Science Direct and SSRN: Joining the dots between the preprint and the Version of Record

SSRN and Science Direct have joined forces to help researchers get easier access to the latest version of the research paper they’re searching for.

We’ve set up a new link so that if a researcher finds an SSRN preprint in Google Search or Google Scholar and they’re entitled to access a version of record of that paper, they’ll be automatically taken to the most recent published version on Science Direct of the article they were searching for. If the reader is still keen to see the preprint version, there’s a prominent link back to the preprint version on SSRN for them.

We’ve made these change in collaboration with our colleagues at Science Direct to try and address one of the big challenges in Scholarly Communications – how can we join the dots between the different stages of the evolution of a piece of research, from working paper to accepted manuscript to version of record? It can be tough to understand which version of a research paper you’re looking at, and even harder to know if a more up to date version is available. This change creates a living link between the preprint and the Version of Record, as our user research consistently shows this is something the research community is really keen to see.

Below is an example of the new flow when you search for the SSRN working paper you’re looking for on Google Scholar or Google Search…

…If you have access to the article on Science Direct, you’ll be taken straight to the published version of the article there. (If you don’t have access, you’ll be taken to the SSRN page as normal.)

If you still want to check out the preprint from SSRN, you can easily navigate to the SSRN article page by clicking on the SSRN link, which is highlighted below…

Similarly, if you’re on the SSRN article, and want to navigate to the Science Direct article, you can find a link, highlighted below.

For any SSRN preprint that does not have a later, published version, the user will still be taken to SSRN to access the preprint. Similarly, if a preprint does have a published version, but the user does not have access to it on ScienceDirect, they will not be redirected to the published version.

We hope that this change is helpful for people looking for the most up to date version of the paper they’re entitled to, and we’re going to continue exploring ways to make it easier for people to understand which version of the research paper they’re reading and how it connects to other versions of that paper. For instance, we will be exploring how we can work with other publishers to also provide links to their VORS on other platforms. If you have any questions, or have thoughts about this change, you can reach out to us at

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