Friday, October 20, 2006

Trawling the Social Science Research Network (SSRN)

In a perfect world I would have time enough to study AND read everything on the internet. Alas. If the switch were flipped tomorrow, however, the first place I would start is the Social Science Research Network (SSRN). The SSRN publishes academic scholarship in economics, finance, accounting, management and law. The amount and quality of research on the site is staggering. SSRN is often used to distribute a paper, but it's also a great way to discover new ideas.

A quick perusal of today’s top ten list features a paper showing negative correlation between the prevalence of porn and rape, a paper on Obstacles to Educational Uses of Copyrighted Material in the Digital Age and a list of 21 constitutional curiosities by someone very familiar to this site. ;-)

If, for example if you’re a fan of the NY Times Bestseller, Freakonomics, the SSRN has a treasure trove of economist/author Steve Levitt’s academic publications of the research discussed in his book.

For law students, I recommend looking up your future alma mater (Houston, in my case) on the Top Institutions list. It will give you a feel for some of what’s going on in the faculty lounge and possible research opportunities down the road.

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