“Sci-Hub, a shadow library that offers a free gateway to paywalled academic research, has lost control over one of its main domain names. Sci-Hub.se was deactivated by The Internet Foundation in Sweden, which manages the country’s .se domains. The action came without warning and took Sci-Hub founder Alexandra Elbakyan by surprise.”
Advice on using many different methods, some lawful, some not.
“To build this future for our society, we need to adopt the Guerilla Open Access Manifesto to inverse the information asymmetry between citizens and Big Tech-Big Government. This can only happen if we build alternative networks of information infrastructures that support these ideas. These information networks can’t be built overnight, but we need to strive towards them. Sci-Hub and LibGen are some examples of these information infrastructures and not only do we need to support them, we need to build more of them.”
Abstract: Despite the advance of the Open Access (OA) movement, most scholarly production can only be accessed through a paywall. We conduct an international survey among researchers (N??=??3304) to measure the willingness and motivations to use (or not use) scholarly piracy sites, and other alternatives to overcome a paywall such as paying with their own money, institutional loans, just reading the abstract, asking the corresponding author for a copy of the document, asking a colleague to get the document for them, or searching for an OA version of the paper. We also explore differences in terms of age, professional position, country income level, discipline, and commitment to OA. The results show that researchers most frequently look for OA versions of the documents. However, more than 50% of the participants have used a scholarly piracy site at least once. This is less common in high-income countries, and among older and better-established scholars. Regarding disciplines, such services were less used in Life & Health Sciences and Social Sciences. Those who have never used a pirate library highlighted ethical and legal objections or pointed out that they were not aware of the existence of such libraries.
“Academic publishers have tried various options to shut down Sci-Hub, without the desired result. Thus far, it appears that the site’s reach is only growing. A new study among thousands of researchers finds that the majority use pirate libraries to bypass paywalls. Lack of access is cited as the prime reason but, worryingly, many researchers also find shadow libraries easier to use than legal alternatives….”
“OKFN: What does the process of chasing and taking down Z-Library mean for the concept of open knowledge?
Balász Bodó: When I read the news that these two Russian individuals have been detained, I thought, well, history has come to a full circle. I don’t know these people, how old they are, I assume they are in their thirties. But certainly, their parents or their grandparents may have been or could have easily been detained by the Soviet authorities for sharing books that they were not supposed to share. And now, 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, people are again detained for sharing books – for a different reason, but it’s the same threat, ‘You’re gonna lose your freedom if you share knowledge’. …”
Abstract: Shadow libraries have gradually become key players of scientific knowledge dissemination, despite their illegality in most countries of the world. Many publishers and scientist-editors decry such libraries for their copyright infringement and loss of publication usage information, while some scholars and institutions support them, sometimes in a roundabout way, for their role in reducing inequalities of access to knowledge, particularly in low-income countries. Although there is a wealth of literature on shadow libraries, none of this have focused on its potential role in knowledge dissemination, through the open access movement. Here we analyze how shadow libraries can affect researchers’ citation practices, highlighting some counter-intuitive findings about their impact on the Open Access Citation Advantage (OACA). Based on a large randomized sample, this study first shows that OA publications, including those in fully OA journals, receive more citations than their subscription-based counterparts do. However, the OACA has slightly decreased over the seven last years. The introduction of a distinction between those accessible or not via the Sci-hub platform among subscription-based suggest that the generalization of its use cancels the positive effect of OA publishing. The results show that publications in fully OA journals (and to a lesser extent those in hybrid journals) are victims of the success of Sci-hub. Thus, paradoxically, although Sci-hub may seem to facilitate access to scientific knowledge, it negatively affects the OA movement as a whole, by reducing the comparative advantage of OA publications in terms of visibility for researchers. The democratization of the use of Sci-hub may therefore lead to a vicious cycle against the development of fully OA journals.
Abstract: Despite the advance of the Open Access (OA) movement, most scholarly production can only be accessed through a paywall. We conduct an international survey among researchers (N=3,304) to measure the willingness and motivations to use (or not use) scholarly piracy sites, and other alternatives to overcome a paywall such as paying with their own money, institutional loans, just reading the abstract, asking the corresponding author for a copy of the document, asking a colleague to get the document for them, or searching for an OA version of the paper. We also explore differences in terms of age, professional position, country income level, discipline, and commitment to OA. The results show that researchers most frequently look for OA versions of the documents. However, more than 50% of the participants have used a scholarly piracy site at least once. This is less common in high-income countries, and among older and better-established scholars. Regarding disciplines, such services were less used in Life & Health Sciences and Social Sciences. Those who have never used a pirate library highlighted ethical and legal objections or pointed out that they were not aware of the existence of such libraries.
“Search engine of shadow libraries: books, papers, comics, magazines. ?? Z-Library, Library Genesis, Sci-Hub. ?? Fully resilient through open source code and data. ?? Spread the word: everyone is welcome here!…”
“Last month, Z-Library – one of the world’s most popular ‘shadow libraries’, or unlicensed eBook databases – was shut down by the FBI. Two of its alleged operators, both Russian nationals, were arrested in Argentina on behalf of the US authorities and charged with criminal copyright infringement. Z-Library, which archived 11 million books and 84 million articles, had a good claim to being the largest resource of its kind, and had managed to skirt serious legal action since it first emerged as a replica, or mirror, of Library Genesis (LibGen) in 2009.
After the arrests, most of the domains associated with Z-Library were overwritten by an FBI seizure notice, but the repository was still accessible via Tor and other anonymising browsers. A few days after the official indictment the remaining Z-Librarians realised a statement. They expressed regret at the arrests and apologised to any writers who had ‘suffered’ because of the site, but stuck to the principles that had guided its creation. ‘We believe,’ they wrote, ‘that the knowledge and cultural heritage of mankind should be accessible to all people around the world, regardless of their wealth, social status, nationality [or] citizenship.’ The democratisation of knowledge, they maintained, was Z-Library’s ‘only purpose’. They quoted a few lines from Queen’s ‘The Show Must Go On’, and went silent….”
The current scholarly publishing system is detrimental to the pursuit of knowledge and needs a radical shift. Publishers have already anticipated new trends and have tried to protect their profits.
Current publishers’ power stems from the historical roots of their journals – and researchers are looking for symbolic status in the eye of their peers by publishing in renowned journals.
To counter them effectively, we need to identify obstacles that researchers themselves might face. Journals still perform some useful tasks and it requires effort to devise working alternatives.
There have already been many attempts and partial successes to drive a new shift in scholarly publishing. Many of them should be further developed and generalised.
In this excerpt from a report prepared by the Basic Research Community for Physics, the authors discuss these successes and make recommendations to different actors….”
“The “Robin Hood of Science” continues to provide more than 60 million scientific papers to anyone in the world for free at https://sci-hub.st/. Sci-Hub is the portal with the quickest, easiest, and greatest access to science, but there’s a catch.”
“The Delhi High Court has rejected Alexandra Elbakyan’s application seeking withdrawal of an earlier admission accepting the copyright ownership of publishing houses Elsevier, Wiley and American Chemical Society in an ongoing lawsuit.”
“Let’s configure Zotero so when a publications is not publicly available we use sci-hub to download it anyway automatically. To do that, we are going to add a custom PDF resolver. Don’t worry, it’s actually pretty simple and certainly illegal in most country (but we will use a secure connection, so nobody can know what you download from sci-hub)….”
“Participant criteria: If you meet these criteria and are interested in contributing to a better understanding of research literature acquisition, please consider filling out this consent form and intake survey to be a potential research study participant:
Self-identify as a scholar or researcher (e.g. teach, do research, and/or publish scholarship)
May or may not be affiliated with a higher education institute
Located in the United States or affiliated with an institution in the United States
Have used Sci-Hub, Library Genesis (LibGen), Reddit/Scholar, Twitter (#ICanHazPDF) or some other online space to access research literature that you used (or plan to use) to complete your own research….
The purpose of this study is to illuminate how scholars’ engagement with and acquisition of research literature on academic pirate networks may reflect their conception of their scholarly identity which may include considerations of alienation from, resistance to, or negotiation with demands of the neoliberal academy.
The phenomenographic study will address the following research question: How do scholars explain their experiences in participating on academic pirate networks?…”