SSRN’s CiteReader Project Update

Last week we released a project update to our reference and citation technology, CiteReaderCiteReader allows readers to view the references within a paper submitted to SSRN and the citations from other papers in the SSRN eLibrary, making it possible for users to easily go backwards and forward in the literature.

Here is SSRN Chairman, Michael Jensen’s message about the CiteReader Project:


We have been working on extracting references from all SSRN papers for 5 years as part of the CiteReader™ project that SSRN has undertaken with our development firm, ITX Corp. We have created a system to extract references and footnotes from PDF files on SSRN and to have that extracted data proofread by human beings. While this project is not yet complete, we are now announcing the release of over 6.7 million references extracted from the reference sections of over 182,000 papers on the SSRN site as well as over 4.2 million citations that we have linked to SSRN papers.

  • The references from each SSRN paper (where we have been able to extract them) can be found on the REFERENCES tab on the public abstract page for each paper.
  • The citations we have matched to each SSRN paper are available on the CITATIONS tab on the public abstract page for the paper.
  • These reference links provide an excellent way for any reader to go back in the literature in any area, and the citation links provide an excellent way to go forward in the literature.

Data on the Current State of SSRN’s CiteReader™ Project

  • Papers with Resolved References: 182,645 out of the 270,109 full text papers on SSRN
  • Total References Resolved: 6,689,847
  • SSRN Papers with Resolved Citations: 180,339
  • Total Citation Links between the Cited and the Citing Paper: 4,277,354
  • Papers with Resolved Footnotes: 60,721 (we are giving footnote extraction priority to papers with no reference section)
  • Total Extracted Footnotes: 6,899,585

NOTE: References in those papers on SSRN that do not have a Reference section have not been fully extracted as yet. We are working on this. These papers (primarily law papers) have their references in footnotes. This means that citations from law papers are currently dramatically undercounted in SSRN citation statistics.

SSRN is now extracting footnotes from all papers while giving processing priority to those papers with no reference section. We have extracted over 6.9 million footnotes from over 60,000 papers with no Reference sections thus far. These footnotes and the references we extract from them will also be appearing in tabs on SSRN’s abstract pages. SSRN is now perfecting the algorithms for extracting references from these footnotes. The undercounting of citations from and to law papers will be resolved over the next year as our algorithms are perfected and references from papers with no reference section are extracted from footnotes and linked to the papers being cited.


Michael C. Jensen
Social Science Research Network