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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:28 pm
Posts: 2889
Home Schooled: Yes
Location: I'm not lost! I'm locationally challenged. -John M. Ford
Pretty much everyone on this forum knows the pain of finding the perfect article, written by a brilliant professor, behind a paywall. Enter SciHub, which makes almost every academic paper ever written publicly available.

SciHub, started by a Kazakh grad student, acts as a sort of search engine which pulls a requested paper from a database of user-uploaded papers. What happens if you ask for a paper that's not in the database?

It goes and gets it, using donated usernames and passwords to journal databases. In short: you have access to almost any academic journal on the web. Publishers can't get it shut down, since she's, y'know, in Russia and Kazakhstan.

Wired (among others) argues that it's a long-overdue death knell for the monopoly on academic journalism, and I'm inclined to agree. Academic publishing, as it exists now, mostly benefits only the publishers. Sometimes not even the authors are compensated for their work, since their compensation is publication--i.e. notoriety. Thus, publishers' revenue comes from libraries, which are almost entirely funded by public money. Few private citizens actually pay the $30 to read one journal article, and instead resort to one of a number of ways of getting coveted articles--sometimes via twitter, with the hashtag #ICanHazPDF or, y'know, through online forums (*cough*). Academic writing clearly has a societal benefit, but publishers exist as a relic, feeding off of public money. ... eb/461829/ ... story.html

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
- Henry Kissinger

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 12:17 am 
Hint hint peoples.
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Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:18 pm
Posts: 1379
Home Schooled: Yes
Location: San Diego, California
Wow. Of course I learn about this the year after I graduate high school and now have college library access for databases -_- Jk, because even now there's some websites I can't access. Thanks for sharing this.


As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. -Psalm 42:1

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 5:00 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:15 am
Posts: 161
Home Schooled: Yes
Pretty much everything of the little I've read on copyright and "fair use" has confused me far more than clarified anything. Particularly the jurisprudence on educational purposes and what exactly that might/might not justify. I have been terribly inconsistent on how I treat the gray area in copyright law, but hopefully I've avoided things I know are downright illegal.

Just throwing this out there - I would recommend trying to make an informed decision about the legality of these things before you make use of them. Not because you're likely to get caught, and not out of any particular concern for academic publishers who make all the money off someone else's work; because respect for the law is pretty meaningless if it only counts when the law is convenient for us. Also consider Romans 13:1-2.
This is not an argument whether sharing academic research is illegal, just a request that everyone thinks about it objectively first.

Caleb Smith
Region IV Alumnus
Cog Debate

"But I declare that Carthage must be destroyed."
Cato the Elder

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