Complaint: Elsevier v. SciHub and LibGen

Case 1:15-cv-04282-RWS Document 1 Filed 06/03/15 Page 1 of 16


Index No. 15-cv-4282 (RWS)




Plaintiffs Elsevier Inc, Elsevier B.V., and Elsevier Ltd. (collectively “Elsevier”),
by their attorneys DeVore & DeMarco LLP, for their complaint against,, Alexandra Elbakyan, and John Does 1-99 (collectively the “Defendants”),
allege as follows:


1. This is a civil action seeking damages and injunctive relief for: (1) copyright infringement under the copyright laws of the United States (17 U.S.C. § 101 et seq.); and (2) violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18.U.S.C. § 1030, based upon Defendants’ unlawful access to, use, reproduction, and distribution of Elsevier’s copyrighted works. Defendants’ actions in this regard have caused and continue to cause irreparable injury to Elsevier and its publishing partners (including scholarly societies) for which it publishes certain journals.


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2. Plaintiff Elsevier Inc. is a corporation organized under the laws of Delaware, with its principal place of business at 360 Park Avenue South, New York, New York 10010.

3. Plaintiff Elsevier B.V. is a corporation organized under the laws of the Netherlands, with its principal place of business at Radarweg 29, Amsterdam, 1043 NX, Netherlands.

4. Plaintiff Elsevier Ltd. is a corporation organized under the laws of the United Kingdom, with its principal place of business at 125 London Wall, EC2Y 5AS United Kingdom.

5. Upon information and belief, Defendant Sci-Hub is an individual or organization engaged in the operation of the website accessible at the URL “,” and related subdomains, including but not limited to the subdomain “,”,” “,” and various subdomains
incorporating the company and product names of other major global publishers (collectively with the “Sci-Hub Website”). The domain name is registered by
“Fundacion Private Whois,” located in Panama City, Panama, to an unknown registrant. As of
the date of this filing, the Sci-Hub Website is assigned the IP address This IP address is part of a range of IP addresses assigned to Petersburg Internet Network Ltd., a webhosting company located in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

6. Upon information and belief, Defendant Library Genesis Project is an organization which operates an online repository of copyrighted materials accessible through the website located at the URL “” as well as a number of other “mirror” websites
(collectively the “Libgen Domains”). The domain is registered by “Whois Privacy
Corp.,” located at Ocean Centre, Montagu Foreshore, East Bay Street, Nassau, New Providence,


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Bahamas, to an unknown registrant. As of the date of this filing, is assigned the IP address This IP address is part of a range of IP addresses assigned to Ecatel Ltd., a web-hosting company located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

7. The Libgen Domains include “,” “,” “,” and “”

8. Upon information and belief, Defendant Alexandra Elbakyan is the principal owner and/or operator of Sci-Hub. Upon information and belief, Elbakyan is a resident of Almaty, Kazakhstan.

9. Elsevier is unaware of the true names and capacities of the individuals named as Does 1-99 in this Complaint (together with Alexandra Elbakyan, the “Individual Defendants”),
and their residence and citizenship is also unknown. Elsevier will amend its Complaint to allege the names, capacities, residence and citizenship of the Doe Defendants when their identities are learned.

10. Upon information and belief, the Individual Defendants are the owners and operators of numerous of websites, including Sci-Hub and the websites located at the various
Libgen Domains, and a number of e-mail addresses and accounts at issue in this case.

11. The Individual Defendants have participated, exercised control over, and benefited from the infringing conduct described herein, which has resulted in substantial harm to
the Plaintiffs.


12. This is a civil action arising from the Defendants’ violations of the copyright laws of the United States (17 U.S.C. § 101 et seq.) and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”),


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18.U.S.C. § 1030. Therefore, the Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

13. Upon information and belief, the Individual Defendants own and operate computers and Internet websites and engage in conduct that injures Plaintiff in this district, while
also utilizing instrumentalities located in the Southern District of New York to carry out the acts complained of herein.

14. Defendants have affirmatively directed actions at the Southern District of New York by utilizing computer servers located in the District without authorization and by
unlawfully obtaining access credentials belonging to individuals and entities located in the
District, in order to unlawfully access, copy, and distribute Elsevier's copyrighted materials
which are stored on Elsevier’s ScienceDirect platform.

Defendants have committed the acts complained of herein through unauthorized

access to Plaintiffs’ copyrighted materials which are stored and maintained on computer servers
located in the Southern District of New York.

Defendants have undertaken the acts complained of herein with knowledge that

such acts would cause harm to Plaintiffs and their customers in both the Southern District of
New York and elsewhere. Defendants have caused the Plaintiff injury while deriving revenue
from interstate or international commerce by committing the acts complained of herein.
Therefore, this Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendants.

Venue in this District is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) because a substantial

part of the events giving rise to Plaintiffs’ claims occurred in this District and because the
property that is the subject of Plaintiffs’ claims is situated in this District.


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Elsevier’s Copyrights in Publications on ScienceDirect

Elsevier is a world leading provider of professional information solutions in the

Science, Medical, and Health sectors. Elsevier publishes, markets, sells, and licenses academic
textbooks, journals, and examinations in the fields of science, medicine, and health. The
majority of Elsevier’s institutional customers are universities, governmental entities, educational
institutions, and hospitals that purchase physical and electronic copies of Elsevier’s products and
access to Elsevier’s digital libraries. Elsevier distributes its scientific journal articles and book
chapters electronically via its proprietary subscription database “ScienceDirect”
( In most cases, Elsevier holds the copyright and/or exclusive
distribution rights to the works available through ScienceDirect. In addition, Elsevier holds
trademark rights in “Elsevier,” “ScienceDirect,” and several other related trade names.

The ScienceDirect database is home to almost one-quarter of the world's peer-

reviewed, full-text scientific, technical and medical content. The ScienceDirect service features
sophisticated search and retrieval tools for students and professionals which facilitates access to
over 10 million copyrighted publications. More than 15 million researchers, health care
professionals, teachers, students, and information professionals around the globe rely on
ScienceDirect as a trusted source of nearly 2,500 journals and more than 26,000 book titles.

Authorized users are provided access to the ScienceDirect platform by way of

non-exclusive, non-transferable subscriptions between Elsevier and its institutional customers.
According to the terms and conditions of these subscriptions, authorized users of ScienceDirect
must be users affiliated with the subscriber (e.g., full-time and part-time students, faculty, staff


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and researchers of subscriber universities and individuals using computer terminals within the
library facilities at the subscriber for personal research, education or other non-corporate use.)

A substantial portion of American research universities maintain active

subscriptions to ScienceDirect. These subscriptions, under license, allow the universities to
provide their faculty and students access to the copyrighted works within the ScienceDirect

Elsevier stores and maintains the copyrighted material available in ScienceDirect

on servers owned and operated by a third party whose servers are located in the Southern District
of New York and elsewhere. In order to optimize performance, these third-party servers
collectively operate as a distributed network which serves cached copies of Elsevier’s
copyrighted materials by way of particular servers that are geographically close to the user. For
example, a user that accesses ScienceDirect from a University located in the Southern District of
New York will likely be served that content from a server physically located in the District.

Authentication of Authorized University ScienceDirect Users

Elsevier maintains the integrity and security of the copyrighted works accessible

on ScienceDirect by allowing only authenticated users access to the platform. Elsevier
authenticates educational users who access ScienceDirect through their affiliated university’s
subscription by verifying that they are able to access ScienceDirect from a computer system or
network previously identified as belonging to a subscribing university.

Elsevier does not track individual educational users’ access to ScienceDirect.

Instead, Elsevier verifies only that the user has authenticated access to a subscribing university.

Once an educational user authenticates his computer with ScienceDirect on a

university network, that computer is permitted access to ScienceDirect for a limited amount of

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time without re-authenticating. For example, a student could access ScienceDirect from their
laptop while sitting in a university library, then continue to access ScienceDirect using that
laptop from their dorm room later that day. After a specified period of time has passed, however,
a user will have to re-authenticate his or her computer’s access to ScienceDirect by connecting to
the platform through a university network.

As a matter of practice, educational users access university networks, and thereby

authenticate their computers with ScienceDirect, primarily through one of two methods. First,
the user may be physically connected to a university network, for example by taking their
computer to the university’s library. Second, the user may connect remotely to the university’s
network using a proxy connection. Universities offer proxy connections to their students and
faculty so that those users may access university computing resources – including access to
research databases such as ScienceDirect – from remote locations which are unaffiliated with the
university. This practice facilitates the use of ScienceDirect by students and faculty while they
are at home, travelling, or otherwise off-campus.
Defendants’ Unauthorized Access to University Proxy Networks to Facilitate Copyright

Upon information and belief, Defendants are reproducing and distributing

unauthorized copies of Elsevier’s copyrighted materials, unlawfully obtained from
ScienceDirect, through Sci-Hub and through various websites affiliated with the Library Genesis
Project. Specifically, Defendants utilize their websites located at and at the Libgen
Domains to operate an international network of piracy and copyright infringement by
circumventing legal and authorized means of access to the ScienceDirect database. Defendants’
piracy is supported by the persistent intrusion and unauthorized access to the computer networks


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of Elsevier and its institutional subscribers, including universities located in the Southern District
of New York.

Upon information and belief, Defendants have unlawfully obtained and continue

to unlawfully obtain student or faculty access credentials which permit proxy connections to
universities which subscribe to ScienceDirect, and use these credentials to gain unauthorized
access to ScienceDirect.

Upon information and belief, Defendants have used and continue to use such

access credentials to authenticate access to ScienceDirect and, subsequently, to obtain
copyrighted scientific journal articles therefrom without valid authorization.

The Sci-Hub website requires user interaction in order to facilitate its illegal

copyright infringement scheme. Specifically, before a Sci-Hub user can obtain access to
copyrighted scholarly journals, articles, and books that are maintained by ScienceDirect, he must
first perform a search on the Sci-Hub page. A Sci-Hub user may search for content using either
(a) a general keyword-based search, or (b) a journal, article or book identifier (such as a Digital
Object Identifier, PubMed Identifier, or the source URL).

When a user performs a keyword search on Sci-Hub, the website returns a proxied

version of search results from the Google Scholar search database. 1 When a user selects one of
the search results, if the requested content is not available from the Library Genesis Project, SciHub unlawfully retrieves the content from ScienceDirect using the access previously obtained.
Sci-Hub then provides a copy of that article to the requesting user, typically in PDF format. If,
however, the requested content can be found in the Library Genesis Project repository, upon


Google Scholar provides its users the capability to search for scholarly literature, but does not provide the
full text of copyrighted scientific journal articles accessible through paid subscription services such as
ScienceDirect. Instead, Google Scholar provides bibliographic information concerning such articles along with a
link to the platform through which the article may be purchased or accessed by a subscriber.


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information and belief, Sci-Hub obtains the content from the Library Genesis Project repository
and provides that content to the user.

When a user searches on Sci-Hub for an article available on ScienceDirect using a

journal or article identifier, the user is redirected to a proxied version of the ScienceDirect page
where the user can download the requested article at no cost. Upon information and belief, SciHub facilitates this infringing conduct by using unlawfully-obtained access credentials to
university proxy servers to establish remote access to ScienceDirect through those proxy servers.
If, however, the requested content can be found in the Library Genesis Project repository, upon
information and belief, Sci-Hub obtains the content from it and provides it to the user.

Upon information and belief, Sci-Hub engages in no other activity other than the

illegal reproduction and distribution of digital copies of Elsevier’s copyrighted works and the
copyrighted works of other publishers, and the encouragement, inducement, and material
contribution to the infringement of the copyrights of those works by third parties – i.e., the users
of the Sci-Hub website.

Upon information and belief, in addition to the blatant and rampant infringement

of Elsevier’s copyrights as described above, the Defendants have also used the Sci-Hub website
to earn revenue from the piracy of copyrighted materials from ScienceDirect. Sci-Hub has at
various times accepted funds through a variety of payment processors, including PayPal,
Yandex, WebMoney, QiQi, and Bitcoin.
Sci-Hub’s Use of the Library Genesis Project as a Repository for Unlawfully-Obtained
Scientific Journal Articles and Books

Upon information and belief, when Sci-Hub pirates and downloads an article from

ScienceDirect in response to a user request, in addition to providing a copy of that article to that
user, Sci-Hub also provides a duplicate copy to the Library Genesis Project, which stores the

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article in a database accessible through the Internet. Upon information and belief, the Library
Genesis Project is designed to be a permanent repository of this and other illegally obtained

Upon information and belief, in the event that a Sci-Hub user requests an article

which has already been provided to the Library Genesis Project, Sci-Hub may provide that user
access to a copy provided by the Library Genesis Project rather than re-download an additional
copy of the article from ScienceDirect. As a result, Defendants Sci-Hub and Library Genesis
Project act in concert to engage in a scheme designed to facilitate the unauthorized access to and
wholesale distribution of Elsevier’s copyrighted works legitimately available on the
ScienceDirect platform.
The Library Genesis Project’s Unlawful Distribution of Plaintiff’s Copyrighted Works

Access to the Library Genesis Project’s repository is facilitated by the website

“,” which provides its users the ability to search, download content from, and upload
content to, the repository. The main page of allows its users to perform searches in
various categories, including “LibGen (Sci-Tech),” and “Scientific articles.” In addition to
searching by keyword, users may also search for specific content by various other fields,
including title, author, periodical, publisher, or ISBN or DOI number.

The website indicates that the Library Genesis Project repository

contains approximately 1 million “Sci-Tech” documents and 40 million scientific articles. Upon
information and belief, the large majority of these works is subject to copyright protection and is
being distributed through the Library Genesis Project without the permission of the applicable
rights-holder. Upon information and belief, the Library Genesis Project serves primarily, if not


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exclusively, as a scheme to violate the intellectual property rights of the owners of millions of
copyrighted works.

Upon information and belief, Elsevier owns the copyrights in a substantial

number of copyrighted materials made available for distribution through the Library Genesis
Project. Elsevier has not authorized the Library Genesis Project or any of the Defendants to
copy, display, or distribute through any of the complained of websites any of the content stored
on ScienceDirect to which it holds the copyright. Among the works infringed by the Library
Genesis Project are the “Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology,” and the article “The
Varus Ankle and Instability” (published in Elsevier’s journal “Foot and Ankle Clinics of North
America”), each of which is protected by Elsevier’s federally-registered copyrights.

In addition to the Library Genesis Project website accessible at, users

may access the Library Genesis Project repository through a number of “mirror” sites accessible
through other URLs. These mirror sites are similar, if not identical, in functionality to Specifically, the mirror sites allow their users to search and download materials from
the Library Genesis Project repository.
(Direct Infringement of Copyright)

Elsevier incorporates by reference the allegations contained in paragraphs 1-40


Elsevier’s copyright rights and exclusive distribution rights to the works available


on ScienceDirect (the “Works”) are valid and enforceable.

Defendants have infringed on Elsevier’s copyright rights to these Works by

knowingly and intentionally reproducing and distributing these Works without authorization.


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The acts of infringement described herein have been willful, intentional, and

purposeful, in disregard of and indifferent to Plaintiffs’ rights.

Without authorization from Elsevier, or right under law, Defendants are directly

liable for infringing Elsevier’s copyrighted Works pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §§ 106(1) and/or (3).

As a direct result of Defendants’ actions, Elsevier has suffered and continues to

suffer irreparable harm for which Elsevier has no adequate remedy at law, and which will
continue unless Defendants’ actions are enjoined.

Elsevier seeks injunctive relief and costs and damages in an amount to be proven

at trial.
(Secondary Infringement of Copyright)

Elsevier incorporates by reference the allegations contained in paragraphs 1-40


Elsevier’s copyright rights and exclusive distribution rights to the works available


on ScienceDirect (the “Works”) are valid and enforceable.

Defendants have infringed on Elsevier’s copyright rights to these Works by

knowingly and intentionally reproducing and distributing these Works without license or other

Upon information and belief, Defendants intentionally induced, encouraged, and

materially contributed to the reproduction and distribution of these Works by third party users of
websites operated by Defendants.

The acts of infringement described herein have been willful, intentional, and

purposeful, in disregard of and indifferent to Elsevier’s rights.


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Without authorization from Elsevier, or right under law, Defendants are directly

liable for third parties’ infringement of Elsevier’s copyrighted Works pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §§
106(1) and/or (3).

Upon information and belief, Defendants profited from third parties’ direct

infringement of Elsevier’s Works.

Defendants had the right and the ability to supervise and control their websites

and the third party infringing activities described herein.

As a direct result of Defendants’ actions, Elsevier has suffered and continues to

suffer irreparable harm for which Elsevier has no adequate remedy at law, and which will
continue unless Defendants’ actions are enjoined.

Elsevier seeks injunctive relief and costs and damages in an amount to be proven

at trial.
(Violation of the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act)

Elsevier incorporates by reference the allegations contained in paragraphs 1-40


Elsevier’s computers and servers, the third-party computers and servers which


store and maintain Elsevier’s copyrighted works for ScienceDirect, and Elsevier’s customers’
computers and servers which facilitate access to Elsevier’s copyrighted works on ScienceDirect,
are all “protected computers” under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”).

Defendants (a) knowingly and intentionally accessed such protected computers

without authorization and thereby obtained information from the protected computers in a
transaction involving an interstate or foreign communication (18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(2)(C)); and
(b) knowingly and with an intent to defraud accessed such protected computers without

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authorization and obtained information from such computers, which Defendants used to further
the fraud and obtain something of value (18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(4)).

Defendants’ conduct has caused, and continues to cause, significant and

irreparable damages and loss to Elsevier.

Defendants’ conduct has caused a loss to Elsevier during a one-year period

aggregating at least $5,000.

As a direct result of Defendants’ actions, Elsevier has suffered and continues to

suffer irreparable harm for which Elsevier has no adequate remedy at law, and which will
continue unless Defendants’ actions are enjoined.

Elsevier seeks injunctive relief, as well as costs and damages in an amount to be

proven at trial.
WHEREFORE, Elsevier respectfully requests that the Court:
A. Enter preliminary and permanent injunctions, enjoining and prohibiting Defendants,
their officers, directors, principals, agents, servants, employees, successors and
assigns, and all persons and entities in active concert or participation with them, from
engaging in any of the activity complained of herein or from causing any of the injury
complained of herein and from assisting, aiding, or abetting any other person or
business entity in engaging in or performing any of the activity complained of herein
or from causing any of the injury complained of herein;
B. Enter an order that, upon Elsevier’s request, those in privity with Defendants and
those with notice of the injunction, including any Internet search engines, Web
Hosting and Internet Service Providers, domain-name registrars, and domain name


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registries or their administrators that are provided with notice of the injunction, cease
facilitating access to any or all domain names and websites through which Defendants
engage in any of the activity complained of herein;
C. Enter an order that, upon Elsevier’s request, those organizations which have
registered Defendants’ domain names on behalf of Defendants shall disclose
immediately to Plaintiffs all information in their possession concerning the identity of
the operator or registrant of such domain names and of any bank accounts or financial
accounts owned or used by such operator or registrant;
D. Enter an order that, upon Elsevier’s request, the TLD Registries for the Defendants’
websites, or their administrators, shall place the domain names on
registryHold/serverHold as well as serverUpdate, ServerDelete, and serverTransfer
prohibited statuses, for the remainder of the registration period for any such website.
E. Enter an order canceling or deleting, or, at Elsevier’s election, transferring the domain
name registrations used by Defendants to engage in the activity complained of herein
to Elsevier’s control so that they may no longer be used for illegal purposes;
F. Enter an order awarding Elsevier its actual damages incurred as a result of
Defendants’ infringement of Elsevier’s copyright rights in the Works and all profits
Defendant realized as a result of its acts of infringement, in amounts to be determined
at trial; or in the alternative, awarding Elsevier, pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 504, statutory
damages for the acts of infringement committed by Defendants, enhanced to reflect
the willful nature of the Defendants’ infringement;
G. Enter an order disgorging Defendants’ profits;


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Poetics of Research

_An unedited version of a talk given at the conference[Public
held at Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, 1 November 2014._

_Bracketed sequences are to be reformulated._

Poetics of Research

In this talk I'm going to attempt to identify [particular] cultural
algorithms, ie. processes in which cultural practises and software meet. With
them a sphere is implied in which algorithms gather to form bodies of
practices and in which cultures gather around algorithms. I'm going to
approach them through the perspective of my practice as a cultural worker,
editor and artist, considering practice in the same rank as theory and
poetics, and where theorization of practice can also lead to the
identification of poetical devices.

The primary motivation for this talk is an attempt to figure out where do we
stand as operators, users [and communities] gathering around infrastructures
containing a massive body of text (among other things) and what sort of things
might be considered to make a difference [or to keep making difference].

The talk mainly [considers] the role of text and the word in research, by way
of several figures.


A reference, list, scheme, table, index; those things that intervene in the
flow of narrative, illustrating the point, perhaps in a more economic way than
the linear text would do. Yet they don't function as pictures, they are
primarily texts, arranged in figures. Their forms have been
standardised[normalised] over centuries, withstood the transition to the
digital without any significant change, being completely intuitive to the
modern reader. Compared to the body of text they are secondary, run parallel
to it. Their function is however different to that of the punctuation. They
are there neither to shape the narrative nor to aid structuring the argument
into logical blocks. Nor is their function spatial, like in visual poems.
Their positions within a document are determined according to the sequential
order of the text, [standing as attachments] and are there to clarify the
nature of relations among elements of the subject-matter, or to establish
relations with other documents. The [premise] of my talk is that these
_textual figures_ also came to serve as the abstract[relational] models
determining possible relations among documents as such, and in consequence [to
structure conditions [of research]].


It can be said that research, as inquiry into a subject-matter, consists of
discrete queries. A query, such as a question about what something is, what
kinds, parts and properties does it have, and so on, can be consulted in
existing documents or generate new documents based on collection of data [in]
the field and through experiment, before proceeding to reasoning [arguments
and deductions]. Formulation of a query is determined by protocols providing
access to documents, which means that there is a difference between collecting
data outside the archive (the undocumented, ie. in the field and through
experiment), consulting with a person--an archivist (expert, librarian,
documentalist), and consulting with a database storing documents. The
phenomena such as [deepening] of specialization and throughout digitization
[have given] privilege to the database as [a|the] [fundamental] means for
research. Obviously, this is a very recent [phenomenon]. Queries were once
formulated in natural language; now, given the fact that databases are queried
[using] SQL language, their interfaces are mere extensions of it and
researchers pose their questions by manipulating dropdowns, checkboxes and
input boxes mashed together on a flat screen being ran by software that in
turn translates them into a long line of conditioned _SELECTs_ and _JOINs_
performed on tables of data.

Specialization, digitization and networking have changed the language of
questioning. Inquiry, once attached to the flesh and paper has been
[entrusted] to the digital and networked. Researchers are querying the black


Searching in a collection of [amassed/assembled] [tangible] documents (ie.
bookshelf) is different from searching in a systematically structured
repository (library) and even more so from searching in a digital repository
(digital library). Not that they are mutually exclusive. One can devise
structures and algorithms to search through a printed text, or read books in a
library one by one. They are rather [models] [embodying] various [processes]
associated with the query. These properties of the query might be called [the
sequence], the structure and the index. If they are present in the ways of
querying documents, and we will return to this issue, are they persistent
within the inquiry as such? [wait]


This question itself is a rupture in the sequence. It makes a demand to depart
from one narrative [a continuous flow of words] to another, to figure out,
while remaining bound to it [it would be even more as a so-called rhetorical
question]. So there has been one sequence, or line, of the inquiry--about the
kinds of the query and its properties. That sequence itself is a digression,
from within the sequence about what is research and describing its parts
(queries). We are thus returning to it and continue with a question whether
the properties of the inquiry are the same as the properties of the query.


But isn't it true that every single utterance occurring in a sequence yields a
query as well? Let's consider the word _utterance_. [wait] It can produce a
number of associations, for example with how Foucault employs the notion of
_énoncé_ in his _Archaeology of Knowledge_ , giving hard time to his English
translators wondering whether _utterance_ or _statement_ is more appropriate,
or whether they are interchangeable, and what impact would each choice have on
his reception in the Anglophone world. Limiting ourselves to textual forms for
now (and not translating his work but pursing a different inquiry), let us say
the utterance is a word [or a phrase or an idiom] in a sequence such as a
sentence, a paragraph, or a document.

## (F) The
"Edit section: \(F\) The structure")]

This distinction is as old as recorded Western thought since both Plato and
Aristotle differentiate between a word on its own ("the said", a thing said)
and words in the company of other words. For example, Aristotle's _Categories_
[lay] on the [notion] of words on their own, and they are made the subject-
matter of that inquiry. [For him], the ambiguity of connotation words
[produce] lies in their synonymity, understood differently from the moderns--
not as more words denoting a similar thing but rather one word denoting
various things. Categories were outlined as a device to differentiate among
words according to kinds of these things. Every word as such belonged to not
less and not more than one of ten categories.

So it happens to the word _utterance_ , as to any other word uttered in a
sequence, that it poses a question, a query about what share of the spectrum
of possibly denoted things might yield as the most appropriate in a given
context. The more context the more precise share comes to the fore. When taken
out of the context ambiguity prevails as the spectrum unveils in its variety.

Thus single words [as any other utterances] are questions, queries,
themselves, and by occuring in statements, in context, their [means] are being
singled out.

This process is _conditioned_ by what has been formalized as the techniques of
_regulating_ definitions of words.

### (G) The structure: words as
"Edit section: \(G\) The structure: words as words")]

* [![](/images/thumb/c/c8/Philitas_in_P.Oxy.XX_2260_i.jpg/144px-Philitas_in_P.Oxy.XX_2260_i.jpg)](/File:Philitas_in_P.Oxy.XX_2260_i.jpg)

P.Oxy.XX 2260 i: Oxyrhynchus papyrus XX, 2260, column i, with quotation from
Philitas, early 2nd c. CE. 1(

* [![](/images/thumb/9/9e/Cyclopaedia_1728_page_210_Dictionary_entry.jpg/88px-Cyclopaedia_1728_page_210_Dictionary_entry.jpg)](/File:Cyclopaedia_1728_page_210_Dictionary_entry.jpg)

Ephraim Chambers, _Cyclopaedia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and
Sciences_ , 1728, p. 210. 3(

* [![](/images/thumb/b/b8/Detail_from_the_Liddell-Scott_Greek-English_Lexicon_c1843.jpg/160px-Detail_from_the_Liddell-Scott_Greek-English_Lexicon_c1843.jpg)](/File:Detail_from_the_Liddell-Scott_Greek-English_Lexicon_c1843.jpg)

Detail from the Liddell-Scott Greek-English Lexicon, c1843.

Dictionaries have had a long life. The ancient Greek scholar and poet Philitas
of Cos living in the 4th c. BCE wrote a vocabulary explaining the meanings of
rare Homeric and other literary words, words from local dialects, and
technical terms. The vocabulary, called _Disorderly Words_ (Átaktoi glôssai),
has been lost, with a few fragments quoted by later authors. One example is
that the word πέλλα (pélla) meant "wine cup" in the ancient Greek region of
Boeotia; contrasted to the same word meaning "milk pail" in Homer's _Iliad_.

Not much has changed in the way how dictionaries constitute order. Selected
archives of statements are queried to yield occurrences of particular words,
various _criteria[indicators]_ are applied to filtering and sorting them and
in turn the spectrum of [denoted] things allocated in this way is structured
into groups and subgroups which are then given, according to other set of
rules, shorter or longer names. These constitute facets of [potential]
meanings of a word.

So there are at least _four_ sets of conditions [structuring] dictionaries.
One is required to delimit an archive[corpus of texts], one to select and give
preference[weights] to occurrences of a word, another to cluster them, and yet
another to abstract[generalize] the subject-matter of each of these clusters.
Needless to say, this is a craft of a few and these criteria are rarely being
disclosed, despite their impact on research, and more generally, their
influence as conditions for production[making] of a so called _common sense_.

It doesn't take that much to reimagine what a dictionary is and what it could
be, especially having large specialized corpora of texts at hand. These can
also serve as aids in production of new words and new meanings.

### (H) The structure: words as knowledge and the
"Edit section: \(H\) The structure: words as knowledge and the world")]

* [![](/images/thumb/0/02/Boethius_Porphyrys_Isagoge.jpg/120px-Boethius_Porphyrys_Isagoge.jpg)](/File:Boethius_Porphyrys_Isagoge.jpg)

Boethius's rendering of a classification tree described in Porphyry's Isagoge
(3th c.), [6th c.] 10th c.

* [![](/images/thumb/d/d0/Cyclopaedia_1728_page_ii_Division_of_Knowledge.jpg/94px-Cyclopaedia_1728_page_ii_Division_of_Knowledge.jpg)](/File:Cyclopaedia_1728_page_ii_Division_of_Knowledge.jpg)

Ephraim Chambers, _Cyclopaedia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and
Sciences_ , London, 1728, p. II. 5(

* [![](/images/thumb/d/d6/Encyclopedie_1751_Systeme_figure_des_connaissances_humaines.jpg/116px-Encyclopedie_1751_Systeme_figure_des_connaissances_humaines.jpg)](/File:Encyclopedie_1751_Systeme_figure_des_connaissances_humaines.jpg)

Système figuré des connaissances humaines, _Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire
raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers_ , 1751.

* [![](/images/thumb/9/96/Haeckel_Ernst_1874_Stammbaum_des_Menschen.jpg/96px-Haeckel_Ernst_1874_Stammbaum_des_Menschen.jpg)](/File:Haeckel_Ernst_1874_Stammbaum_des_Menschen.jpg)

Haeckel - Darwin's tree.

Another _formalized_ and [internalized] process being at play when figuring
out a word is its [containment]. Word is not only structured by way of things
it potentially denotes but also by words it is potentially part of and those
it contains.

The fuzz around categorization of knowledge _and_ the world in the Western
thought can be traced back to Porphyry, if not further. In his introduction to
Aristotle's _Categories_ this 3rd century AD Neoplatonist began expanding the
notions of genus and species into their hypothetic consequences. Aristotle's
brief work outlines ten categories of 'things that are said' (legomena,
λεγόμενα), namely substance (or substantive, {not the same as matter!},
οὐσία), quantity (ποσόν), qualification (ποιόν), a relation (πρός), where
(ποῦ), when (πότε), being-in-a-position (κεῖσθαι), having (or state,
condition, ἔχειν), doing (ποιεῖν), and being-affected (πάσχειν). In his
different work, _Topics_ , Aristotle outlines four kinds of subjects/materials
indicated in propositions/problems from which arguments/deductions start.
These are a definition (όρος), a genus (γένος), a property (ἴδιος), and an
accident (συμβεβηϰόϛ). Porphyry does not explicitly refer _Topics_ , and says
he omits speaking "about genera and species, as to whether they subsist (in
the nature of things) or in mere conceptions only"
which means he avoids explicating whether he talks about kinds of concepts or
kinds of things in the sensible world. However, the work sparked confusion, as
the following passage [suggests]:

> "[I]n each category there are certain things most generic, and again, others
most special, and between the most generic and the most special, others which
are alike called both genera and species, but the most generic is that above
which there cannot be another superior genus, and the most special that below
which there cannot be another inferior species. Between the most generic and
the most special, there are others which are alike both genera and species,
referred, nevertheless, to different things, but what is stated may become
clear in one category. Substance indeed, is itself genus, under this is body,
under body animated body, under which is animal, under animal rational animal,
under which is man, under man Socrates, Plato, and men particularly." (Owen

Porphyry took one of Aristotle's ten categories of the word, substance, and
dissected it using one of his four rhetorical devices, genus. Employing
Aristotle's categories, genera and species as means for logical operations,
for dialectic, Porphyry's interpretation resulted in having more resemblance
to the perceived _structures_ of the world. So they began to bloom.

There were earlier examples, but Porphyry was the most influential in
injecting the _universalist_ version of classification [implying] the figure
of a tree into the [locus] of Aristotle's thought. Knowledge became

Classification schemes [growing from one point] play a major role in
untangling the format of modern encyclopedia from that of the dictionary
governed by alphabet. Two of the most influential encyclopedias of the 18th
century are cases in the point. Although still keeping 'dictionary' in their
titles, they are conceived not to represent words but knowledge. The [upper-
most] genus of the body was set as the body of knowledge. The English
_Cyclopaedia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences_ (1728) splits
into two main branches: "natural and scientifical" and "artificial and
technical"; these further split down to 47 classes in total, each carrying a
structured list (on the following pages) of thematic articles, serving as
table of contents. The French _Encyclopedia: or a Systematic Dictionary of the
Sciences, Arts, and Crafts_ (1751) [unwinds] from judgement ( _entendement_ ),
branches into memory as history, reason as philosophy, and imagination as
poetry. The logic of containers was employed as an aid not only to deal with
the enormous task of naming and not omiting anything from what is known, but
also for the management of labour of hundreds of writers and researchers, to
create a mechanism for delegating work and the distribution of
responsibilities. Flesh was also more present, in the field research, with
researchers attending workshops and sites of everyday life to annotate it.

The world came forward to unshine the word in other schemes. Darwin's tree of
evolution and some of the modern document classification systems such as
Charles A. Cutter's _Expansive Classification_ (1882) set to classify the
world itself and set the field for what has came to be known as authority
lists structuring metadata in today's computing.

### The structure
"Edit section: The structure \(summary\)")]

Facetization of meaning and branching of knowledge are both the domain of the
unit of utterance.

While lexicographers[dictionarists] structure thought through multi-layered
processes of abstraction of the written record, knowledge growers dissect it
into hierarchies of [mutually] contained notions.

One seek to describe the word as a faceted list of small worlds, another to
describe the world as a structured lists of words. One play prime in the
domain of epistemology, in what is known, controlling the vocabulary, another
in the domain of ontology, in what is, controlling reality.

Every [word] has its given things, every thing has its place, closer or
further from a single word.

The schism between classifying words and classifying the world implies it is
not possible to construct a universal classification scheme[system]. On top of
that, any classification system of words is bound to a corpus of texts it is
operating upon and any classification system of the world again operates with
words which are bound to a vocabulary[lexicon] which is again bound to a
corpus [of texts]. It doesn't mean it would prevent people from trying.
Classifications function as descriptors of and 'inscriptors' upon the world,
imprinting their authority. They operate from [a locus of] their
corpus[context]-specificity. The larger the corpus, the more power it has on
shaping the world, as far as the word shapes it (yes, I do imply Google here,
for which it is a domain to be potentially exploited).

## (J) The
"Edit section: \(J\) The sequence")]

The structure-yielding query [of] the single word [shrinks][zuzuje
sa,spresnuje] with preceding and following words. Inquiry proceeds in the flow
that establishes another kind[mode] of relationality, chaining words into the
sequence. While the structuring property of the query brings words apart from
each other, its sequential property establishes continuity and brings these
units into an ordered set.

This is what is responsible for attaching textual figures mentioned earlier
(lists, schemes, tables) to the body of the text. Associations can be also
stated explicitly, by indexing tables and then referring them from a
particular point in the text. The same goes for explicit associations made
between blocks of the text by means of indexed paragraphs, chapters or pages.

From this follows that all utterances point to the following utterance by the
nature of sequential order, and indexing provides means for pointing elsewhere
in the document as well.

A lot can be said about references to other texts. Here, to spare time, I
would refer you to a talk I gave a few months ago and which is online

This is still the realm of print. What happens with document when it is

Digitization breaks a document into units of which each is assigned a numbered
position in the sequence of the document. From this perspective digitization
can be viewed as a total indexation of the document. It is converted into
units rendered for machine operations. This sequentiality is made explicit, by
means of an underlying index.

Sequences and chains are orders of one dimension. Their one-dimensional
ordering allows addressability of each element and [random] access. [Jumps]
between [random] addresses are still sequential, processing elements one at a

## (K) The
"Edit section: \(K\) The index")]

* [![](/images/thumb/2/27/Summa_confessorum.1310.jpg/103px-Summa_confessorum.1310.jpg)](/File:Summa_confessorum.1310.jpg)

Summa confessorum [1297-98], 1310.

[The] sequencing not only weaves words into statements but activates other
temporalities, and _presents occurrences of words from past statements_. As
now when I am saying the word _utterance_ , each time there surface contexts
in which I have used it earlier.

A long quote from Frederick G. Kilgour, _The Evolution of the Book_ , 1998, pp

> "A century of invention of various types of indexes and reference tools
preceded the advent of the first subject index to a specific book, which
occurred in the last years of the thirteenth century. The first subject
indexes were "distinctions," collections of "various figurative or symbolic
meanings of a noun found in the scriptures" that "are the earliest of all
alphabetical tools aside from dictionaries." (Richard and Mary Rouse supply an
example: "Horse = Preacher. Job 39: 'Hast thou given the horse strength, or
encircled his neck with whinning?')


> [Concordance] By the end of the third decade of the thirteenth century Hugh
de Saint-Cher had produced the first word concordance. It was a simple word
index of the Bible, with every location of each word listed by [its position
in the Bible specified by book, chapter, and letter indicating part of the
chapter]. Hugh organized several dozen men, assigning to each man an initial
letter to search; for example, the man assigned M was to go through the entire
Bible, list each word beginning with M and give its location. As it was soon
perceived that this original reference work would be even more useful if words
were cited in context, a second concordance was produced, with each word in
lengthy context, but it proved to be unwieldy. [Soon] a third version was
produced, with words in contexts of four to seven words, the model for
biblical concordances ever since.


> [Subject index] The subject index, also an innovation of the thirteenth
century, evolved over the same period as did the concordance. Most of the
early topical indexes were designed for writing sermons; some were organized,
while others were apparently sequential without any arrangement. By midcentury
the entries were in alphabetical order, except for a few in some classified
arrangement. Until the end of the century these alphabetical reference works
indexed a small group of books. Finally John of Freiburg added an alphabetical
subject index to his own book, _Summa Confessorum_ (1297—1298). As the Rouses
have put it, 'By the end of the [13]th century the practical utility of the
subject index is taken for granted by the literate West, no longer solely as
an aid for preachers, but also in the disciplines of theology, philosophy, and
both kinds of law.'"

In one sense neither subject-index nor concordane are indexes, they are words
or group of words selected according to given criteria from the body of the
text, each accompanied with a list of identifiers. These identifiers are
elements of an index, whether they represent a page, chapter, column, or other
[kind of] block of text. Every identifier is an unique _address_.

The index is thus an ordering of a sequence by means of associating its
elements with a set of symbols, when each element is given unique combination
of symbols. Different sizes of sets yield different number of variations.
Symbol sets such as an alphabet, arabic numerals, roman numerals, and binary
digits have different proportions between the length of a string of symbols
and the number of possible variations it can contain. Thus two symbols of
English alphabet can store 26^2 various values, of arabic numerals 10^2, of
roman numberals 8^2 and of binary digits 2^2.

Indexation is segmentation, a breaking into segments. From as early as the
13th century the index such as that of sections has served as enabler of
search. The more [detailed] indexation the more precise search results it

The subject-index and concordance are tables of search results. There is a
direct lineage from the 13th-century biblical concordances and the birth of
computational linguistic analysis, they were both initiated and realised by

During the World War II, Jesuit Father Roberto Busa began to look for machines
for the automation of the linguistic analysis of the 11 million-word Latin
corpus of Thomas Aquinas and related authors.

Working on his Ph.D. thesis on the concept of _praesens_ in Aquinas he
realised two things:

> "I realized first that a philological and lexicographical inquiry into the
verbal system of an author has t o precede and prepare for a doctrinal
interpretation of his works. Each writer expresses his conceptual system in
and through his verbal system, with the consequence that the reader who
masters this verbal system, using his own conceptual system, has to get an
insight into the writer's conceptual system. The reader should not simply
attach t o the words he reads the significance they have in his mind, but
should try t o find out what significance they had in the writer's mind.
Second, I realized that all functional or grammatical words (which in my mind
are not 'empty' at all but philosophically rich) manifest the deepest logic of
being which generates the basic structures of human discourse. It is .this
basic logic that allows the transfer from what the words mean today t o what
they meant to the writer.


> In the works of every philosopher there are two philosophies: the one which
he consciously intends to express and the one he actually uses to express it.
The structure of each sentence implies in itself some philosophical
assumptions and truths. In this light, one can legitimately criticize a
philosopher only when these two philosophies are in contradiction."

Collaborating with the IBM in New York from 1949, the work, a concordance of
all the words of Thomas Aquinas, was finally published in the 1970s in 56
printed volumes (a version is online since 2005
12( Besides that, an
electronic lexicon for automatic lemmatization of Latin words was created by a
team of ten priests in the scope of two years (in two phases: grouping all the
forms of an inflected word under their lemma, and coding the morphological
categories of each form and lemma), containing 150,000 forms
13( Father
Busa has been dubbed the father of humanities computing and recently also of
digital humanities.

The subject-index has a crucial role in the printed book. It is the only means
for search the book offers. Subjects composing an index can be selected
according to a classification scheme (specific to a field of an inquiry), for
example as elements of a certain degree (with a given minimum number of

Its role seemingly vanishes in the digital text. But it can be easily
transformed. Besides serving as a table of pre-searched results the subject-
index also gives a distinct idea about content of the book. Two patterns give
us a clue: numbers of occurrences of selected words give subjects weights,
while words that seem specific to the book outweights other even if they don't
occur very often. A selection of these words then serves as a descriptor of
the whole text, and can be thought of as a specific kind of 'tags'.

This process was formalized in a mathematical function in the 1970s, thanks to
a formula by Karen Spärck Jones which she entitled 'inverse document
frequency' (IDF), or in other words, "term specificity". It is measured as a
proportion of texts in the corpus where the word appears at least once to the
total number of texts. When multiplied by the frequency of the word _in_ the
text (divided by the maximum frequency of any word in the text), we get _term
frequency-inverse document frequency_ (tf-idf). In this way we can get an
automated list of subjects which are particular in the text when compared to a
group of texts.

We came to learn it by practice of searching the web. It is a mechanism not
dissimilar to thought process involved in retrieving particular information
online. And search engines have it built in their indexing algorithms as well.

There is a paper proposing attaching words generated by tf-idf to the
hyperlinks when referring websites 14(
This would enable finding the referred content even after the link is dead.
Hyperlinks in references in the paper use this feature and it can be easily
tested: 15(

There is another measure, cosine similarity, which takes tf-idf further and
can be applied for clustering texts according to similarities in their
specificity. This might be interesting as a feature for digital libraries, or
even a way of organising library bottom-up into novel categories, new
discourses could emerge. Or as an aid for researchers to sort through texts,
or even for editors as an aid in producing interesting anthologies.

## Final
"Edit section: Final remarks")]


New disciplines emerge all the time - most recently, for example, cultural
techniques, software studies, or media archaeology. It takes years, even
decades, before they gain dedicated shelves in libraries or a category in
interlibrary digital repositories. Not that it matters that much. They are not
only sites of academic opportunities but, firstly, frameworks of new
perspectives of looking at the world, new domains of knowledge. From the
perspective of researcher the partaking in a discipline involves negotiating
its vocabulary, classifications, corpus, reference field, and specific
terms[subjects]. Creating new fields involves all that, and more. Even when
one goes against all disciplines.


Google can still surprise us.


Knowledge has been in the making for millenia. There have been (abstract)
mechanisms established that govern its conditions. We now possess specialized
corpora of texts which are interesting enough to serve as a ground to discuss
and experiment with dictionaries, classifications, indexes, and tools for
references retrieval. These all belong to the poetic devices of knowledge-


Command-line example of tf-idf and concordance in 3 steps.

* 1\. Process the files text.1-5.txt and produce freq.1-5.txt with lists of (nonlemmatized) words (in respective texts), ordered by frequency:

> for i in {1..5}; do tr '[A-Z]' '[a-z]' < text.$i.txt | tr -c '[a-z]'
'[\012*]' | tr -d '[:punct:]' | sort | uniq -c | sort -k 1nr | sed '1,1d' >
temp.txt; max=$(awk -vvar=1 -F" " 'NR

1 {print $var}' temp.txt); awk
-vmaxx=$max -F' ' '{printf "%-7.7f %s\n", $1=0.5+($1/(maxx*2)), $2}' > freq.$i.txt; done && rm temp.txt

* 2\. Process the files freq.1-5.txt and produce tfidf.1-5.txt containing a list of words (out of 500 most frequent in respective lists), ordered by weight (specificity for each text):

> for j in {1..5}; do rm freq.$j.txt.temp; lines=$(wc -l freq.$j.txt) && for i
in {1..500}; do word=$(awk -vline="$i" -vfield=2 -F" " 'NR

line {print
$field}' freq.$j.txt); tf=$(awk -vline="$i" -vfield=1 -F" " 'NR

line {print
$field}' freq.$j.txt); count=$(egrep -lw $word freq.?.txt | wc -l); idf=$(echo
"1+l(5/$count)" | bc -l); tfidf=$(echo $tf*$idf | bc); echo $word $tfidf >>
freq.$j.txt.temp; done; sort -k 2nr < freq.$j.txt.temp > tfidf.$j.txt; done

* 3\. Process the files tfidf.1-5.txt and their source text, text.txt, and produce occ.txt with concordance of top 3 words from each of them:

> rm occ.txt && for j in {1..5}; do echo "$j" >> occ.txt; ptx -f -w 150
text.txt.$j > occ.$j.txt; for i in {1..3}; do word=$(awk -vline="$i" -vfield=1
-F" " 'NR

line {print $field}' tfidf.$j.txt); egrep -i
"[alpha:](/index.php?title=Alpha:&action=edit&redlink=1 "Alpha: \(page does
not exist\)") $word" occ.$j.txt >> occ.txt; done; done

Dušan Barok

_Written 23 October - 1 November 2014 in Bratislava and Stuttgart._


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