2016-02-15 With Regards from Russia

Thank you, Alexandra Elbakyan!

Pirate Bay of Science? “A researcher in Russia has made more than 48 million journal articles - almost every single peer-reviewed paper every published - freely available online.”

Some radical thoughts about Sci-Hub: “Instead we should focus on what the law is intended to accomplish, where and why it fails in its purpose, and how we can make it more adaptable for the digital age.”

This renowned mathematician is bent on proving academic journals can cost nothing: “So the new journal will work like this: Researchers can submit a paper to the ArXiv, where the article is posted online for commenting. They can then go to the Discrete Analysis website and simply paste the URL for the ArXiv pre-print, add their contact details, and submit. The journal will then coordinate peer review (using Scholastica software) and if a paper is accepted, ask the authors to produce a revision of their article to respond to any comments. Once it’s in good shape, the article will get posted to the Discrete Analysis website and the authors can post the final version to the ArXiv, says Gowers.”

Edward Morbius introduces Pamela Samuelson: “Open Access (OA) is an excellent goal. I applaud it. But it’s the tip of the iceberg.” And Pamela Samuelson: Aaron Swartz: Opening access to knowledge, back in 2013. “There was a time when access to knowledge was promoted through grants of copyrights to authors who typically transferred them to publishers. Now copyright has become the single most serious impediment to access to knowledge.”

Paul J. Heald, How Copyright Keeps Works Disappeared. “A random sample of new books for sale on Amazon.com shows more books for sale from the 1880’s than the 1980’s. Why? This paper presents new data on how copyright stifles the reappearance of works. First, a random sample of more than 2000 new books for sale on Amazon.com is analyzed along with a random sample of almost 2000 songs available on new DVD’s. Copyright status correlates highly with absence from the Amazon shelf. Together with publishing business models, copyright law seems to deter distribution and diminish access.”

A spiritual successor to Aaron Swartz is angering publishers all over again: Meet accused hacker and copyright infringer Alexandra Elbakyan, by David Kravets. Interview questions, comparisons between the two, recent developments, on the importance of fighting back.

Who's downloading pirated papers? Everyone. “For Elbakyan herself, the future is even more uncertain. Elsevier is not only charging her with copyright infringement but with illegal hacking under the U.S. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. ’There is the possibility to be suddenly arrested for hacking,’ Elbakyan admits. Others who ran afoul of this law have been extradited to the United States while traveling. And she is fully aware that another computer prodigy–turned-advocate, Aaron Swartz, was arrested on similar charges in 2011 after mass-downloading academic papers. Facing devastating financial penalties and jail time, Swartz hanged himself.”

A short argumentation by Edward Morbius on Google+.

Piracy site for academic journals playing game of domain-name Whac-A-Mole. “Elsevier is the same New York publisher that the late Aaron Swartz had noted in his “Guerilla Open Access Manifesto” that told academics and researchers they had a “duty” to free the knowledge they were privileged to read behind Elsevier’s paywall.” Or, as Edward Morbius put it on Google+: “Have you found it curious how Elsevier hasn’t made the case that all those hardworking researchers are being denied fruits of their labour? Because they’re not.”

SSRN has been captured by the enemy of open knowledge. “For example, one of the more egregious of their yearly subscription rates is the Journal of Nuclear Materials, which will cost libraries $7,442.14 for an electronic subscription, or $11,164.00 for a print subscription. [...] Of course, as an author, you can always choose to make your paper open access. The fee for doing so? $3,500.”

All European scientific articles to be freely accessible by 2020. “Open access means that scientific publications on the results of research supported by public and public-private funds must be freely accessible to everyone. That is not yet the case. The results of publicly funded research are currently not accessible to people outside universities and knowledge institutions. As a result, teachers, doctors and entrepreneurs do not have access to the latest scientific insights that are so relevant to their work, and universities have to take out expensive subscriptions with publishers to gain access to publications.”

We've failed: Pirate black open access is trumping green and gold and we must change our approach. “Yet, while we have been bickering about the true path to open access nirvana, the pirates have crept up on us, especially in the form of Sci-Hub, which is self-reporting more than 60 million articles freely available (Sci-Hub, 2017) and could have harvested nearly all scholarly literature (Himmelstein, Romeo, McLaughlin, Greshake, & Greene, 2017) – if true, Sci-Hub has single-handedly won the race to make all journal articles open access.” For some context, see John Baez on G+.



I am interested in an article. It costs $41.

Here’s a preprint by somebody else: Pace and Critical Gradient for Hill Runners: An Analysis of Race Records.

– Alex Schroeder 2016-05-23 20:33 UTC

I’m not sure if I get it. You’ve just mentioned sci-hub, and then you’re saying that you cannot access some article?


By the way, even though I have access to most of the articles through my university, I still use sci-hub all the time. There’s just no reason not to.

– AlexDaniel 2016-05-24 08:12 UTC

I’m collecting sci-hub links because I’m interested in copyright in the context of scientific journals, but since I’m no longer actively researching anything, I haven’t actually used it. And when I was faced with that price tag, it seemed easier to simply google for the paper title and see what comes up instead of figuring out how sci-hub actually works.

Good to know that it’s simple to use, though. :)

– Alex Schroeder 2016-05-24 12:32 UTC

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