Academic publishing, Sci-Hub, and the Ring That Rules Them All.
ab1630's bookmarks 2018-03-22
"Sci-Hub is often called “the Napster of scientific research”. The metaphor is good enough, but doesn’t say it all. The Napster metaphor conveys a lot of hidden assumptions: Napster disrupted the music and movie industry, pirating copyrighted content. At first sight, there is no difference with Sci-Hub, a website that allows users to download freely paywalled content from publishers’ websites. But there is a crucial difference: the industry of academic publishing.
Academic publishing industry is unique. Creatives make music, art, movies, and then sell it. Their business model is based on getting money for the value they put in what they produce. In academia, this is not the case.
Researchers don’t sell their papers. They sell their whole work as researchers: they teach, they publish, they advise dissertations. That’s the work they are paid for. But they don’t get money from the papers.
Now, enter publishers.
Publishers are for research what labels are for music and Hollywood for movies. They publish journals (which are made by researchers’ articles) and they sell them mostly to university libraries....
What Sci-hub does is an elegant solution to the problem, and the solution is as radical as it’s powerful: Sci-hub deliberately fights copyright.
We advocate for cancellation of intellectual property, or copyright laws, for scientific and educational resources. *
Cutting the Gordian knot, Sci-hub becomes simply the easiest way to find scholarly literature.
It’s access to research as it should be: a simple, usable, unique search engine for science. You ask for an article, you download it. It’s easy and effective. It’s a librarian dream.
Alexandra Elbakyan is crystal clear in this idea: Sci-hub is a goal...."