• Biodiversity: from research to policy?

    Biodiversity: from research to policy?

    SSRN is planning to launch a new content hub focused on Biodiversity at the end of September, in collaboration with our Elsevier colleagues Michiel Kolman (SVP Research Networks) and Paola Barr (Global Strategic Networks Analyst), who have also recently published a new report together with Valeria Rinaudo. Their report provides a global overview of biodiversity research with a focus on Dutch biodiversity research.

    SSRN got a chance to chat to them both about the findings of the report, and the importance of turning biodiversity research into policy action which will help address one of the biggest challenges facing humanity – protecting and preserving the biodiversity of our planet.

    Q: People might think of biodiversity as very much a biology domain issue, so I was interested to see the mention of informatics, big data, and even AI in the report, can you talk a little about that?

    Paola: When I looked at the research area distribution, I saw that two-thirds of the research is in the fields of agriculture and the environment. However, the field of biodiversity is very multidisciplinary, and we are seeing increased contributions from the physical sciences, engineering & technology, and the social sciences. For example, engineers are developing new technologies for conserving and restoring habitats, and computer scientists are developing new tools for collecting and analysing biodiversity data. AI is being used to develop new models for predicting the effects of climate change on biodiversity, and to identify new ways to conserve and restore ecosystems. In the same way that a decade ago we saw how these technologies boosted gene editing technologies (think CRISPR), allowing for massive advances in medical treatment, now the use of these technologies are allowing us to collect and analyse data on a scale that was never possible before, and has the potential to revolutionise the way we study and conserve biodiversity.

    Q: As you’d expect America and China dominate the field given the scale of their research output in terms of volume, but it seems like both African and South American researchers are also doing significant research in this space, do you have a sense of what’s driving that?

    Michiel: The standout for me is Europe, the Europeans are really contributing more than you might think and they’re outperforming the US and China, but if you look at the impact relative to the size of their research, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and Indonesia all jump out.

    Paola: In absolute terms, the EU stands out a lot. Typically the US and China tend to dominate in research output, so it seems to me that the data indicates the stronger focus that European countries are putting into this topic. Regarding the strong presence of Latin America, Indonesia and Africa, I suspect it is because these regions are more concerned and more affected by these issues (they are home to the most diverse ecosystems in the world and are also facing some of the most pressing threats such as deforestation, climate change and pollution). What’s really encouraging is that the research-intensive countries in Europe are reaching out to collaborate with countries areas where concern is really high and where biodiversity issues really have an impact.

    Q: The report mentions that Russia, India, China, and Japan are all underperforming in this context, why do you think that is? We used to talk about the BRICS – but I believe you single out Brazil as doing particularly well in this field…

    Paola: I think I can’t speculate on why, but I can say that I see a similar trend in research from these countries in other areas. For example, when we look at research output in the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG 13: Climate Action and SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy, we see the same kind of split. While Russia, Japan, China, and India show more focus on the technical areas of research, such as energy, innovation, and industry, in Europe you see more activity related to the broader concerns of climate change, such as social impact, health, pollution, environment, and circular economy.

    Michiel: We can say it’s a massive concern, Russia is a huge country as are India and China, home to much of the diversity on our planet, and the fact that they are so underperforming means that biodiversity is not high on their research agenda. We didn’t look at policies in this research, but you could speculate that it’s simply not that much on their policy agenda either. That’s of course very worrisome. These are massive countries with very strong influence globally – it’s great of course that Switzerland is doing pretty well in biodiversity research, for example, but it’s not going to change the world…

    Paola: You are also talking about areas that have a huge amount of influence not only in the production and use of fossil fuels, but also in the green energy transition. This includes the mining of critical materials, such as lithium, cobalt, and the rare earths needed for batteries and semiconductors. All of these activities have a strong impact on the planet and on biodiversity. We need to do all of these things to transition to a green economy, but there is a real concern that if we don’t do them with respect for nature and in a balanced way, we risk creating more damage to the planet than the other problems we are trying to fix.

    Q: You open the report with a reference to the Dodo, which is a wonderful symbol of the sadness of extinction. The Dodo reminds Lewis Carroll fans of the caucus race that the Dodo initiates in Alice in Wonderland, in which “everybody has won and all must have prizes.” As an image of the contemporary political response to the climate emergency – running around in circles and giving each other meaningless awards, that’s a tough metaphor to beat. Do you see signs of hope for biodiversity in what you learned from your report?

    Michiel: It certainly provides hope that we have outstanding biodiversity research of high quality, such as in the Netherlands; the research quality is really high; and is cited widely around the world. However if you look at my own country the Netherlands and our biodiversity track record, it’s down to about 20% of species since the 1700s. You also see that in the biggest political problems, climate change in general and issues around nitrogens levels in construction and in farming, and it’s just not being tackled. In the few areas of where we still do have nature there seems to be a disconnect in really moving to change things.

    Paola: I have some hopeful thoughts. It’s clear that this is a global issue, and it goes beyond national borders. The report shows a particularly high level of international research collaboration, which is a great because it’s only by working together that we can make any improvement. It also gives me hope that we are seeing more and more multidisciplinary research. We are making more use of new technologies to address this issue. The fact that some developing countries are actively involved in research is also a good sign. I am not saying that we are all doing enough, but these elements provide some hope. Initiatives like this (the report, the topic hub on SSRN) are also good for helping to promote the issue. We need people all over the world to be aware of the importance of biodiversity and put pressure on their governments to address it.

    Michiel: We have a specific small chapter in the report on biodiversity research in Africa, it’s really quite impressive, more than 10K articles, it’s got good collaboration between Africa and Sweden and Africa and Brazil, and in South Africa, the average FWCI is off the scale, so now we’re seeing not only quantity but also quality.

    Paola: We are also seeing a much higher than average number of citations in policy documents. The fact that governments are citing biodiversity research and using it to write policy is incredibly encouraging. Biodiversity research from some small countries, Netherlands, Switzerland, for example, is particularly highly cited in policies, not just within their borders but by the governments of hundreds of countries. This is a great example of how even small countries can have a big impact in advancing the cause of protecting biodiversity on a global scale.

    Q: A simple question – what needs to happen to improve global biodiversity in terms of both political policy and research?

    Michiel: This translation from research into impact is the most important part here – I see a disconnect here. The impact we need is in practical solutions, ten steps to improve biodiversity. We are going to have to take concrete steps to improve biodiversity, in the Netherlands and at the broader EU level, to steer towards big international policies, I really hope this report contributes a little bit: it’s great that we have an enormous amount of high quality research into biodiversity but it’s not really translating into actual policy on biodiversity.

    Paola: We need to not forget about biodiversity, we need to talk about it, we don’t want our politicians to forget about this, and this is very important. My concern is that while biodiversity is very important it’s not in your face so much as other problems such as inflation or war. I am very concerned that in the firefighting mode we are in today, it may not be addressed as urgently as it should be. Think about something such as the war in Ukraine: Russia is the largest country in the world and they are are not thinking about biodiversity, that is a big problem.

    Q: It does feel like the connection between research and policy is the key…

    Paola: Yes, I agree. There’s a new module in SciVal called Impact that shows how citations translate into policies. You can actually go and view those policy documents. I recently started using it, and I’m finding it to be a very exciting and useful development. It provides a further connection between research and its social impact, and that’s what it’s all about.

    Q: Have you been pleased with the impact of the report so far?

    Michiel: It has been picked up in the media, one Dutch University which is one of the leaders in Europe for biodiversity research has done their own press release, and tomorrow I am going to Hague to visit a Dutch MP who is keen to discuss the impact of biodiversity research on national policies which is also very surprising and encouraging.

    Paola: One of the very positive surprises is that this report has travelled a lot further than I had anticipated, there is a strong interest from many out there. I have produced some data points focusing on Europe and Italy in particular, and it has been picked up across the Italian media, from La Repubblica to La Mia Finanza and many others. We also had colleagues overseas at a conference in Indonesia who asked me for a regional cut from the report (Michiel also attended the conference) and so they’ve picked up on what we’re doing. Media in Brazil also wrote a feature from regional data I provided them with. Another colleague who works closely with the European Commission has also reached out to me for some data to see if we could do something there. People are really interested, they are listening. That was unexpected!

    You can read the Elsevier Biodiversity report here: Biodiversity research in the Netherlands and worldwide.

    You can check out the latest early stage research on Biodiversity in our new SSRN special topic hub launching at the end of September

  • New Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementias Hub on SSRN

    New Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementias Hub on SSRN

    Last week SSRN launched a new Special Topic Hub on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, which is a curation of early-stage research focusing on the effect that these diseases have on the brain.

    An estimated 50+ million people around the world currently live with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia, with a new case arising every three seconds.

    This hub presents research on the effects of dementia, which can impact memory, thinking, behavior, and emotion. It is posted in the month of September in support of World Alzheimer’s Day, which is on September 21st.

    You can find the hub and its research here.

  • Does interdisciplinary research attract more social media attention?

    Does interdisciplinary research attract more social media attention?

    Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Science and Education Evaluation (CASEE) have embarked on a new study focusing on the social impact of interdisciplinary research. They partnered with Elsevier’s International Center for the Study of Research (ICSR) and its ICSR Lab for the research.

    Professor Shiji Chen, who has been studying how interdisciplinary research influences science and society, and his colleagues hypothesised that because “interdisciplinary research is closely related to applied and societal problems that generally impact the general public, we thought it may receive more attention on social media than specialized research”.

    Their findings, available as a preprint on SSRN, find that interdisciplinary work gets more attention on both Mendeley and Twitter, and that the attention received comes from both academic and non-academic communities.

    Elsevier has written an extensive article about their research, which you can find here.

  • Allyship: what it means and how to best advocate inclusion & diversity in science

    Allyship: what it means and how to best advocate inclusion & diversity in science

    As part of our collaboration with Researcher Academy, we want to bring you useful information about all things research.

    The latest video is on allyship in research. It describes how allyship works in research, and outlines how important allyship is in fostering a diverse and inclusive research environment. Being a good ally requires more than the good will, but rather a full set of relevant knowledge and skills.

    Video doesn’t work? You can find it here. You’ll also be able to access any downloadable content and post comments. 

    You can find more information and more videos about all stages of the research process, from funding though to presenting your research to a larger audience, on Researcher Academy’s website.

  • SSRN launches new Motherhood Special Topic Hub

    SSRN launches new Motherhood Special Topic Hub

    Our latest collection of research focuses on everything to do with motherhood. It includes over 500 papers with a total of more than 55,000 downloads.

    SSRN’s Motherhood Special Topic Hub provides a curated view into new early-stage research addressing issues facing mothers and mother figures. It addresses the array of challenges encountered by working mothers and stay-at-home moms alike. These challenges span from balancing work and life demands, economic issues like wage gaps, to societal expectations, family care responsibilities, and personal well-being. The hub contributes valuable insights to the ongoing discourse surrounding maternal health and overall welfare.

    This is SSRN’s 15th hub, joining our other very successful hubs on Coronavirus, Race & Social Inequity, Cryptocurrency, Climate Action, Generative AI, and many others. You can find the Motherhood hub here.

  • Meet the Author: Dara Purvis

    Meet the Author: Dara Purvis

    At SSRN, June and July were Pride Month and Law Month respectively. We decided to combine these two topics, and so we reached out to Professor Dara E. Purvis of Penn State University to talk about her work in law and how it relates to pride topics. Dara is a scholar of family law, feminist legal theory, masculinities, and sexuality, gender identity, and the law. We spoke to her about transgender issues in schools, masculinity in politics and the role of preprints in law. 

    Q: You’ve written a lot recently about transgender issues, and I was struck by a comment you made in your paper about Trump, Gender Rebels and Masculinities from 2019, that transgender issues are partly controversial to people because they explode the gender binary, especially rigid ideas of masculinity. It seems that although the number of people directly affected by transgender issues is a very small number, it has sparked this tremendous national debate, certainly in the US but here in the UK as well. Why do you think so many people seem to find these issues threatening? 

    DP: I do think it gets at broader questions. In my work I’m particularly interested in gender stereotypes. For example, some of my work that isn’t about transgender people directly is about care-giving fathers and non-traditional families, and there are lots of examples like that of ways that we see different versions of gender in the world around us. I think that trans people present the clearest concept of that idea that most people have seen. I think that the average person who thinks, “Oh, my daughter might be a tomboy and really enjoy sports”, doesn’t think about what that means for stereotypes of a woman and man, or a girl and boy, or femininity and masculinity as much as with trans people. Being a tomboy does kind of work against gender stereotypes in a way, but in a much more familiar way. I think this is a backlash to realising that trans people exist, that trans children exist and need support. I think that it really confronts people with the idea that the assumptions that we make about gender may just be assumptions, and that there may be more possibilities for what it means to be a man, to be a woman, to be a non-binary person. Sometimes people feel threatened by that. Sometimes people resist that. Sometimes people don’t see that in themselves, and so they find it more difficult to understand how other people could be having a different experience in the world.

    QIt seems that we’ve come quite a long way in a short space of time and maybe that’s also part of the reason why this is such a big debate. Do you think people have to take some time to catch up?

    DP: Yes, I think there has been so much movement on LGBTQ+ issues generally, driven in large part by the courage of LGBTQ+ people to come out. Suddenly tonnes of people realised: I have a family member who’s gay. I have a friend who I grew up with who’s lesbian. People really had it brought home to them that these are people that I know. And again, I think that’s brave. I don’t think we had a vocabulary for what it was for people to question their gender identity in the past. And because the numbers of trans people are smaller, I think it’s easier for somebody to just live their life without being close, necessarily, to a trans person, and without realising what this means on a human level. The way that it really felt like a sea of change in attitude towards gay people, at least in America, and there was a significant backlash. I’m really struck by how many arguments from the 1990s are suddenly back in the mix both in politics and society. I think it is a symptom of progress, of changing ideas and reactions to that. 

    QI wanted to ask about the concept of ‘the heckler’s veto’ and how that’s involved in the debate about transgender issues in schools. Your paper describes how the reactions of other school children, and the parents of school children influence the debate on transgender issues. We’ve also heard a lot of cases surrounding books that have been banned because a small number of parents deem them to be inappropriate for their children. Could you talk a bit more about how a small number of people are able to tilt the debate so much?

    DP: I am looking at protection of student speech within schools under American law, so it’s a pretty specific legal doctrine. But there’s obviously a conflict between ideas. Do we let students express anything they want? Do we let them argue among themselves as they begin to develop political and just ideas about the world? And how do we do that while still teaching them? You obviously can’t just allow open debate on the politics of the day when you’re trying to keep teach kids algebra. There’s this balance of: we want to respect the ability of children to express thoughts, but we also have educational work to do.

    And so, there is this case from the 1970s, Tinker v. Des Moines School District. There were children who were protesting the Vietnam War by wearing black arm bands and they got into trouble with their school. The kids challenged the disciplinary action. It got all the way to the Supreme Court, and the Court said, ‘Well, we can balance this by ruling that we want to respect the students and we want the school to allow students speech as much as possible, unless it’s disrupting the educational work of the school, and unless it’s invading the rights of all the students” (although that second part has got much less attention). So, lawyers in America think of Tinker v Des Moines to say: you can try to respect student speech unless it becomes disruptive. A natural question is, what does disruptive mean? Disruptive means the reaction of the other students. If someone says something that’s off topic in a classroom, but no one really reacts to it, then the lesson just progresses and that hasn’t harmed the educational work of the school. But if someone says something and the other students get upset, and some or all of the students start to react in a negative way, that derails a lesson. Now the school can say, ‘Well, it was a material disruption, a substantial disruption to class.’ So, it’s the students – the other children in the classroom – who have the ability to react and who in their response to speech can justify the school restricting the original students’ speech. It gives significant power to the listeners of the speech. 

    One of the things I’m most troubled by is in states like Florida, where schools are explicitly trying to send messages about LGBTQ+ people being unacceptable and talking about LGBTQ+ people as somehow inappropriate for children. We have the power to tell children what is strange enough or inappropriate enough for them to react to.  What my paper is saying is, this isn’t happening in a vacuum. Children might react because their teacher has indicated something about gender. Maybe they’re reacting this way because their entire school day is structured into boys and girls, and so someone who challenges that is seen as abnormal. Given that context, I don’t think it’s appropriate for the school to be able to say, “Well, you can’t do that because your classmates might react in a disruptive way.”

    QIt seems that it makes it incredibly difficult to apply that rule across the whole country, because it works on a case-by-case basis. It does just depend on the reaction. Is that how you see it?

    DP: Absolutely. It’s not a bright line rule where you can say here’s a statement you can’t say in any classroom. It’s going to be different based on the community norms and the children in the classroom. Obviously, we have a wide spectrum of opinions and perspectives on the world, and throughout the country. And it just means if the school can say, ‘Well, things got disruptive, some kids reacted,’ then that’s enough, even if it’s a statement that no one would raise an eyebrow at in another part of the country. So, it becomes difficult to predict, is very dependent on where people are, how they’re being raised, what other messages they get from other places and people. The state might be restricting speech based on other beliefs or messages in the community around them. Can someone be out at school? Can a child be open about their gender identity at school? It’s going to depend on what school they go to and where they live.

    Q: In your paper from February on Transgender Students and the First Amendment you talk about American public schools as a significant venue in which matters of free speech are debated. Part of that seems to turn on whether we should see schools as places where we come together around shared ideas, or as places where we learn to disagree about the ideas we don’t share. For the benefit of our readers who won’t be as close to this debate in North American public schools, should we think about public schools as theatres in which much of this drama about free speech is being played out?

    DP: I have gone back and forth on this because there’s this idea in America that if we just let people express themselves freely, the best ideas will win out. I think a lot of people have questioned that idea more in recent years, because we are seeing so much misinformation. The way that people are dividing up by information that they hear, it doesn’t feel like a marketplace anymore. It feels more like people are going into silos. I think I and a lot of other people are questioning if this approach is working. That’s one of the reasons that I think it’s important to try to allow some kind of expression and debate in schools. Obviously, the solution won’t be to go to school and debate your classmates about politics for eight hours. You still have to learn math! But along with a sort of basic curriculum that you learn, the idea of trying to allow some kind of marketplace of ideas in public schools is that this is where we teach you to interact with ideas that you may or may not agree with, to respond to them in respectful ways, even if you disagree. To have a critical perspective about what you’re learning. In contrast, there’s this idea that no, we need to teach one way of thinking and one perspective. This is the information we want to give students. I think that’s the wrong approach. I think that American education has always tried to balance these two concepts of: there’s information that we want to give you, but we also want to teach you how to react to new information. How do you decide what you agree with? How do you decide whether something is reliable? How do you react to other arguments and other perspectives? That is education and that’s how you create an informed and capable citizenry that can then go out into the world and watch political speeches or watch political debates or read the newspaper with a bunch of different facts about a bunch of different things and filter that through some kind of lens of: how do I judge this information? How do I take this information to inform or challenge or support positions that I already have? If we don’t do that in schools, how are we going to expect adults to be able to do that? 

    Q: In your paper on Trump and masculinity from 2019 you write about how we can view the Trump presidency through the lens of masculinity theory and how that makes his stance on a lot of policies fall into place. In the run up to the Presidential election next year, how much of an actor is the idea of traditional masculinity in the race between Trump and Biden, if indeed it is between Trump and Biden, with Trump playing the macho man and Biden accused of being old and maybe a bit weak?

    DP: Absolutely. There are many examples of this. A recent example doesn’t even have to do with Trump, it has to do with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. who is challenging Biden in the Democratic primary. There was a brief video posted of him with his shirt off, doing bench presses, weight training, and there was this reaction to this of is the manliest presidential candidate, look at how manly this guy is compared to Biden, because we haven’t seen pictures of Biden weightlifting. By contrast, there’s been a lot of controversy about Hunter Biden, President Biden’s son, and there have been some emails and even voicemails leaked that were private between them. There’s one voicemail in particular when Hunter Biden was struggling with drug addiction, where President Biden leaves him a voicemail saying something like: “I want to support you in getting help. I love you no matter what. I love you. I’m your father. We need to get you help.” I think that should be considered manly – love, nurturing, unconditional support for a child. There’s emotion in President Biden’s voice, this is clearly something central, something incredibly important to him, and you hear the love in his voice. But we don’t see that as traditionally masculine. We don’t see emotional expressions from men as masculine. And I think we should. 

    And absolutely we’re going to continue to have this problem, whoever the candidate is. I suspect it will be Trump. And I think that some Trump supporters, particularly, buy into this traditional idea of what masculinity is. It’s winning. It’s being the richest guy in the room. It’s bragging about sexual assault. It’s not respecting the feelings of people around you because you’re the most important person in the room. Those are seen as masculine qualities. Those are reasons to support him for some people. And I think we certainly saw a lot of that when it was Trump running against a woman, when it was Hillary Clinton versus Trump because you did see a lot more explicitly gendered language. But you also see it in the contrast of Biden versus Trump. I think Biden is characterized as physically weaker than he is even, as mentally weaker than he is. 

    I think we see this anytime that a woman of either party tries to seek higher office. You see a lot of people say people on both sides of the political divide say, well, I would support a woman for President, Senate or whatever she wants to run for – but not this woman. Somehow, we never find the woman who actually can balance being a leader, being ambitious with not being a bitch. 

    Q: On that point, I’m interested to know how you transfer that to Kamala Harris and the work that she’s doing. There’s a sense that she’s not very popular in the US, and I wonder where you think that comes from. 

    DP: She is facing an even more difficult potential reaction from people because she has both sexism and racism working against her. People criticize her as incompetent in a way that I don’t think you see white men criticized. Certainly not someone with her accomplishments. And I really think it’s easier to characterize people according to stereotypes, harmful, racist, sexist stereotypes. It’s easy to just sort of fall into those channels. And I think Kamala Harris obviously challenges those channels in a whole lot of ways – she’s a woman who took on a position that requires a lot of ambition and being assertive, being a lawyer, being a prosecutor before she went into politics. This really cuts against stereotypes of femininity. You know, being a brilliant verbal speaker, arguer and mastering legal doctrine and then going into the Senate and taking all these high-profile roles is also very against stereotypes of non-White people. We just saw the Supreme Court at the end of its most recent term strike down affirmative action policies, for the most part, at Universities, and the immediate response from a large segment of society was, well, obviously these people didn’t deserve to be there. There’s just an immediate current and swell of questioning the competence and intelligence of non-White people. And so, for her as a non-white woman in roles that really demonstrate her intelligence, there’s a real reaction to that. You get a backlash to something that challenges unspoken or sometimes spoken assumptions. I think there’s a real current of ‘We can’t admit that this woman is smart, we can’t admit that this woman is competent, and so we need to insult her. We need to minimize the work that she does. We need to side-line her in a way.’

    Q: I want to ask about the role of preprints in your world, given how feverish legal debates have become around issues such as transgenderism. Do preprints help in getting different sides of the argument out there quickly and make them readily available to any who want to read them?

    DP: Yes. So, the American law reviews tends to have, and I guess all academic publications tend to have, a long timeline. But particularly if you’re someone like me who writes about very current political and legal issues – I think my article, Transgender Students and the First Amendment is going to come out in print next year, I’m not sure exactly what month yet, and I’m excited for it to come out and to have it in print – but it is going to be a long lead time when there are state legislative actions and court decisions and things happening as it progresses. So, it’s really valuable for me to be able to get this out there, because I hope that this is useful to practitioners. 

    I want to write for the interest of other legal academics, but I hope that some lawyers see it, I hope that potentially some judges see it and I hope that this is of use to people in practice. I am currently at Penn State Law, and I will be for the next year. But I’m going to be joining the faculty at Temple Law next summer, and the Dean at Temple, Rachel Rebouche, co-wrote an incredibly important article on abortion with David Cohen and Greer Donley, two other law professors, before Dobbs came out. And it was cited and had impact nationally before it came out, in preprint, and because we could all access it online and because it was incredibly important and timely and helpful to talk about what was going to happen in Dobbs. Publishing, obviously, is not an afterthought. It’s still important. But the impact that that paper had was because we could get it on SSRN, and everyone could just email a quick link and it was out. 

    Here are Dara Purvis’ most recent papers, all available on SSRN:

    1. Transgender Students and the First Amendment
    2. Frozen Embryos, Male Consent, and Masculinities
    3. Gender Stereotypes and Gender Identity in Public Schools
    4. Trump, Gender Rebels, and Masculinities
    5. Police Sexual Violence: Police Brutality, #MeToo, and Masculinities

    You can check out her SSRN author profile here.

  • SSRN and the Financial Times on ESG research

    SSRN and the Financial Times on ESG research

    SSRN has partnered with the Financial Times to provide data for their report on environmental, social and governance (ESG) research.

    The Financial Times report noted that SSRN articles on ESG were the most popular of all the papers downloaded by organisations from SSRN over the past three years, with many of these papers focused on the ‘E’, or environmental, part of this topic.

    You can read the full article on the Financial Times here, which also lists the top 20 SSRN papers on ESG by downloads.

    If you’d like to read some of the papers, SSRN has a special topic hub on ESG research, where you can view the latest papers on this topic.

  • Law Month on SSRN

    Law Month on SSRN

    July is Law Month on SSRN. We’ll be showcasing papers which have everything and anything to do with law topics.

    To follow law topics on SSRN, you can view our legal scholarship network and all the papers posted here. You can also subscribe to eJournal alerts to get the latest papers regularly sent to your email.

    Below is a list of papers that have been tweeted from our Twitter page already, as well as some that are upcoming. If you have a paper you’d like to see posted, let us know at ideas@ssrn.com.

  • A Mid-Year Update from CEO Gregg Gordon

    A Mid-Year Update from CEO Gregg Gordon

    SSRN Community,

    Thank you! While many of us continue to face challenges and the world is certainly facing some hard problems, we are seeing incredible growth at SSRN. Growth in the sharing of ideas and research that will help make the world a better place for all of us. The eLibrary Database has grown to 1.24 million papers from 1.28 million researchers, and those papers are being downloaded close to 40 million times a month. SSRN’s database now covers all disciplines and the sharing in and across them is inspiring. SSRN has become a critical part of the knowledge lifecycle and the sharing of research perspectives, through cross disciplinary classifications and the Special Topic Hubs, helps move ideas forward. 

    Our Special Topic Hubs have grown to 14 and have been downloaded millions of times; Climate Hub (1800 papers), Race & Social Equity Hub (2700 papers), Pride Month Hub (1300 papers), Human Rights Hub (30,000 paper), International Women’s Day Hub(32,000 papers), World Health Hub (5600 papers). The Hubs continue to be an important source of the latest research intersecting multiple disciplines.

    We also completely revised the SSRN Blog and added several new features. One that I especially enjoy is the Meet the Authorseries; it gives me insight into the minds of some very smart researchers. There is a post about my recent plenary panel at Society of Scholarly Publishers’ Annual Meeting in Portland and a monthly research focus. May’s focus area was Large Language Models (LLMs), which married up perfectly with the new Generative AI Special Topic Hub

    As I have said continually over the last twenty years, sharing and discussing research is the best way to solve hard problems and we have plenty of hard problems right now. Please read the research on SSRN and share your research on SSRN – it really matters. The entire SSRN team loves helping researchers share their research because we know it makes a difference. And, please share your stories with us through email and social media.

    We will take a break 3 July to 16 July 2023 and resume distribution on Monday 17 July. During this time SSRN will not distribute eJournals or announcements. However, our staff will be working; supporting the Research Hubs, processing submissions, answering emails, and providing support as usual. In observance of Independence Day in the US, the SSRN office will be closed 3rd and 4th of July 2023.

    Thank you and as always, please let me know what you like about SSRN or how we can make it better.

    Stay safe and be well,

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  • Rebuilding submissions at SSRN

    Rebuilding submissions at SSRN

    The product and development team at SSRN in collaboration with the rest of the business are working hard to develop and test and new submission experience for our platform. We’re are going to completely replace the current submission form with a new experience that we hope will be easier to understand and simple to use.

    We’d love to hear your input whilst we are in our design and discovery stage. Do you have any thoughts on what you’d like to see from our new submission experience? We’re currently conducting user interview, so if you have strong feelings about how submissions work at SSRN, we’d love to hear from you. You can get in touch at ideas@ssrn.com.

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screenshot-2023-07-03-at-10.17.45.png
    SSRN’s current submission form