I am a young scholar and I have a paper that is virtually finished. I was thinking about posting it as a working paper on SSRN to get more feedback and comments. However, I worry if it will be still possible to submit it to a journal.

After a search on an internet, I found that people from various fields disagree on this and I am not sure how it goes in economics. I am especially confused because my paper is almost finished, but I worry I might have overlooked something, but it is also possible that the final version will not differ at much. Thanks in advance for any useful advice.

  • 1
    Ask more senior people in your department. And maybe see if there is something about it on the web sites of economics journals. You want to avoid the situation where SSRN is considered "prior publication" and thus disqualifies the paper from that journal.
    – GEdgar
    Commented Sep 7, 2017 at 21:51
  • Your department may also have a working paper series. A lot of these are indexed/publicized by SSRN as well. So you may be able to get that distribution working within established channels in your department.
    – Dawn
    Commented Sep 7, 2017 at 22:11

1 Answer 1


The disagreement is not merely between fields, but even between journals in the same field, published by the same organization!

For example, the American Chemistry Society (ACS) recently launched ChemRxiv as the chemistry counterpart to arXiv.org in physics. However, as of the launch date, only The Journal of Physical Chemistry series of ACS allowed authors to submit to the preprint server.

So, you need to check with the requirements and rules of the journal to which you want to send the paper to determine what is permissible.

In any event, though, if you can't submit the paper to a preprint archive, you could distribute it to trusted colleagues for feedback before submission!

  • Your example indicates that Chemistry is not a field where acceptance of preprint servers is the norm. For mathematics, it is. If there should be some math journal not accepting papers previously available on the arXiv, then they are weird and noone should publish with them. The question here obviously is where economics falls into, and this is not an answer to that question.
    – Arno
    Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 7:57
  • @Arno: While this answer doesn't directly answer the question, it does give the OP some important information: If the OP finds that some journals do / do not allow prior posting, they cannot assume that will be the universal practice in their field. Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 8:46

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