Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Pre-Publication Publications: SSRN And Self-Plagiarism

Gregory S. Crespi (SMU; Google Scholar), Pre-Publication Publications:

SSRN Logo (2018)Many law professors now post essentially complete drafts of their articles on SSRN and/or on university-sponsored working paper websites prior to submitting those articles for journal publication. This “pre-publication publication,” so to speak, is useful for both authors and their readers, but it raises some self-plagiarism issues, and there does not yet appear to be a broad consensus on how those issues should be addressed. 

I argue that this increasingly common practice of SSRN and working paper pre-publication of articles should be recognized as entirely appropriate, and that in light of this practice law journals should rather substantially change the way that they operate, moving to a wholly online format and providing only article abstracts and website links for the articles that they “accept,” rather than editing and providing the full text of the articles.

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