Science magazine can’t defend its flawed business model.
"Should academic research be free? This question has been raging in the academic community for years now, though many free-the-data evangelists are not waiting for an answer, instead choosing to simply obliterate the paywalls by putting scientific research online anyway (illegally). The current Robin Hood of this movement is Alexandra Elbakyan, whose website Sci-Hub offers free, instant, and wholly unauthorized access to pretty much any academic research paper ever published. Her site is the focus of an excellent reported feature in the most recent issue of Science magazine by John Bohannon, which answers the question 'Who’s downloading pirated papers?' with a resounding 'everyone.' This story, and an accompanying editorial, were published Thursday and Friday and strategically placed in front of the paywall that curtains off parts of the rest of the site. While the news piece is compelling, the op-ed lacks the same self-awareness. In it, Science editor-in-chief Marcia McNutt professes to love Sci-Hub while also enumerating the dark and terrible costs of unauthorized academic downloading. She fails to make a convincing argument about either ..."