost 40,000 total downloads from over 300 scholarly papers. Additionally, as Professor Lynne Marie Kohm explained, “This scholarly impact is especially excellent in light of our law faculty being quite small in number. To produce such high quality publications competitively with other law schools could be a strong indicator of scholarly impact as Regent Law moves forward.”
SSRN is also important because it enables authors to post scholarship as soon as they create it, rather than waiting for publication in a journal. This can greatly enhance the relevance of the piece as well as the interest it receives. For example, a recent article by Professor Bruce N. Cameron, Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law, and Regent Law alumnus Blaine Hutchinson (2018), Thinking Slow About Abercrombie & Fitch: Straightening Out the Judicial Confusion in the Lower Courts, will be published in Pepperdine Law Review in December but has already been listed in the top ten papers for new downloads in SSRN’s category of “Private Law –Discrimination Law eJournal.”
Summarizing the relationship between the missions of SSRN and Regent Law, Regent University Law Library Director Marie Summerlin Hamm observed that “Regent Law faculty seek to engage, inspire, and transform legal thought through scholarship and service. By facilitating widespread content dissemination, open access repositories like SSRN have greatly expanded scholarly impact, allowing authors to reach readers in innovative and diversified ways.”