SSRN and More

Important Terms

Scholarly Communication - Access and access issues relating to scholarly information.

Law-related e-journals

What is SSRN?

SSRN - Social Science Research Network. SSRN is an electronic network disseminating information about research in the social sciences. Research is organized into networks including:

  • Accounting Research Network (ARN)
  • Economics Research Network (ERN)
  • Financial Economics Network (FEN)
  • Information Systems Network (ISN)
  • Legal Scholarship Network (LSN)
  • Management Research Network (MNR)
  • Social Insurance Network (SIRN)

Owned by SSEP - Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc.

Online Academic Publishing Venture

Three finance economists have formed a company targeted at changing the way academic information is distributed. Social Science Electronic Publishing produces an electronic journal on the Internet, allowing subscribers to browse among abstracts of academic papers and then order what interests them. "We are changing the academic landscape. People used to publish get tenure. Now there will be less junk because they will be writing for public consumption. People have to focus on good topics," says one of the founders. (Business Week 5/8/95 p.28)

What do I get?

  • Free access to all abstracts in the SSRN eLibrary
  • Free subscriptions to partner-sponsored e-mail abstracting journals
  • Free trial subscriptions to all SSRN abstracting journals.
  • Free downloads of thousands of full text papers in the free paper collection.
  • Online management of contact information and email abstract journal subscriptions.
  • Access to SSRN's online paper submission and management system for authors.

How do I use it?

Log in using your password, create a password OR Just begin:

  • Top Papers - Links to All-time Top 10 papers for all SSRN Journals
    Links to Top 10 Recent Hits for all papers announced in the last 60 days
  • Top Authors - SSRN Top Law Authors
    SSRN Top Authors
  • Top Institutions - Top Law Schools [Search for schools & use the Authors' links.]
  • Search Link - Keyword/Authors
  • Browse Link - Network/Journal/Title Browse options
  • Research Papers Series - Select Series and enter subscription
  • Partners In Publishing - Publishers providing access to abstracts and in some cases full text downloads via SSRN
  • Full Text Journals - Fee based journal access via SSRN
  • Institution Home Pages - Research Paper Series (beta)

What does it cost?

Stetson's institutional subscription is approximately $710 per year. Faculty may register under our institutional subscription at any time.

What about the Research Paper Series?

SSRN sponsors the Research Paper Series to assist schools, departments or institutes in distributing their faculty's work in progress. This Series is intended to host pre-publication working papers and recently published articles from an organization's researchers.

Services provided for the research paper series include a staff person assigned to our account who will assist in expanding readership for our paper series. This person will train our working paper coordinator and even work with our authors if appropriate. They will also "nudge" us to submit papers. Our working paper series would be distributed to a subscriber list that includes our faculty, alumni, and anyone else we designate to receive this subscription. We will also receive a customizable RPS home page with a unique URL, links to all of our papers on our site, download counts for each paper and for our Series.

SSRN indicates that a series begins "with about 1,000 subscribers and increases to over 3,000 within a year or two." A free eSubmission service for electronic submissions to law reviews is also included as part of this package. It takes 3 to 4 weeks to set up a Research Paper Series for an institution.

Any negatives?

Download counts - Concerns have been raised about "gaming' the counts.

Other similar products?

University Law Review Project

Sign up to receive abstracts of new law review articles by e-mail or submit an abstract for distribution. This is a partnership among Stanford, Australasian Legal Information Institute, Juris, the Legal Information Institute at Cornell and Findlaw.


Provides electronic submission service to over 450 law journals at $2.00 per electronic journal submission or $6.50 per paper submission. Unlimited institutional memberships are available at $2,000 annually or per-manuscript credit limit with a 15 percent discount. Service originated at Berkeley.

What else should I know about?

Top 100 Law Review Lists

Most Cited General Law Reviews

  • Kincaid C. Brown,How Many Copies Are Enough? Using Citation Studies to Limit Journal Holdings, 94 L. Libr. J. 301 (2002). University of Michigan librarian compiled a list of citation-count studies (1930 - 2000) to assist with the library's decision as to the number of copies of journals to retain. However the article includes tables that can assist in determining where to submit articles for publication.
  • Most Cited General Law Reviews (by Impact Factor 1996 - 2002)
  • How Student Law Review Editors Select Articles - A review of University of Pennsylvania Law Review survey results.
  • Law Review Addresses - Current addresses for all law reviewed indexed in the Current Index to Legal Periodicals published by the Gallagher Law Library at the University of Washington School of Law.

Rebecca Trammell, April 2006