Legal Scholarship Network – “Tomorrow’s Research Today”

We are huge fans of the Legal Scholarship Network, part of the Social Science Research Network, and not just because seemingly all of the Stanford faculty are its journal editors.  Many posts to Legal Research Plus come from the Legal Scholarship Network journals.  In our advanced legal research class we tell our students that HeinOnline covers the past of law reviews and that the Legal Scholarship Network presents the future.   Here is some interesting information from the 2008 SSRN Mid-Year President’s Letter which we received just today:


SSRN has reached several milestones this year and it’s only June. First, the SSRN eLibrary ( grew to 190,000 documents (and is growing at the rate of 40,000 documents per year), the number of SSRN authors now exceeds 95,000, and we are close to 22 million downloads to date. In December, I predicted we would reach 20 million downloads by this fall and I am delighted to be proven wrong. Downloads of full text documents have been averaging over 600,000 per month this year and we expect 25 million total downloads by the end of the year.

. . .

As SSRN’s use has increased so has its reputation as a source of scholarship. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the U.S. Supreme Court cited a SSRN working paper in its recent Boumediene v. Bush opinion (actually the second time a SSRN working paper was cited this year by the Court) and several law blogs report these to be the first ever citations to working papers in Supreme Court opinions. We are pleased to see that the Court values SSRN’s “Tomorrow’s Research Today.” Thanks to the law bloggers for keeping me informed and to all of you for contributing to SSRN’s scholarship.

Noam Cohen, from The New York Times, wrote an article ( last week about SSRN, discussing the effect of SSRN’s rankings on scholarship that you may find interesting. I have received complimentary emails and a few good ideas about improving SSRN as a result of the article. Tim Kane posted his interview of SSRN Chairman Michael Jensen regarding SSRN’s history on the Growthology Blog (

. . .

Gregg Gordon
Social Science Research Network

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