leaking in Sollfrank 2018

i-Hub is an online service that processes requests for
pay-walled articles by providing systematic, automized, but unauthorized
backdoor access to proprietary scholarly journal databases. Users requesting
papers not present in LibGen are advised to download them through Sci-Hub; the
respective PDF files are served to users and automatically added to LibGen (if
not already present). According to _Nature_ magazine, Sci-Hub hosts around 60
million academic papers and was able to serve 75 million downloads in 2016. On
a daily basis 70,000 users access approximately 200,000 articles.

The founder of the meta library Sci-Hub is Kazakh programmer Alexandra
Elbakyan, who has been sued by large publishing houses and was convicted twice
to pay almost 20 million US$ in compensation for the losses her activities
allegedly have caused, which is why she had to go underground in Russia. For
illegally leaking millions of documents the _New York Times_ compared her to
Edward Snowden in 2016: “While she didn’t reveal state secrets, she took a
stand for the public’s right to know by providing free online access to just
about every scientific paper ever published, ranging from acoustics to
zymology.” 21 In the same year the prestigious _Nature_ magazine elected her
as one of the ten most influential people in science. 22 Unlike other
persecuted people, she went on the offensive and started to explain her
actions and motives in court documents and blog posts. Sci-Hub encourages new
ways of distributing knowledge, beyond any commercial interests. It provides a
radically open infrastructure thus creating an inviting atmosphere. “It is a
knowledge infrastructure that can be freely accessed, used and built upon by

As both projects LibGen and Sci-Hub are based in post-Soviet cou


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