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Publishing for Legal Scholars

A guide to publishing for legal scholars


The Social Science Research Network, or SSRN, is an online repository with much legal scholarship. It is not only a repository of published material - authors frequently post both working papers and articles accepted for publication before they come out. 

Choosing when to post an article online is difficult. One the one hand, getting your ideas into the scholarly conversation as soon as possible stakes your intellectual territory. On the other hand, readers will be seeing a version of the article without refinement that comes from the editing and publishing process.

SSRN also has a service where paper abstracts are organized into subject-specific eJournals, and emailed to subscribers. Most subject-specific eJournals require a paid subscription to receive, while school-specific eJournals, like NUSL's, is free. To subscribe, you need to log into SSRN. The Law Library does not manage individual SSRN accounts; to recover your password, go to, click on “Forgot Password,” and use you school email address. 

Contact Elliott Hibbler for help in subscribing to eJournals or posting your article.

Note that while access to individual papers is free, and posting is free, SSRN is a commercial service. All faculty have access to SSRN

NUSL Research Paper Series

The Northeastern University School of Law Public Law & Legal Theory Research Paper Series in SSRN provides access to faculty working papers, accepted papers and published papers, which are distributed in the law school's monthly SSRN eJournal. Please contact librarian Elliott Hibbler at to submit a paper to the series.

Institutional Repositories

Many law schools have created institutional repositories to hold all of the scholarship produced by its faculty. Northeatern School of Law has a repository named DRS. Not all faculty scholarship is in the DRS - the school needs permission from the copyright holder to post the work online.

The Law Library also uses a BePress repository for faculty publications. Contact the Law Library to have your work posted there.

Other Databases

Authors do not submit articles to Westlaw, Lexis, or HeinOnline. Law reviews take care of that themselves.

The law library does not support uploading papers to ResearchGate. ResearchGate is a commercial database with a mix of author-submitted articles and articles that ResearchGate has found on the internet and uploaded themselves. This gives the appearance that more researchers are using them than actually are. 

The law library does not support Despite its ".edu" domain name, this is a commercial organization not affiliated with any school.