This post is a continuation of a series that I began last year regarding online legal research databases other than Lexis and Westlaw. The purpose of this series is to increase our law students’ awareness of other useful and cost-effective alternatives or additions to Westlaw and Lexis. Although 1Ls have only just received their training in Westlaw and Lexis, law students continue to receive extensive training on these two databases throughout their law school years. Many databases offer low cost alternatives to primary source materials, such as Fastcase* & Loislaw*, while other databases are excellent sources of secondary materials such as HeinOnline* and SSRN.
Whether you are conducting research for Law Review, your Advanced Legal Research requirement, or for a Professor, you will want to check SSRN for the most cutting edge research.
SSRN’s mission is “rapid worldwide dissemination of social science research.” SSRN contains the most current research papers; many of which have not yet been published in journals. Some of the disciplines covered by SSRN that may be of interest to our students include: accounting, economics & corporate goverance; cognitive science; social insurance; political science; and, of course, legal scholarship.
On SSRN you will find abtracts, working papers and downloadable PDFs of full-text articles. You can also add your own research paper to the network. SSRN’s elibrary is fully searchable or you can browse by topic and journal name.
Access to SSRN is free but you will be required to set up an account, entering your email as your username.
Also, check out SSRN’s iPhone/iPad app.
*Please see my previous blog posts.