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SSRN Search Tips: Intro to SSRN

What is SSRN?

SSRN is subdivided into a variety of disciplinary networks, including:

The emphasis on working papers makes SSRN a good current awareness source, but be aware that not all papers in SSRN are recent.

JEL Classification

Browsing SSRN

  • 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.
  • A search within papers feature allows you to add search terms to narrow the list of articles.

Searching SSRN

You can identify articles in SSRN by searching for words located in the following fields: title, abstract, author-supplied keywords describing the article, author name, and full-text of the posted article.

Accessing Search:

  • The QuickSearch box will look for the words you enter in any of the available fields.
  • The Advanced Search allows you to specify the field you want to search.
  • You can return to the search screen at any time by clicking on the SSRN logo in the upper left corner of the screen.

Advanced Search Tips:

  • 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(s) 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 allows you to narrow by adding additional search terms.

Accessing 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
    • Free download icon means a full-text PDF is available for no-charge download.
    • Download for fee icon 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.

Source: screen shots created by Drake Law Library

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