Social Science Research Network

"SSRN" redirects here. For the submarine, see USS Triton (SSRN-586).
Social Science Research Network
Producer Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc.
History 1994 to present
Languages English
Cost fee-free (monetarily gratis)
Disciplines Social sciences and humanities
Record depth Index, abstract & full-text
Format coverage Papers
Print edition
ISSN 1556-5068

The Social Science Research Network (SSRN) is a website devoted to the rapid dissemination of scholarly research in the social sciences and humanities. In January 2013, SSRN was ranked the top open-access repository in the world by Ranking Web of Repositories (an initiative of the Cybermetrics Lab, a research group belonging to the Spanish National Research Council).[1] In May 2016, SSRN was bought from Social Science Electronic Publishing Inc. by Elsevier.[2]


SSRN was founded in 1994 by Michael Jensen and Wayne Marr, both financial economists.

In May 2016, SSRN was bought from Social Science Electronic Publishing Inc. by Elsevier.[2]

In July 2016 there were reports of papers being removed from SSRN without notice; revision comments from SSRN indicated this was due to copyright concerns.[3] SSRN CEO Gregg Gordon characterized the issue as a mistake affecting about 20 papers.[4]


In economics, and to some degree in law (especially in the field of law and economics), almost all papers are now first published as preprints on SSRN and/or other paper distribution networks such as Research Papers in Economics (RePEc) before being submitted to an academic journal.

SSRN, like other preprint services, circulates publications throughout the scholarly community at an early stage, permitting the author to incorporate comments into the final version of the paper before its publication in a journal. Moreover, even if access to the published paper is restricted, access to the original working paper remains open through SSRN.

Academic papers in PDF format can be uploaded directly to the SSRN site by authors and are then available for worldwide free downloading. Publishers and institutions can upload papers and charge a fee for readers to download them.[5] Users can also subscribe to abstracting email journals covering a broad range of subject matters. These e-journals then periodically distribute emails containing abstracts (with links to the full text where applicable) of papers recently submitted to SSRN in the respective field.

On SSRN, authors and papers are ranked by their number of downloads, which has become an informal indicator of popularity on prepress and open access sites.[6]

SSRN has mirror sites at the European Corporate Governance Institute (London), Korea University (Seoul), Stanford Law School (California) and University of Chicago Booth School of Business (Illinois).[5]

See also


  1. "World". Ranking Web of Repositories. Cybermetrics Lab. January 2013. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  2. 1 2 "SSRN — a leading social science and humanities repository and online community — joins Elsevier". Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  3. Masnick, Mike. "Just As Open Competitor To Elsevier's SSRN Launches, SSRN Accused Of Copyright Crackdown". Techdirt. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  4. Straumsheim, Carl. "'There Isn't Some Big Conspiracy Happening'". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  5. 1 2 Jensen, Michael C. (2 February 2012). "About SSRN". Social Science Research Network. Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  6. See Bernard S. Black and Paul Caron, "Ranking Law Schools: Using SSRN to Measure Scholarly Performance", SSRN ID # 784764 (proposing that SSRN's download measure can be useful in ranking scholarly performance of law faculty).
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