Elsevier’s Scopus expands to include SSRN preprints

Elsevier, a global leader in research publishing and information analytics, today announces that preprints from SSRN, its world-leading early stage research and preprint platform, are now available through Scopus, Elsevier’s abstract and citation database. This follows preprints from arXiv, ChemRxiv, bioRxiv and medRxiv being indexed in Scopus earlier this year.

This development comes in reaction to feedback and requests from the researcher community, as demand for and use of preprints has jumped in recent years. At present, over 1 million Author Profiles in Scopus have 900,000 preprints indexed to them dating back to 2017. By the end of this year, approximately 170,000 SSRN preprints from 2017 onwards will be included in Scopus.

Elsevier data reveals that over the last five years, there has been a 148% increase in the number of researchers publishing preprints on SSRN. There has also been a 50% increase in the number of downloads of preprints on SSRN over the same period with downloads hitting 17.9 million at the end of 2020.

Preprints are an increasingly important part of scholarly communication. As a complement to journal publication, they allow the research community to share information or indicative results, indicate a direction of travel for a project, and help facilitate international and interdisciplinary collaboration.

SSRN data shows that the fastest growing disciplines[1] over the last year on its platforms were in economics and medical research. The rapid rise in medical research preprints has helped play a crucial part in advancing and accelerating understanding of SARS-CoV-2.

Preprints in Scopus are only available in Author Profiles that already have a peer-reviewed publication history. Preprints are more prevalent in certain subject fields compared to others. The preprint servers selected for Scopus are the main preprint servers in the areas of Physical Sciences (arXiv and ChemRxiv) Biomedical Sciences (bioRxiv and medRxiv) and General Sciences including the Social Sciences (SSRN). Additional preprint servers will be selected for Scopus as they arise in relevant subject areas.

SSRN is an open-access online preprint community. A searchable online library, it enables authors to post their papers and abstracts easily and free of charge providing an online database of early scholarly research. With over 2.2 million users, it lists 806,000 full-text documents and an additional 134,000 abstracts.

Gregg Gordon, Managing Director of Knowledge Lifecycle Management, Elsevier, said: “We have listened to the needs of the research community, this innovative development in Scopus will improve discoverability and ease of access to SSRN content.

“Preprints are increasingly becoming an integral part of the research landscape. As well as providing a valuable early opportunity to understand the direction research is heading, preprints are a positive way for early career researchers to receive feedback ahead of submitting articles to journals. 

“As evidence of how important they are becoming, preprints are increasingly included in formal evaluation processes for grant proposals and faculty reviews. 

“We recognise the need to continue speaking to our customers, learn from them and address their needs. The future for preprints is bright, and we look forward to ensuring we remain attuned to what researchers want.”