How Academic Pirate Alexandra Elbakyan Is Fighting Scientific Misinformation

“In the decade since Alexandra Elbakyan founded Sci-Hub, science’s so-called “pirate queen” has amassed more than 85 million full-text research articles, which she’s made available, for free, to anyone who can track down her custom search engine. …

In the swirling chaos of the pandemic—and a new, or at least newly-acknowledged, era of digital disinformation—Sci-Hub kicked into overdrive. Its number of daily users has grown 20 percent, from 500,000 to 600,000, according to Elbakyan. During lockdown, people accessed articles about COVID-19 10 to 100 times more often than articles about other diseases. …”

Elsevier launches India COVID-19 Healthcare Hub to curb spread of misinformation

“A recent study showed that 67.2 percent of misinformation in India involves health-related topics, such as falsehoods on the COVID-19 vaccine, other forms of medical treatments, medical institutions, and healthcare facilities.

The same study also found that online media was responsible for higher volumes of inaccurate news (94.4 percent) in comparison with mainstream media (5.6 percent), with false claims being distributed mainly on social media platforms.


To address this problem, Elsevier, a global information and analytics business, launched its India COVID-19 Healthcare Hub for frontline healthcare workers and members of the public in India. It offers the latest evidence-based information along with information on the management and prevention of the virus, thereby limiting the spread of misinformation….”

Digital dreams of an Open Access Advocate- The New Indian Express

“Offering a steady platform for these whimsical imageries is The Heritage Lab (THL), a digital media foundation for cultural heritage enthusiasts.

Following the art world’s digital shift in the pandemic, THL has come to increasingly rely on the gifts of pop culture – GIFs, memes, stickers, jigsaw puzzles – and fuse these with images of Open Access Indian artworks (CC0/Creative Commons Zero designation) that exist in public domain for unrestricted use.  …

Under its Open Access awareness programmes, THL has two ongoing initiatives – ‘GIF IT UP’ that allows viewers to turn 13 artworks from Delhi Art Gallery (DAG) museums into GIFs, and ‘Indian Art Meme Maker’ with 30+ artworks from Cleveland Museum of Art, Smithsonian, Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met), and more, ready to meme. Its website ( even provides the designing tools and images to create your own artwork….”

Global Trends in Open Access: Themes from Africa, Asia and Latin America – The Scholarly Kitchen %

“The opportunity for researchers to share their findings and draw on the research findings of others is vital for researchers, policymakers and wider society. But all too often, the way that this process works is decided by relatively small numbers of countries and people –- often those based in the global North, in “elite” institutions or in large, commercial publishers.

Important voices can be missed and, as a result, important learning about what people have found already works around the world is not reflected in academia, policy decisions, and practice. 

In a recent Scholarly Kitchen webinar, I was delighted to be joined by great speakers from three continents, who are all experts in open access with different perspectives. This post summarizes some of the key themes discussed by Arianna Becerril García, who is based in Mexico, Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou, who is based in Cameroon, and Vrushali Dandawate, who is in India….”

Is Sci-Hub Increasing Visibility of Indian Research Papers? An Analytical Evaluation

Abstract:  Sci-Hub, founded by Alexandra Elbakyan in 2011 in Kazakhstan has, over the years, emerged as a very popular source for researchers to download scientific papers. It is believed that Sci-Hub contains more than 76 million academic articles. However, recently three foreign academic publishers (Elsevier, Wiley and American Chemical Society) have filed a lawsuit against Sci-Hub and LibGen before the Delhi High Court and prayed for complete blocking these websites in India. It is in this context, that this paper attempts to find out how many Indian research papers are available in Sci-Hub and who downloads them. The citation advantage of Indian research papers available on Sci-Hub is analysed, with results confirming that such an advantage do exist. 

Indian Contribution to Open Access Literature: A Study Based on OpenDOAR

Abstract:  The study provides a comprehensive view of Indian contribution towards open access repositories particularly the repositories in OpenDOAR. The DOAR contains a total of 5391 repositories. These are scattered among the five continents namely Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. A total number of 94 repositories are from India. Out of 5391 repositories, 901 (16.71%) were contributed by the United States of America, 544 (10.09%) by Japan and 311 (5.77%) by the United Kingdom. India has 94 (1.74%) repositories with 16th position. The paper gives an analysis of the subject areas of coverage, software platform, language coverage and type of hosting organisation of the Indian share in OpenDOAR.

Libraries Collaborates for Open Access to Archive of Prominent Urdu Writer and Activist | University of Texas Libraries | The University of Texas at Austin

The comprehensive works of influential Urdu writer, social critic and political activist Sajjad Zaheer are now broadly accessible for scholarship and study thanks to a partnership between The University of Texas at Austin and Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD), with endorsement from the Indian writer’s estate.

Announcing our new partnership with BAPIO—an OA global publisher promoting diversity in health policy and medical research – ScienceOpen Blog

“We are pleased to announce our new partnership with the British Association for Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO). We have collaborated to index two of BAPIO’s medical journals, The Physician and Sushruta Journal of Health Policy, in featured collections on ScienceOpen to increase their visibility and discoverability to a wider audience. BAPIO is a non-profit, voluntary professional organisation in its silver jubilee year, whose mission is to provide a global forum for health professionals to promote excellence in healthcare, education, research and leadership by promoting diversity, equality and inclusion for all. BAPIO as a national organisation, functions through a number of regional chapters, special interest forums and arms-length bodies and is closely affiliated to the Global Association of Physicians of Indian Origin. …”

Why I Won’t Review or Write for Elsevier and Other Commercial Scientific Journals – The Wire Science

“To the argument that shunning such journals will compromise science, I can only point out to many journals of repute published by scientific societies and academies worldwide (such as the Indian Academy of Sciences) that make all their published papers free (diamond/platinum open access) and are able to run their journals with modest subscriptions and advertisements. There have also been initiatives like Amelica and Coalition-S. The alternatives are there for us to adopt as scientists and scholars if we wish.

I realise that, for early-career scientists, publishing in some of these journals is still important because of the undue importance still given to them by academic institutions in their scientific recruitment and recognition policies. I, too, have published in these journals and realise I am implicated in the perpetuation of this system. I will respect the views and needs of students and others I collaborate with on where they seek to publish in or review for. But as a token of protest, I declare that where it concerns my own work I will not submit a paper to these journals or review a paper for them, until such corporate predatory practices end. I do realise that my action is a mere token and not enough. There is more I myself need to do to make science universal, free, and accessible….”

Article processing charge may be a barrier to publishing

Abstract:  Recently most of the journals charge a fee known as article processing charge (APC) for publication of an article. These charges can vary from journal to journal. This publication fee is often paid by the author, the author’s institution, or their research funder organization. Though low- and middle-income countries are usually exempted from APC, India does not come under the category of waiver by most of the journals that ask for the APC. Most of the Indian institutes do not pay for publication and research thus individual researcher suffers huge financial burden due to APC. Hence, less affluent institutions, scholars, and students are unable to publish their work due to these barriers. These articles highlight the challenges faced by authors and solutions for publishers and journals to avoid APCs.