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How to use SSRN for research; tips for using SSRN to share papers.


When you're citing something from SSRN, first check to see if it has been published.

  • If the final, published version is on SSRN, cite that.
  • If the SSRN version says "forthcoming," check to see whether it has appeared. If so, cite that.

Not Published or Forthcoming

See Bluebook rules 17.3 (Forthcoming Publications), 17.4 (Working Papers), and 17.5 (Electronic Media and Online Sources).


When you are viewing an abstract, the navigation bar gives a URL like this:

But if you click on the link icon, you'll get a shorter URL, like this:

screen snip SSRN permalink box

You can also find the shorter URL in the Suggested Citation:

screen snip SSRN suggested citation

Suggested Citation box for Robots in American Law, by Ryan Calo

Even though the Bluebook has an example with the long URL (R. 17.4), use the shorter one.

Prof. Calo's paper could be cited:

Ryan Calo, Robots in American Law (Univ. of Wash. Sch. of Law Research Paper No. 2016-04),