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What is SSRN?
Social Science Research Network (SSRN) This link opens in a new window
This open access collection of social science research working papers, accepted papers, published papers, and conference papers. SSRN contains abstracts of these papers. In many cases, the papers can also be downloaded as PDFs.
SSRN is subdivided into a variety of disciplinary networks, including the
The emphasis on working papers makes SSRN a good current awareness source, but be aware that not all papers in SSRN are recent.
Journal of Economic Literature
SSRN uses this subject system to classify papers. Scroll to K for the Law and Economics classifications. SSRN has linked these classifications so you can click and see all articles included in each subject division.
More Detail on JEL subjects
The American Economic Association provides these more detailed descriptions that can help you select the relevant heading (e.g., this notes that Constitutional law is covered by K10). Note: Studies about the market for legal services are classified under L84.
This allows you to drill down into different disciplinary areas and bring up lists of papers in each. In addition to accessing it from the above link, it is linked from the top of the SSRN and LSN homepages.
- Click on the plus symbol in the box to the left of the topic/journal you want to expand. Some topics will offer additional options to expand.
- When you have reached the topic or journal you want to open, click on the linked title.
- This will bring up a list of all articles in the selected category, with the articles most recently added to SSRN at the top.
- The article sort order can be changed using the drop-down menu above the article list.
- On the left menu, a search within results feature allows you to add search terms to winnow the list of articles.
You can search for articles in SSRN by word located in the following fields: title, abstract, author-supplied keywords assigned to describe the article, author name, and full-text of the posted article.
- The QuickSearch box at the top of an SSRN page allows you to search for the words you input in any of the available fields (as listed above).
- A search form allows you to specify the field you want to search. The form can be accessed through
- the search button or icon on the top of a page
- the Access eLibrary by Abstract and Author link in the left menu of some pages.
- When you enter multiple words in a search box, the system looks for all of them. (The space between words is treated as an AND.)
- In the Search Term(s) box, you can use quotation marks to do a phrase search (e.g., "legal research" will find that exact phrase.)
- If you enter both a first and last name in the author search box, the space between words will be treated as an AND, so you might get results beyond your intended author. However, note that author names are hyperlinked, so you can click on the author's name to bring up a list of only that author's works.
- After you enter your search criteria, click on the search button to bring up the articles meeting your criteria.
- the articles most recently added to SSRN will be at the top.
- the article sort order can be changed using the drop-down menu above the article list.
- Once you bring up your list of articles, a search within results feature on the top right allows you to add more search terms to winnow the list of articles.
After you have brought up a list of articles by browsing or searching, you can read the abstract and may be able to access the full-text through SSRN.
- From the article list, you will be able to tell if a full-text PDF of the article is available by looking for an icon to the left of the title
- means a full-text PDF is available for no-charge download.
- means a full-text PDF is available to download for a fee.
- Click on the title of the article to read the abstract and to download the PDF file, if available.
- Click on an author's name to see contact information and a linked list of all of that author's papers on SSRN.
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