Ranking Data Explained:
SSRN Top 10,000 Papers

SSRN compiles rankings of Papers in our system based on a number of measures, such as downloads and citations. To be ranked, a paper must be a publicly available scholarly full-text paper on SSRN. Privately available papers are not considered in these rankings. The date the ranking was compiled is shown under the title on the ranking page and the number of papers ranked is in the title of the Ranking Table.

Definitions of Measures used in the Paper Ranking Table:
The importance of a paper 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 a paper´s scholarly impact, including the quality of the peer-reviewed journals in which the work is published. SSRN´s rankings can inform your thinking about the popularity and scholarly influence of papers. They provide valuable data not previously available. 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.

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 heading (for example downloads or citations). The numbers in parentheses represents the paper´s rank on that measure. The number of papers ranked is given in the Ranking Table´s title.
  • 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.
  • Clicking on an underlined paper´s title will take you to that paper´s public abstract page. Any data item in the table that is underlined (e.g. downloads, citations), will display a graph of trend data when you click on it.

SSRN currently provides paper rankings for the following measures.

  • Total New Downloads: Total SSRN downloads of a paper during the last 12 months. This provides a measure of the current interest in a paper.
  • Total # of Downloads: Total lifetime SSRN downloads for a paper.
  • Total # of Citations: The total number of times that a paper has been cited by other papers in SSRN´s eLibrary.
  • # of Authors: The number of authors named on the paper.
  • Total Downloads Per Author: The number of lifetime downloads per author for a paper.
  • New Downloads Per Author: The number of downloads in the last 12 months per author for a paper.
  • Total Citations Per Author: The total number of times that a paper has been cited by other papers in SSRN´s eLibrary divided by the total number authors.

Suggestions on How to Improve Your Paper´s Ranking:
If you are interested in improving your paper´s ranking, we advise that you:

  • Include the URL for your SSRN Author Home Page at the bottom of your email signature. Here is a suggestion: 

Electronic copies of my papers are available from the SSRN eLibrary at: 
 (where you put your SSRN author ID number in place of XXX. Your author ID number is the digits at the end of the URL on your SSRN author page.)
  • Keep only one copy of each paper on the web and post it on SSRN. Then link to that copy from your personal or institutional web page(s) where your individual papers are so that the user goes to the SSRN abstract page to download them. The short form URL for any of your papers on SSRN is:

 (where you put the SSRN Abstract ID number in place of YYY.) An added benefit of keeping your master copies of all your papers on SSRN is that you do not have to change anything if you should change your institutional affiliation.

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