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. http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/a ... eb/461829/http://custodians.online/https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/th ... story.html