Some ways I can think of:
* Get her elected as rector of a university. Contraversial figures are sometimes elected as Rector, at least in the UK, because students are the electorate. However for the same reason this isn't considered especially prestigious by people who know this.
* Fund and create an academic post specifically for her (Ptolomy II Professor of the ethics of copyright strikes me a a suitably biting title )
* Nominate her to some well known prize
 Ptolomy II decreed that any book found in a ship in the port of Alexandria should be copied by the scribes of his library - with or without the permission of the owner. The UK actually has a similar law in that publishers are required to send copies of any book published in the UK to the British Library
It's a shame Elbakyan hasn't written a paper about sci-hub that people can cite. Many software packages do that, to give academics an obvious way to cite them.
On nominations: the Nobel nomination process is very open (iirc, any relevant professor can make a nomination). For that reason it is also largely meaningless, but that doesn't stop many people boasting about it, and chunks of the media enabling them. So this is leaning a long way towards fake news, but is also something a single person could do.
[Publishers claim sites like Sci-Hub] “have no incentive to ensure the accuracy of scientific articles, no incentive to ensure published papers meet ethical standards, and no incentive to retract or correct articles if issues arise.”
The correct response to this should be to always note in citations when a paper was accessed through sci-hub. Then the reader is warned, and can compare against the canonical version if they are worried.
The science has changed to fake paper mill to advance the careers of people in the countries with weak institutions.
The accuracy of articles themselves and the integrity of them is trivial to establish as SciHub, LibGen, and ZLibrary all index principally on checksums of files. If there's a modification, the checksums will reveal which items are affected.
Note the MD5 hash provided for Stephen Breyer's seminal article "The Uneasy Case for Copyright" (1970): 8F8B57972236B04621795C49A15E8C2E
Her effort deserves to be rewarded with the nobel peace prize, imsvho.
Since then, I've become so enthusiastic about academia in large part because of sci-hub. For all my interests I can find papers and access them with no institutional affiliation. I've learned how I learn, gained valuable research skills, and am planning on re-applying to finish a bachelor's degree!
Although I come from a place of privilege I owe a great debt to sci hub. I can't imagine how critical it is for those outside my bubble, where institutions might not have great access in the first place.
As a result, any papers published in 2021 (and some of the rarer, older ones, that nobody tried to access in the past) are not retrievable by Sci-Hub. The user only gets to see a white screen.
This is meant to be a temporary measure, but it's been going on since December of last year (due to various court hearing delays), and the desperation in online communities like the r/scihub subreddit has been palpable [1,2].
Ultimately, sci-hub will unfortunately get the same end. Until the Scientific society stops maintaining the leeches that are the scientific journals, nothing will change.
I’m not really a scholar or academic per se, but the independent research I do (which involves skimming thousands of papers per year, 99% of which are irrelevant or useless) would be an order of magnitude harder without sci-hub. Most paywalled papers I just would never bother to read, unless I happened to be sitting in a university library or something.
The result will be less science, slower science and independent scientists being pushed out of the road. They would try to recruit them later under the ridiculous 'citizen scientists' category ('missionary scientists' would be an even better term), but this is what we have. Every single people trying to break monopolies or introduce changes for the benefit of the entire humanity in the past two decades has been laminated as a public warning for newcomers.
Let's rephrase that:
"If you can't afford the journal subscriptions that allow you to access all of the papers your peers think are relevant for you to cite, then you shouldn't release your research at all."
Whose world ends up with "less science", again?
But beyond that, there are paywalled journals which Harvard does not subscribe to. There are journals which the University of California does not subscribe to. (Or pick your favorite university, and there will be some paywalled journals it does not subscribe to.) Almost all are on Sci-Hub.
Moreover, even in the USA/Europe, there are many researchers who are not affiliated with any university, and many laypeople who look up scientific literature from time to time. For instance a great many paywalled papers are directly relevant to working computer programmers, but not worth $35/paper + bureaucratic hassle to evaluate.
So why not call the system what is? The guild of knowledge.
I still vividly remember when the eastern-block opened, and all those excellent Russian mathematicians who went into the west, were not recognized when it came to there degrees in europe. "The brightest minds of a generation work here" in the university brochure? Don't make me laugh.
IP law has long been abused to stifle development instead of protecting it. In this case it might stifle scientific research.
As a working programmer I'd like to have access to scientific papers, but realistically no researcher is going to care whether I do. If the pain isn't being felt by top-tier researchers and top-tier universities, I doubt anyone will be able to change it.
Researchers absolutely want people to read and use their work! That’s why they do it! Having some practical impact on people making things in industry is super gratifying to the researchers I know, much more than just having the same tiny circle of known collaborators read and cite each-other’s papers in theoretical or small-scale academic prototype work.
For many of them, the reason we get the benefits of these top-tier people is because of sci-hub.
See https://arxiv.org/help/submit. That will make your paper easily accessible to all. And, of course, to yourself, wherever you are.
My own academic library where I work used to have a per-semester limit and charged for requests over it but we eliminated it for a number of reasons, one of which was that it was skewing our acquisition decisions. When we did charge, the cost was less than what you'd pay at a publisher's website.
It is true that some vendor content doesn't allow ILL, but it's in the minority. In 2009 the Information Delivery Services Project found around 15% of publishers do not permit ILL at all while 46% permit it with no restrictions. The rest are in-between, applying restrictions like no lending outside of the US or to commercial entities.
None of that is unreasonably expensive, but I can see it adding up quickly if you need to order like half of the things in your references (which might happen if your institution isn't subscribed to one of the bigger journals in your field).
Unlike the GB legal system, from which they branched out, they never got the reformation wave circa 1960-1970 when UK was trying to root out the most outrageous flaws of English law.
There was a now legendary legal dispute over land near either Multan, or Kohat, can't remember exactly, which began in 19th century, outlasted 6, or 7 generations, and ended just few years ago.
> One reason is that Elbakyan believes she has a shot at winning the case, and her odds might improve if she plays by the rules. “I want the Indian court to finally support free access to science,” she said. If that happened, it would mark a significant victory for Sci-Hub, with reverberations likely beyond India. Victory remains a longshot, but Elbakyan thinks it’s worth the hassle and expense. She didn’t even bother to contest the two lawsuits in the United States.
There is no hard restriction on how lawyers are paid . Judges may limit something in some specific cases etc, also they have paperwork to do for any foreign income for tax purposes. That's not unusal in many countries.
There maybe optics problem occasionally if local issue gets international funding it can undermine support etc, here the other party copyright holders are also international and she /libgen is also not local, so perhaps not as much a problem her funding comes globally
The topic of borders and the Internet is a really weird one in general. Somehow the very same people who would like Alexandra to flout any laws will jump up and down and yell "Google should be forced to do what my country tells it". Personally I find this baffling.
It isn't just about publicity, it is also about legal precedent.
In the English common law system, a judge is allowed to cite not just precedent from within their own country's legal system, but also precedent from courts in foreign common law jurisdictions. Foreign courts are not binding precedent, but a judge is allowed to say they are persuaded by the foreign court's reasoning. The propriety of citing foreign court judgements has become rather controversial in the US, but in England and other common law jurisdictions it is an accepted practice which few question.
I doubt a legal precedent from India is going to persuade the courts of developed countries like UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc. Even though most of those are technically allowed to consider Indian court decisions (as a fellow common law jurisdiction), they rarely give Indian courts much heed in practice. But it may be much more influential with the courts of developing countries in Africa and elsewhere. That's what Elbakyan is trying to do, win a case in India and then use that as a springboard to winning cases in other countries too.
If Sci-Hub is forced to shut down due to legal pressure, technical problems, running out of money, or the founder losing interest, it would take a long time for anyone to duplicate Sci-Hub if they started from zero.
I think a good way to keep the cause alive is to backup or mirror the 85,483,811 papers hosted on Sci-Hub. That is, if she's willing to allow it (maybe it's already being done, but how widely?).
In the case of Sci-Hub, you'd need between 85 and 850 TB for each backup or mirror depending on whether the average paper size is 1 MB or 10 MB.
There's already an effort where the data is broken up into 100GB chunks . Looks like the entire database is duplicated now at least 10 times. 
> Anyone remember Napster? There were extremely obscure musical recordings that were instantly found on Napster that are impossible to find even today.
That existed (and still exists) - there was oink.cd, then what.cd, and now RED. But each incarnation has lost things. Each time you burn down the library, you're bound to lose something.
It's disappointing there isn't a legal way of cultural preservation. We need something like a crowd sourced digital library.
index for all the papers in these torrents (SQL db): https://libgen.rs/dbdumps/scimag.sql.gz
also see https://www.reddit.com/r/DataHoarder/comments/nc27fv/rescue_...
However, this is certainly more challenging for older articles.
At the reduced cost, we'd only need 7 of those for 112TB of storage, and that's $1890 + taxes, close to $2000. Not a lot of money for a backup of humanity's knowledge.
Granted, the source might not be the best, nor using average salaries as a signal either, but to say that many people can spend something like that on a whim seems ignorant at best.
-  https://www.worlddata.info/average-income.php
Pretty much this.
Elbakyan: builds library of Alexandria.
Elsevier et al.: tries to burn it down.
The courts here in India are notoriously slow on many cases. Depending on luck, the hearings don’t even start for a long time after an initial notice is sent to defendants. If the publishers are able to push the court for an earlier hearing, we’ll know how soon Sci-Hub can get back on track (surely she’s not going to stop maintaining the site and stop uploading new papers regardless of how the case turns out). I don’t think the publishers would be content with just new papers not being uploaded. If the case drags on, the backlog of newer papers to upload may become an immense effort that may create some “holes” in the data archive.
I just hope the court decides sooner and we can get on with Sci-Hub growing.
P.S.: This link shared in another comment worked for me without any CAPTCHA prompts - https://archive.ph/huNwk
Sci-Hub is just as relevant as ever. What has happened is that paywalled papers published in 2021 are losing a substantial proportion of their readers and potential citations, and their future impact will be depressed compared to papers from previous years. Even when Sci-Hub starts adding papers again, there may be a significant permanent effect.
Unestablished researchers publishing important early-career papers in paywalled journals are getting harmed.
Did people really stopped reading arXiv, like they stopped reading journals, and moved on to Sci-Hub completely?
Or the final published versions are substantially different from preprint versions often enough to make Sci-Hub is so important?
No, that's not the case outside a few subfields.
I'm always amazed at the lack of will to change what everyone agrees is a problem.
Unless you meant that the way academia is structured is the problem here. Because it is and it leads to these excesses. Publishing, itself an acknowledged problem, is being addressed. But slowly, very slowly. Because the incentives in academia do not point to risk taking.
And I’ll just +1 here that even when I did have access through university, the flow for logging into elsevier was like 8 clicks, and then after finding the paper, the button to download and read it was hidden on the side as an image-button, no alt or title text. Just an image with the word “download pdf”
So yeah, I went to sci-hub every time.
Reminds me of being a kid living in a small town in the mountains of Norway. The only music I could buy was the Top10 CDs on display at the kiosk. Being rotated only a few times a year and not at all my taste. But with p2p filesharing I could listen to all kinds of music. Often times the illegal way is just so much more convenient, not because it's free, but because it doesn't have lots of artificial hurdles.
Nope. Most people read PDFs inside the browser, with the same sandbox protections as other web content.
Both have had exploits in the past, but I would trust the pdf.js approach more.
Even then there might be some remote management exploits which would work on turned off machines, so unplug the cables aswell.
There is also more ways then just turning off your machine. Its needlessly oversimplifying complex topics. Topics that are very interesting and have severe implications. Especially if we are talking about state level espionage.
So in short, no you are wrong. PDF exploits are still a thing. You made unjustified assumptions.
Reading my post it sounds confrontational. Thats not my intent.
The best way to reduce the number of bugs (exploits) in a system is to get rid of it.
Since you've brought up state level espionage, this might be the reason why states are run by hordes of bureocrats processing physical paperwork (this is an oversimplification of course).
Nice point, thanks for bringing it up. Reminded me of
>Russian guard service reverts to typewriters after NSA leaks
It seems like as long as every university in the world can just switch to a blog a do away with publications, they'd save a lot of money, improve science, and reduce complexity overnight.
Why are paid journals still a thing?
Now, if all scientists in a field were to switch to a new journal, they could take the prestige with them, get rid of the rent seeking publisher, and have the same science, prestige, and impact for a fraction of the cost. But if any individual scientists switches, they'd carry the full loss (of foregoing prestige/impact), while achieving no gain. So, you need to have everybody on board simultaneously.
A switch like that can happen , but it happens rarely. Often it takes the nestor of a field to get sufficiently pissed off with a journal and persuade everyone to move on. Great example: Don Knuth in 2003 convinced the Editorial Board of the Journal of Algorithms (which he had founded) to resign , and start ACM Transactions on Algorithms with a different, lower-priced, not-for-profit publisher. Elsevier kept the old Journal going, but gave up and folded 6 years later. Yay.
Wish that would happen more often. But given that the situation was basically the same 20 years ago, I am not optimistic. What needs to happen to shake the scientific publishing world up??
I have received plenty of emails inviting me to submit work to predatory journals, but their low quality and lack of peer review and general ethics is pretty obvious and they are easy to avoid. They feel more like a spammy annoyance than a real threat.
In my experience, the author typesets themselves anyway - the journal doesn’t do this. And the clerical work is done by community volunteers - the journal doesn’t do that either.
Whenever I publish a paper, I just send them a finished PDF. There's nothing more done with it than that I believe.
Also, I have never sent a PDF for publication. I always send source files. I do not know of journals that would accept a PDF (except for early peer review).
Therefore is a captive customer case. And captive here has the same meaning as slave. If you don't work for free for some journals, basically you can't have a scientist career. In higher levels articles are not enough and you need to consider seriously to write a book for Elsevier or somebody else.
And this cut both ways. Acta Vertebrata, the journal of the Doñana's Biological Station since 1974, have to be closed in 1997 after decades trying unsuccessfully to achieve a higher impact index as journal. Low impact index means that you obtain less and less of the researchers effort and that interesting articles fly away your radar. Researchers deciding to publish in Acta Vertebrata had a competitive disadvantage. It was a terrific journal, the problem is that they did science in the latinosphere, period. Nowadays science means do politics or go home
When planning your holiday, the canyon matters. When submitting your paper, the venue matters - is it the right audience, and does it maximalise the impact?
Article in Science / Nature is vastly more impressive than in most regional journals - which affects your career options.
But you're right, she faces risk, which the Prometheus story, while overused, better captures.
Her name Alexandra also brings to mind the Library of Alexandria, which is a happy coincidence.
And as for risk, we also remember her predecessor, Aaron Swartz.
Another reference to Saraswati.
It's famously irreverent towards western-style copyright, seems like it could (well, it's a difficult "it", granted) score some brownie points by making a mirror which is accessible both within and without their great firewall.
They just turn a blind eye towards piracy when it suits them.
Indian courts on other hand have in the past taken public decisions in the favour of common good, like with pharmaceutical parents recently.
A victory here won't solve everything, but it is a start. Developing world is where the licensing fees are impossibly expensive for even universities. Perhaps an Indian precedent would help in other countries.
Why is she bullish on potentially winning the case?
Is there a law in India that she is counting on?
Or as I suspect she is counting on a sympathetic judge who might rule in her favor by finding some precedent from around the world.
If say she does win how would the appeals process work?
Yes. Indian courts have ruled that photocopying books isn’t copyright violation, i assume we can expect a similar judgement for copying research papers.
"Copyright, specially in literary works, is thus not an inevitable, divine, or natural right that confers on authors the absolute ownership of their creations. It is designed rather to stimulate activity and progress in the arts for the intellectual enrichment of the public. Copyright is intended to increase and not to impede the harvest of knowledge. It is intended to motivate the creative activity of authors and inventors in order to benefit the public."
Jesus, what a beautiful opinion from the Delhi High Court. Go India.
It's weird that the reporter did not find that interesting enough to discuss.
She seems to be fine. She decided to fight the case in India, on her own, because she thinks she can win it.
In Austria the providers do block it, but it's still reachable via the *.st TLD. Not sure if that's an official sci-hub page or not, but it works.
Hilariously, it's also available through JANET, the British universities' networking system. So essentially every student and researcher in the country has access from work...
It’s my impression that it’s a matter of adaptation before the free access becomes the norm. Therefore technical help and civil disobedience should eventually do the job.
In this case, we are stealing from the CD company without actually stealing the CDs. With a path adjustment we should be able to stop stealing CDs without any monetary impact on the content creators.
In this story, I do not feel any guilt "stealing" from a journal that did not contribute anything but prestige to the creation of that paper (and was already paid twice for it, before I even tried to read the paper).
I'm not a scientist, and I don't know how this works, so this is an honest question. But as an outsider, it seems that the most important intellectual property of these publishers are not articles themselves, but famous journals that scientists all over the world are so eager to publish for. And if this suggestion is right, that don't those scientists actually get paid, although indirectly through eyballs instead of cash? Which they then convert into Hirsch index, and then, through grants and programs and tenures, into cash?
- The most prestigious journals (at least in my field) are not ridiculous prestige rackets like Elsevier. And they are (slowly) moving to open-access models. In these situations the authors of a paper are expected to pay processing fees ($1000 to $5000), but after that the paper is free to access by anyone.
- A pretty standard workaround is to put your paper on a pre-print server before even submitting to a journal. Then some draft version of the paper is trivial to access even if the peer-reviewed version is behind a paywall.
- The majority of scientists and paper writers are not tenured and do not have job security. Currently, their career growth depends on having done "good science" and regrettably the only trivially easy measure of "good science" is the prestige of journals you have published in. While pretty much all scientists agree that the system is bad, it is difficult to fight the system while your career depends on it.
- Slowly, fields are switching to open-access journals. Their prestige is growing and soon the previous bullet point will not be an issue.
- It really depends on the field as well. I rarely stumbled upon a physics paper that does not have some legal open-access option. Not so much with Engineering. So while I truly have no problem acting the way you expect me to act in your comment, my engineering colleagues would have much harder time, given that their community does not have as many prestigious open-access options or a habit of using preprint servers.
- It is frustratingly slow, but it is very visible how the "prestige" currency is indeed switching from traditional journals to open-access journals (either ones that are free and community driven or paid, but paid only on submission, not on download)
But you can not expect this all to happen overnight, as people's scientific careers are on the line. Thankfully, it is slowly happening, with or without Scihub.
The latter deprives someone of an item, the former increases its availability. An important distinction when considering the purpose and goals of Sci-Hub.
> The latter deprives someone of an item ...
It's depriving people of money, which is not a trivial asset.
There is no moral dilemma here : accessing an article thru Sci-Hub deprives nobody from getting its due money. Scientists unfortunately continues not being paid for the paper, journals continues being paid by universities to review the paper, but nobody wants to pay just to read a paper from the journal when it already has been paid for.
But being a publisher means being an intermediate between the author and the reader, which they are not since when I buy the right to read a publication, 0% of my money goes to author.
And even, I could be ok to pay them to compensate access fees (lol !) but I prefer using their concurrent (Sci-Hub)
I call this a mafia. The fact it is legal don’t change my view on it.
Also, many users of Sci-Hub would not be able to afford the publishers' access fees anyway. The alternative, if Sci-Hub is destroyed, isn't the publishers getting loads more cash rolling in, it's such users not being able to access these research papers at all.
Definitely some effort goes to running these companies just like keeping the dial-up lines operational. Totally not cool to steal the dial-up, what we should do is to cancel it.
It is very simple, i have to publish if i want to get my phd. And due to years of corruption those publications have to be in certain journals.
My work isnt financed by the publishers. Neither is the review process, my doctoral supervisor gets nothing out of doing reviews like these. I also pay to attend the conference, which is mandatory to get published.
I am coerced into signing away my (publicly funded) research to then see it put behind a pay wall. Preventing me from sharing it freely robbing me of the feedback from my peers.
Elsevier are a cancer and only function through forced labor. Not only are they rentseeking on somebody elses work, they are creating a worse situation for everyone involved. Including Science itself.
Without SciHub uploading the newest articles, the vast majority of institutions and individuals are unable to access the latest science. This results in the pace of global scientific advancement slowing way, way down. That means that cures to diseases, for example, are either not discovered or the progress toward discovering cures is delayed months, years, or decades. That means people die who did not have to die except for the greed and corruption of the publishing companies and the academic publishing system. It means people suffer unnecessarily. It means progress toward climate change solutions is stifled. It means species that didn't have to go extinct, may go extinct. It goes on and on. It means progress in all fields, in all nations is stymied. It means you, your family members, and your friends may suffer and die from diseases and endure calamities that were entirely unnecessary to experience.
The moral argument involved in this debate is ENTIRELY different than Napster. No one dies because they don't get to hear J Lo's latest hit.
There is a giant difference between moral and legal. It was illegal for Rosa Parks to not give up her seat for a white person. A white person in Montgomery, AL circa 1955 may have attempted to claim that Ms Parks was guilty of "theft" - that she "stole" a seat from a white person. But by doing what she did, she sparked a movement that has begun to create a different and better world for African Americans. Was Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her seat to a white person an immoral act?
What Alexandra is doing is illegal according to the laws of many nations. But is it immoral? I argue that not only is what Alexandra doing moral, but there is a moral imperative for the work begun by her to continue. If anything, Alexandra ought to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her courage and dedication to the betterment of all humanity. I'm not kidding.
Elsevier is basically a rent-seeking monopoly. They also publish fake journals, and manipulate the impact factor of their journals by coercing citations.
It's about the mediator overcharging for the littlest work they do.
Also about taxpayer funded research being available to everyone, why should tax money go into the pockets of the publishing racket?
Taxes paid for the research, taxes pay for access to journals (institutional subscriptions by libraries and universities) so the whole paywall thing just feels like taxpayers are getting fleeced.
Make access to journals free and save us all the penny.
Verify it for yourself as well, but I believe the address is
Seems like she is not that in trouble, so my concern does not hold.
Congress people or local representatives.
Talk about it.
I hope she will get her first win in the Indian court so that it gets back to add new papers and advance science and help students as it used to be for the last decade.
Different possibilities in different legal spaces. Any others like that, that you can think of?
I also know of several seed boxes to have servers in Switzerland, but my knowledge in both of these matters is rather dated. If somebody else has updated info on these matters I'd love to learn more.
We need a better solution to Elsevier etc but the people who most need it (grad students living on a 30k stipend) have little power to fight things, and every reason not to stick their neck out when their future depends on publishing to paid journals.
I do not meet that qualification. But I'd be willing to wager that at least one person frequenting this forum does. If you meet the qualifications to nominate a person for a Nobel Peace Prize, please consider nominating Alexandra. The deadline is midnight CET, Jan 31.
How is that use case addressed when the cost of finding each paper seems to be so much higher?
I thought the publicity for her efforts was made after this, in English language media anyway. Though perhaps I am misremembering the order of events.
Good luck to the scientific publishers. You can expend any resources to track users across the Internet.
I'm deeply ashamed that my country would block sci-hub given that the current system is preventing scientific development.
I only started to use it occasionally once I've graduated (but I didn't really do any formal research any more.)
Sci-hub requires the title of the paper. that's it.
I use Google Scholar search exclusively to find papers and you can directly click the link to open the paper (and then download). Constantly copying pasting title, URL or DOI into sci-hub is actually a hassle in this respect when you're just browsing around (I guess there must be extensions or userscripts to make it better, though).
Saying that the work could not have been done without it is basically admitting that you got papers outside the subscriptions of your institution. It is also against the policy of all the institutions I know, so could be grounds for termination. And again, this could apply to your co-authors as well.
I am really not endorsing the subscription model, but putting something like that in your articles' acknowledgments really is not smart.
Isn’t that exactly the point? How is it not hindering scientific progress if you do not have access to research that you don’t pay for.
It’s not like the journals themselves fund the research, they’re just getting a free ride.
The situation is worse as most of the research is already paid for by tax money.
Not really. It could also mean: Scihub offers an efficient way to explore scientific articles, and without it, I (the scientist) wouldn't have bothered with all the different paywalls to even check if papers were worth reading. And as such, I would not have reached the same results.
After a certain limit, they will go into "I will invent it myself" mode.
And here is a different argument. Scientists often have brilliant moments while e.g. showering. So they could have written: "this work would not have been possible without showers". The statement itself does not imply anything about whether they paid for the water or not. Or even if they took a shower. Perhaps the thought of a shower triggered the eureka moment.
I will allow that there may be some harms which can result from unlimited copying of anything you want— but they bear no resemblance to the collision of automobiles in the midst of a busy intersection.
But physical space is inherently rivalrous, and a policy of "everyone runs a red light if they think they can get away with it" is going to have people being disastrously wrong sometimes.
I've actually ridden a scooter in places in SE Asia which basically work this way and it's... different. Less insane than it sounds, or looks like, but the rates of traffic fatality are objectively much higher.
This is why I thought it was interesting enough to comment upon.
In the same way that if everyone runs green lights, they'll collide with one another? How do you go through intersections?
"Running a red light" does not just mean "go when it's red" but it explicitly means "transgressing a stop signal". That there can be stop signals on multiple entrances also is complicating and sets up the crash.
Are you in France? In that case you'll find that french academic librarians are extremely open to this stuff. I have participated in some proposals to cancel all elsevier+other library subscriptions and give all that money directly to SciHub, and the librarians were always very receptive to the idea. Unfortunately, this sort of initiative inevitably gets stuck in the upper echelons of some administrative procedure and never materializes. I guess predatory editors have a deeply entrenched influence within the academic institutions, otherwise I don't understand how that happens...
I tried to access it while reading this thread, and couldn't. Then I remembered I had activated my VPN and I was tunnelling through the US.
maybe an ISP or VPN service thing?
I had no problem in so-cal. I tried tunnels in NorCal/Oregon/Washington, no problems there either.
Not blocked for me at the the original domain
Academia needs to throw away for-profit journal publishers and leave it with social co-ops and nonprofits.
Scientists want to publicize in a prestigious journal. Elsevier is prestigious. Elsevier charges a subscription fee. Other scientists can’t access it.
So what scientists want is to be able to publish in the most prestigious journals and have free access to them.
It’s like if I said “i want to be able to attend the most prestigious school but I don’t want to pay for it”.
There are free-access journals out there that charge virtually no fees, and still have excellent quality / reputation. One such example is Quantum: https://quantum-journal.org/
And it's certainly not the peer review that makes it prestigious since those are anonymous.
And, yes, it is the quality of peer review (i.e. the work done by unpaid editors and reviewers) that makes a certain publication prestigious or not.
Elsevier does typesetting and distribution, both of which can easily be done otherwise (see LaTeX and Sci-Hub). It sure as hell does not do peer review.
Also, it is indeed the presence of very selective peer review that is a big part of "prestige". This is why free community driven open access journals are slowly overtaking the old journals. The price of a journal publication does not correlate much with the prestige. There are even examples of reverse correlation.
Oh yeah, you want those juicy prestigious papers still.
I am really confused, why are you assuming people that are vocal about this continue reviewing for Elsevier (or assuming this about me in particular)? This is simply not happening. Is it really that surprising to you that only part of a community is working on the social problems in the community, while the rest is focusing on their main work: science.
This is a general attitude among every naysayer against progress: "you can not demand that society changes for the better if you are active part of society". Do you not see how ridiculous that is?
And you were already given examples of prestigious journals that have transitioned to the open access model. And universities that boycott elsevier. And grant agencies that demand work to be published open access. What more do you want? For this to have happened last decade? Well, things take time.
Let me be more direct - why? If Elsevier is clearly the "bad guy" here?
And if. as your put it, "as decade later" scientists are still donating their time for free, why do you think it will change? How long does it take?
Despite all the complaints of being "predatory", people still submit to those journals and volunteer their time. Why? Stockholm Syndrome? No. "Inertia"? No.
It's because they get something they can't get out of open source journals - a publication in a highly prestigious journal.
My point is everyone likes to say Elsevier offers "nothing" yet, what you call "inertia" (I call it "wanting what Elsevier has to offer") keeps them coming back to you point - maybe for decades?
I think it's interesting to note that in many European countries the top schools are free to attend.