Ranking Data Explained:
SSRN Top 750 Law Schools


SSRN compiles rankings of Top Organizations in many scholarly areas (e.g. Business Schools, Economics Departments, Law Schools) and in some cases divided by geography (e.g. U.S. and International). We do this in an attempt to measure the scholarly impact of the authors currently affiliated with the organizations represented in the SSRN eLibrary. SSRN will be creating similar lists for other major areas of scholarship in the future. The date the ranking was compiled is shown under the title on the ranking page.

To generate the initial lists of organizations by scholarly category, we used judgment (when necessary) to decide on which list an organization belongs (e.g. Law Schools, Business Schools, Economics Departments). We have since responded to requests from members of some institutions to move the organization to a different scholarly list. If you believe that your organization has been mis-categorized, please let us know by writing to CommentsSuggestions@SSRN.com. 

Each unit of an organization is allowed to be included on only one of these scholarly area lists. For example, the same unit of an organization (say the Dept. of Law and Business at University of X) cannot be listed both as a law school and as a business school.

Once a unit of an organization has been assigned to a scholarly organization category, the publicly available full-text scholarly papers of all the authors affiliated with that unit are assigned to that category also. The organization’s results are the sum of the results of the authors. Only statistics on publicly available scholarly papers with PDF files attached are included in the rankings. Private papers and papers with abstracts-only are excluded.

Note to Authors:
The list of authors affiliated with each Organization is available by clicking on the “Authors” link next to the name of the organization, and is based on recent information in SSRN´s Professional Directory (the date the ranking was compiled is shown under the title on the ranking page). If you are included in the wrong organization, you can correct your affiliation and other personal information through SSRN User Headquarters. If you see errors for other authors, please ask them to correct their personal information in the same manner. If you need to contact them, most authors have current email addresses accessible from their SSRN Author Page. You can get to their author page by clicking on their name in the SSRN system. If you see errors for others and cannot contact them, please click here to provide information to SSRN about the error and what you believe is the correct information. Changes will be reflected after the next monthly update.

Note to Organizations:
You can audit the faculty affiliated with your organization in the SSRN database by clicking on the Authors link for your organization in the Ranking table. That will take you to a page that displays all the authors in the SSRN database from your school (as of the date the ranking table was compiled, which is shown under the title on the ranking page). If you find authors on the list who are not on your faculty, please let us know by writing to CommentsSuggestions@SSRN.com.

If authors who are currently on your faculty are not listed there are several possible reasons: 1) the faculty member has no papers in the SSRN eLibrary, 2) they have no full text publicly available scholarly papers, or 3) the faculty member is not affiliated with your school in the SSRN database. To check whether a missing faculty member has papers in the SSRN eLibrary, please go to the eLibrary search page and enter the first and last name of the faculty member in the author search section. If you find papers associated with the author, please ask the author to add your school as an affiliation through SSRN User Headquarters. Please let us know if the faculty member has any problems adding the affiliation. We require an author´s permission to add an affiliation but are happy to assist in this task and to answer any questions. Once an author adds an affiliation to your school or department, papers for the faculty member will be included in your school´s rankings after the next monthly update.

SSRN provides four different ways you can get the papers of your faculty posted to the eLibrary. The level of service provided by SSRN for each of these options varies. There is a no-cost option as well as fee-based options that provide higher levels of service designed to increase readership of your faculty´s research. For information on these options, write or call Gregg Gordon at gregg_gordon@ssrn.com or 585-442-8170 in Rochester, NY.

Definitions of Measures used in the Organizations Ranking Table:
The ranking table provides a number of measures of the scholarly impact of the authors currently affiliated with the organization. The organization ranking reflects the interest in the organization’s work, and it is also a reflection of how much attention the organization’s authors receive on SSRN. An organization will have a higher ranking if: more of the organization’s authors have papers on SSRN, each author puts a larger share of their body of work on the site, and the more full-text papers vs. abstract-only papers the affiliated authors submit.

The importance of an organization cannot, of course, be captured by a single ranking. SSRN provides rankings based on a number of measures. These rankings are meant to complement other measures of an organization’s scholarly impact, including the quality of the peer-reviewed journals in which the work is published.) By providing valuable data not previously available, SSRN´s rankings can inform thinking about the productivity and scholarly influence of an organization. However, these measures have important limitations. Use them carefully and wisely. We solicit your views on how to improve these rankings. Please email us at: CommentsSuggestions@SSRN.com.)

Note on the Treatment of Multiple-Author Papers:
SSRN´s ranking statistics are calculated from data on all papers associated with an organization and/or all authors affiliated with an organization in the SSRN system. The papers associated with an organization are defined as those unique papers authored by one or more members of the organization. This means that an organization is credited for the downloads or citations to a paper once, even if the paper was co-authored by two or more members of the organization´s faculty. Thus, co-authorship itself does not influence an organization´s score on the measures that are not deflated by the number of authors. Also, if a paper is co-authored by individuals from different organizations, each organization receives credit for the paper.

General information about the columns:

  • The numbers displayed in each column that are not in parentheses represent the count of the measure named in the column label (for example downloads or citations). The numbers in parentheses represent the organization’s rank on that measure.
  • If the column header is underlined, then the column is sortable by clicking on the underlined header. When you click on the header again, it will re-sort in the opposite direction.
  • If you click on the “Authors” link next to the organizations name, you will be taken to a list of all the authors SSRN is counting as part of that organization.
  • Any data item in the table that is underlined (e.g. downloads, citations), will display a graph of trend data if you click on it.
  • Note on per paper and per author measures: SSRN does not provide per paper or per author measures when there are fewer than 5 papers or authors. These measures are statistically unreliable when the denominator is small, and SSRN displays (*) in those situations.
  • SSRN displays (-) in the table when the value is zero, for example when there are no new papers or no downloads in the last 12 months.

SSRN currently provides Organization rankings for the following measures:

  • Total New Downloads: The sum of all downloads during the last 12 months of full-text papers by all authors currently affiliated with the organization. Remember, only publicly available scholarly papers with PDF files are included in ranking data.
  • # of New Papers: The sum of all full-text papers that have been submitted to SSRN by authors currently affiliated with the organization in the last 12 months. Remember, only publicly available scholarly papers with PDF files are included in ranking data.
  • New Downloads per Paper: Total New Downloads divided by the # of Papers (see definition below). This is the average number of new downloads per paper during the last 12 months for all authors currently affiliated with an organization. This measure covers all papers, including older papers.
  • Total # of Downloads: The sum of the lifetime SSRN downloads for full-text papers of all authors currently affiliated with the organization. Remember, only publicly available scholarly papers with PDF files are included in ranking data.
  • Total # of Citations: The sum of the number of times that the full-text papers of all the authors currently affiliated with the organization have been cited by other papers in SSRN’s eLibrary. Remember, only publicly available scholarly papers with PDF files are included in ranking data.
  • # of Papers: The number of full-text papers that have been submitted to SSRN by authors affiliated with the organization. Remember, only publicly available scholarly papers with PDF files are included in ranking data. (In some cases, the SSRN eLibrary includes more than one version of the same paper. SSRN treats multiple versions of a paper as a member of a version group and this is being implemented throughout the SSRN site. Also see note on treatment of multiple-author papers below.)
  • Total Downloads Per Paper: Total # of Downloads divided by # of Papers. This is the average number of all-time downloads per paper for all papers by authors currently affiliated with an organization. This measure is not adjusted for the length of time that a particular paper has been included in the SSRN eLibrary.
  • Total Citations Per Paper: Total # of Citations divided by # of Papers. The total number of times that the papers of authors currently affiliated with an organization have been cited by other papers in SSRN’s eLibrary divided by the total number of publicly available scholarly full text papers of those authors.
  • # of Authors: The number of authors currently affiliated with an organization that have at least one publicly available, full-text scholarly paper in the SSRN eLibrary. This list can be viewed by clicking on the “Authors” link to the right of the organization name.
  • Total Downloads Per Author: Total # of Downloads divided by # of Authors. This is the average number of all time downloads for all authors currently affiliated with an organization. This measure adjusts for the different sizes of organizations.
  • New Downloads Per Author: Total New Downloads divided by # of Authors. This provides a measure of the current interest (in the last 12 months) in all of the faculty´s work on SSRN, adjusted for the different sizes of organizations.
  • Total Citations Per Author: Total # of Citations divided by # of Authors. This provides a measure of the intellectual impact of an organizations’s authors adjusted for the size of the organization as measured by number of authors.

Suggestions on How to Improve Your Organization’s Ranking:
If you are interested in improving your Organization’s ranking, we advise the following:

  • Encourage your faculty or affiliated authors who are not currently using SSRN to post their full-text papers on SSRN
  • Encourage your faculty or affiliated authors who are currently using SSRN to upload more of their full-text papers to the site
  • Encourage your faculty or affiliated authors who currently are “unaffiliated” in the SSRN database, to provide SSRN their affiliation to your organization

Caution: Do not try to game the system.
We have software in place to prevent gaming and SSRN does not look kindly on those who attempt to manipulate the system. We have taken downloads away from those found engaging in manipulation and authors can be banned from SSRN for attempting to game the system.