Social Science Research Network

Last updated
SSRN (formerly Social Science Research Network)
Producer Elsevier
History1994 to present
Languages English
Costfee-free (monetarily gratis)
DisciplinesSocial sciences, Engineering sciences, humanities, life sciences, applied sciences, health and physical sciences.
Record depthIndex, abstract & full-text
Format coveragePapers
Print edition
ISSN 1556-5068

The SSRN, formerly known as Social Science Research Network, is a repository and international journal devoted to the rapid dissemination of scholarly research in the social sciences and humanities and more. In May 2016, SSRN was bought from Social Science Electronic Publishing Inc. by Elsevier. [1]

An institutional repository is an archive for collecting, preserving, and disseminating digital copies of the intellectual output of an institution, particularly a research institution.

Elsevier commercial academic publishing company that publishes medical and scientific literature

Elsevier is a Dutch information and analytics company and one of the world's major providers of scientific, technical, and medical information. It was established in 1880 as a publishing company. It is a part of the RELX Group, known until 2015 as Reed Elsevier. Its products include journals such as The Lancet and Cell, the ScienceDirect collection of electronic journals, the Trends and Current Opinion series of journals, the online citation database Scopus, and the ClinicalKey solution for clinicians. Elsevier's products and services include the entire academic research lifecycle, including software and data-management, instruction and assessment tools.



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

Michael Cole "Mike" Jensen, an American economist, works in the area of financial economics. Between 2000 and 2009 he worked for the Monitor Company Group, a strategy-consulting firm which became "Monitor Deloitte" in 2013. He holds the position of Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus, at Harvard University.

Financial economics is the branch of economics characterized by a "concentration on monetary activities", in which "money of one type or another is likely to appear on both sides of a trade". Its concern is thus the interrelation of financial variables, such as prices, interest rates and shares, as opposed to those concerning the real economy. It has two main areas of focus: asset pricing and corporate finance; the first being the perspective of providers of capital, i.e. investors, and the second of users of capital.

In January 2013, SSRN was ranked the biggest 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), [2] measured by number of PDF files, backlinks and Google Scholar results. [3]

The Cybermetrics Lab is a research group of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). The organization is responsible for editing the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities. Currently more than 48,000 web domains of academic and research organizations are analyzed and are ranked according to their web presence and link visibility.

Spanish National Research Council government agency

The Spanish National Research Council is the largest public institution dedicated to research in Spain and the third largest in Europe. Its main objective is to develop and promote research that will help bring about scientific and technological progress, and it is prepared to collaborate with Spanish and foreign entities in order to achieve this aim.

In May 2016, SSRN was bought from Social Science Electronic Publishing Inc. by Elsevier. [1]

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. [4] SSRN CEO Gregg Gordon characterized the issue as a mistake affecting about 20 papers. [5]

Starting in 2017, SSRN has been adding new disciplines in areas such as biology, chemistry, engineering, medicine, computer science and more.


Academic papers in PDF format can be uploaded directly to the SSRN site by authors and are then available around the world via download. Users can also subscribe to abstracting emails covering a broad range of research areas and topic specialties. These distributing emails contain abstracts (with links to the full text where applicable) of papers recently submitted to SSRN in the respective field.

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, so long as the author decides to keep the paper up. Often authors take papers down at the request of publishers, particularly if they are published by commercial or university presses that depend on payment for paper copies or online access.

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. [6] 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.

Email method of exchanging digital messages between people over a network

Electronic mail is a method of exchanging messages ("mail") between people using electronic devices. Invented by Ray Tomlinson, email first entered limited use in the 1960s and by the mid-1970s had taken the form now recognized as email. Email operates across computer networks, which today is primarily the Internet. Some early email systems required the author and the recipient to both be online at the same time, in common with instant messaging. Today's email systems are based on a store-and-forward model. Email servers accept, forward, deliver, and store messages. Neither the users nor their computers are required to be online simultaneously; they need to connect only briefly, typically to a mail server or a webmail interface for as long as it takes to send or receive messages.

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. [7]

See also

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  1. 1 2 "SSRN — a leading social science and humanities repository and online community — joins Elsevier". Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  2. "World". Ranking Web of Repositories. Cybermetrics Lab. January 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-06-29. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  3. "Methodology". Archived from the original on 2013-07-01.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  4. Masnick, Mike. "Just As Open Competitor To Elsevier's SSRN Launches, SSRN Accused Of Copyright Crackdown". Techdirt. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  5. Straumsheim, Carl. "'There Isn't Some Big Conspiracy Happening'". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  6. Jensen, Michael C. (2 February 2012). "About SSRN". Social Science Research Network. Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  7. Bernard S. Black; Paul Caron (2006). "Ranking Law Schools: Using SSRN to Measure Scholarly Performance". Indiana Law Journal. 81 (Symposium on The Next Generation of Law School Rankings). SSRN   784764 . U of Texas law, Law and Econ Research Paper No. 52; U of Cincinnati Public Law Research Paper No. 05-14.