Right now, I'm pretty sure most people don't care about academic publishing or even know what is going on. The scandal in my opinion is that a professor or phd candidate is paid by the state to do research and then the state has to pay again to license the contributions their employees made. Meanwhile the taxpayer who already paid for the research cannot access that research for free.
The main problem is that the academic system is a dog eat dog world with people clinging to their positions or fighting with all dirty tricks in the book to get tenure, reputation or funding. I'm not sure how to fix it.
The way to get to a better world probably leads through blood sweat and motivation by small groups. Run an open access journal, make it the best or highly regarded in your small niche. The more of these exist, the better.
Maybe that's an interesting area for an accelerator to pump some non-profit money into. Hire some people as editors, make the content available for free. Use startup strategies to turn it into a very feisty publisher where academics want to publish. Make sure the stuff in the journal is easy to cite and becomes cited often etc.
Use a bowling pin strategy to start with one topic (probably something computer science related) and once that is excellent, branch out.
You can run a better journal for free than what you can get from Elsevier. Throw in forums, video conferencing and shared docs and you can build entire academic structures in the cloud. Run a journal on a subreddit, papers on arxiv, video on meet (recordings posted to youtube), code in github, computation on colab notebooks. WeWork should offer wetlab space. ;)
Ideally we would have a storage commons where data that doesn't fit into the arxiv model of papers. Something like object storage but with some built in structure.
If you staff and pay for it.
You're also forgetting that the entire point of Journals is so that research institutions don't have to think about how to dole out the grant money. In addition to actually creating an entire new journal, you also have to make sure its "reputation" is better than the existing journals, or nobody will use it.
Reed-Elsevier. Reed-Elsevier. Reed-Elsevier.
Here's the summary of that article: "For the academic publishers, it is about extracting rents"
They don't want to sell Cokes at the beach; they want the official government monopoly on selling Cokes at the beach.
Ignoring the fact that you can indeed get the research for free if you e-mail the researchers... Who is going to pay for unlimited online access?
Somebody has to pay for it. It is not free to publish journals, or keep tens of thousands of them, with millions of articles, around indefinitely, for instant access by anyone on the web.
The only thing you can change is who is paying whom. Either you pay a publisher so that they maintain access. Or the people actually publishing an article pays the publisher (Open Access), in which case it's taxpayer money from the researchers' budget paying for it. Or you have lawmakers create some government subsidy for them to maintain access, or you have lawmakers create some government agency to maintain access. Other ways to pay include big private donors, universities, libraries, museums, endowments, foundations, societies, etc.
In all of those cases, someone will be paying. The question is, who, and how much? So far, nobody has offered to cough up all the dough. Maybe you can get Bezos, Bill and Buffet to chip in.
> It is not free to publish journals, or keep tens of thousands of them, with millions of articles, around indefinitely, for instant access by anyone on the web.
it's not free but it's pretty cheap. you can pay a tiny fraction of what the public universities are currently paying for access to these journals to maintain a repository of scientific papers.
look at scihub, is it being funded by Bezos, Bill or Buffet? no. if a single person can host all those papers herself backed by only random donations, I don't think any government or hell, any university would have any trouble doing the same thing with marginal amount of support.
If all you want to do is say "we have pre-pubs on a free FTP server", sure, that's cheap as hell. But it doesn't replace the journals, it doesn't address research funding models, it doesn't move scientific progress forward.
It seems no.
- No one service or site or subscription or pass
- No reasonable fee
- No aggregation of all the research
They’ve externalized the useful work back onto the user. Sci-hub does that work for me.
If I could pay $100/month* for sci-hub, I would.
* Footnote: Arbitrarily rating it as 3x more value than, say, Bloomberg. And while I think it should be a public service rather than a fee, if there is a fee, it likely should be geo-adjusted by global income bands: https://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/4085814679889422...
Write to the author as a last alternative, they're usually more than happy to send you a copy, I've had a couple of instances where a paper copy of the requested work turned up in the mail.
Now that I'm independent, it's searching the web, e-mailing the authors of the paper, and SciHub. This system would be a lot worse without SciHub. (And yes I donated; in fact I used cryptocurrency for the first time to donate)
- you don’t get the article, you get a browser window
- they only have about 1/2 of the articles (!)
Quoting from their FAQ:
Q. What does "renting" mean?
Renting articles is the simple and affordable way to get the high quality articles that you want, with the same layout and formatting as the printed or PDF versions.
"Rented" articles are available through DeepDyve's cloud-based service and can be viewed through your browser from anywhere you have an internet connection.
Read full text articles as often as you want during the rental period, and depending on your plan, you may print a limited number of pages per month. However, rented articles cannot be downloaded or shared.
Q. Why can't I rent, download, or print some articles?
DeepDyve works with many publishers but unfortunately not all of them have given us permission to let our users rent, download, or print some/all of their articles.
If an article is marked as "Preview" it means we only have permission to display the abstract but nothing else. As for downloading PDF’s, approximately half of the articles in our collection can be purchased and downloaded directly from DeepDyve. For the remaining half, DeepDyve provides a link that takes you to the publisher site where you can purchase the PDF directly from them.
It seems like their viewable content is 20% of the available literature, and the coverage is increasing. They appear to have recently added APS journals current up to five years ago. Adding arxiv to that, the physics coverage is pretty good, especially for historical research. (You also can access APS journals via your local public library.)
As an example of a topical search with no login:
And a page from that search:
You get only one page when not logged in, but Deepdyve has all of American Journal of Physics, which is really nice.
Deepdyve has been submitted several times to HN over the past decade, but it never generates any interest. That's surprising, considering the interest in SciHub.
You can't read the full text w/o signing up for the free trial. Without registering, you can't bookmark articles or add them to folders, either.
No. Because they're different social media sites. They do not work together. They compete.
Needless to say Sci-Hub has been a massive improvement to my quality of life, insofar as satiating my intellectual curiosity is needed. And I'm not even a researcher.
I do wonder sometimes if it almost makes it too easy, in a way that ends up propping up the status quo of closed publishing and takes away the incentive of publishing in open access sources. Early in my career I remember discussions about publishing in closed journals, concerns that papers will be less read because people may not have access to them. In the last few years, I feel like this has gone away because it seems like everyone (among researchers at least) knows about Sci-Hub.
I mean, I still think that on the whole, Sci-Hub is a good thing for the research community and the state of the publishing industry -- it gives people access to the research and ultimately does take some money out of the publishers' pockets. But it does also make a broken system feel less broken, and thus people are less willing to actively push for change.
I only say this to provide my day-to-day experience, I do think Sci-Hub is a net positive, and I'm certainly in favor of seeing the status quo change.
I really wish IEEE and ACM would open their entire catalog of knowledge over a certain age, I don't really care what year they pick.
One way to cut out the middle man would be to convince journal editors to run sibling journals alongside the existing journals, so for each "Transactions on XYZ" there would be an "Open Transactions on XYZ" (as close in title as is legal). Importantly, each sibling journal would be run by the exact same academics (who are doing the real work on tax money anyway), and according to the same process as the original journal, just without involvement from a traditional publisher. PDFs would be hosted on a site like arXiv. The goal would be that submitting to the open "sibling" would be the obvious rational choice (same people, same decision-making, no fees, open access), which in time even the funding agencies and tenure committees would have to acknowledge.
So rather than a reviewer lending their reputation to a journal, and that journal then conferring a stamp of trustworthiness onto an academic work, reviewers lend their reputation directly to the works they review. The works themselves can still be shared far and wide, e.g. via ArXiv.
Of course, inertia is still a massive force to work against.
The biggest problem I see with the proposed system is that it's unfortunately often easy to recognize who wrote a paper (which is bad for ordinary peer review already) and in a personal endorsement system this would lead to collusion among researchers with low integrity. You wink through my papers, I wink through your papers. Also, imagine you don't endorse the paper of the senior researcher in charge of your postdoc funding...
(Something similar goes for researchers in charge of your postdoc funding: how many co-authorships are earned, and how many are ways to game the current system?)
I'm certainly not saying that a public endorsement system is the end-all-be-all and won't have its own problems. However, I do get frustrated every now and then by the institutional inertia that arises from holding new initiatives to higher standards than existing ones (see also: using the Impact Factor to evaluate academics).
There are many things that needs to be addressed to improve science, not just peer review. Hiring policies need to change and indicator counts need to be used more adequately, empirical studies need to be pre-registered and the p-value needs to be 1% or lower. Peer review is just one factor and mostly a monetary issue. If all research institutions would spend enough money to make all commercial journals available for everyone, there would be no particular problem with peer review. The problem of many researchers in poorer countries is that they don't. The problem is not that peer review does not work.
Peer review itself is wonderful and is what enables science itself to work as well as it does.
* Reviewers are basically forced to it for free. If you're a researcher you won't have the time to properly fact check a 40 page paper for free, it just isn't going to happen. So they (we) don't. The review process isn't very rigorous.
* Journals are leeching off of the public money by double whammying both the scientists and the institutes while providing minuscule value. Their gains are absolutely disproportionate to what they provide.
* Even the most involved and convoluted peer review processes aren't as anonymous as you think. When there's already a handful of people in your field, you can pretty easily tell someone's identity from their writing style.
I would love to pretend that the system is great and works very well but it just doesn't and this pretense and the phenomenon of holding new systems to a higher standard than the current one is preventing us from actually improving the system.
For example, the status quo can be justified by "it seems obvious that" rather than being evidence-based. In practice, single or double blind is very often not actually blind , in which case it's hard to argue that it would be any different than transparency. Likewise, a new solution "creates all kinds of conflicts of interests and biases", without even considering whether the existing CoIs and biases are any better. Likewise, if people who game the system today have a low reputation, why would the same not hold true in a new system? Likewise, does anonymous peer review actually improve the quality of the reviews (e.g. )?
It's good not to blindly embrace something new, but I think it's important to withold judgement too, and see how it plays out in practice, and to make an effort to compensate for the prejudice people typically have towards the status quo.
And yes, absolutely agreed that much more needs to be addressed to improve science. But I also very much take issue with the idea that peer review is fine as-is.
 Heading "quality of feedback": https://plos.org/resource/open-peer-review/
Maybe you should consider that you're the stubborn one who links to blog posts from open access journals with a strong bias to reform the peer review system as evidence. Plos journals have this agenda because they don't have good enough pools of reviewers, which is the problem of all new journals. However, it's not as if scientists all over the world and funding authorities haven't thought about the topic. People should not withold judgement about these issues, that's an odd request and would weaken the position of scientific staff towards political decision makers who certainly won't withold judgement.
To give you an example of what is being done by funding authorities, at our university we are required by law to publish every article in openly accessible format. Otherwise they do not count at all towards our salaries, they will be ignored completely. There are public open repositories for that. The only thing that bothers everyone is that big publishers like Elsevier only allow draft versions in those repositories and there is sometimes a 1 year mandatory delay until they can be put online. That needs to change and EU authorities are working on it.
You publish in an established venue, but also put the paper on a public website. This is possible legally using the "standard trick": https://academia.stackexchange.com/a/119002/7319
... and is in relatively wide practice.
See for example https://www.elsevier.com/authors/submit-your-paper/sharing-a...:
You can always post your preprint on a preprint server. Additionally, for ArXiv and RePEC you can also immediately update this version with your accepted manuscript. Please note that Cell Press, The Lancet, and some society-owned titles have different preprint policies. Information on these is available on the journal homepage.
You can post your accepted author manuscript immediately to an institutional repository and make this publicly available after an embargo period has expired. Remember that for gold open access articles, you can post your published journal article and immediately make it publicly available.”
So, for example:
* There's an "embargo period" during which you're censored, you need to shut up, can't post your article. Preposterous.
* In many venues, you need to use custom links to Elsevier's "Science blocked and obfuscated". I mean "ScienceDirect"... yeah, right...
* You seem not to have rights to post new versions, or other derivative works.
* Stuff I haven't thought of because I'm not an IP lawyer.
Am I mistaken?
At best you get a ”copy” you can share via email when asked personally; the equivalent of a musician paid a couple drink coupons to share with their friends that came to see the gig…
Your proposed solution will not work because the sibling journal doesn't have the same paid support staff to do the unpleasant work that academics do not want to do. The unpleasant work includes administrative, first pass screening, copy-editing, typesetting, etc. I wrote a previous comment about this: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16738497
Therefore, the zero cost sibling journal wouldn't even get started by (most) academic editors because it imposes more labor they don't want to do. Yes, publishers like Elsevier and Springer are vilified ... but they also have paid staff and infrastructure to support the papers editors.
Because internet discussions have the constant repetition of "the reviewers are unpaid" (which is true), it creates a distorted mental model that the prestigious journals have "no paid staff" (which is not true). The publishers' paid support employees helps the unpaid reviewers.
An interesting journal that might seem like a counterexample to the support staff labor puzzle above is JMLR. But in an essay that explains how JMLR is able to function (e.g. offload typesetting and out-of-pocket expense of copy-editing to the submitter instead of the publisher) ... that same essay also explains why other journals haven't copied JMLR's model. (Analogous to your "sibling journal" proposal.)
Excerpt from https://blogs.harvard.edu/pamphlet/2012/03/06/an-efficient-j... :
>Does JMLR’s success and efficiency mean that all journals could run this way? Of course not. First, computer science journals are in a particularly good situation for being operated at low cost. Computer scientists possess all of the technological expertise required to efficiently manage and operate an online journal. Journal publishing is an information industry and computer scientists are specialists in information processing. Second, the level of volunteerism that JMLR relies on is atypical for the entire spectrum of journals.
Thus, the academics and editors at non-compsci journals such as Nature and The Lancet do not have comparable culture of information systems platform management, computer software skills of typesetting, volunteerism, etc that JMLR has. And the key is that they have no incentive to do so since the publishers already give them infrastructure support without imposing extra labor on the editors.
This has been a public service announcement.
This in a top 50 university in the US with ~50,000 students.
This sounds like some "... assuming your not a Red ..." Cold War-era dialogue to me.
Is that really the best way of expressing your point about the differences between personal freedom and non-cooperation with US law.
To suggest that China or Russia were in any way more free than America, would be intellectually dishonest and could only be explained someone acting as a shill.
I'm not from America and I am clear-eyed about its foibles, but being more free than either of the aforementioned countries is a pretty low bar to cross.
That’s because it’s a major claim that has to be defended, not simply declared. On its face the claim seems absurd to me.
I think we'd be better off letting people read the papers themselves, even if they do a poor job of it. Seems very unlikely to be any worse than science journalism as it currently exists.
I work in medical research (basic science, not clinical), and I see people "cite" papers, based solely on their titles, without understanding, or likely even reading, the nuanced findings of the actual papers.
It's dangerous because it gives people, often with secondary agendas, the illusion of scientific backing when there really isn't any (or when it's far more nuanced).
I'll just note that I am still in favor of open over closed, but I think we're lagging in scientific literacy currently.
I understand this. There are first year graduate students in my field that have a far deeper understanding on the basic science behind certain papers than the general public, and yet even they struggle to parse those papers' conclusions. I mean this is even true for PhDs working in the same field, given the right paper.
When I say scientific literacy, I mean something far more basic than actually understanding anything to do with any specific field. I mean (among other things) understanding what you just said, that scientific fields are deeply complex, understanding how actual science is done (peer review, incentives and motivations, author bias, etc), and, given the first two points, that one should generally be skeptical when a citation consists of only a paper's title.
> But access to source can allow someone to validate the claims by a journalist or a public officials trying to bend conclusion to support their view.
I'm aware of this, and I said that I was in favor of open access as opposed to a simply closed system (i.e. open is a, potentially quite large, net positive). I'm just pointing out that the potential for misinterpretation/misuse is also present (which is also what the comment I was responding to was pointing out), just as there is potential for validation and combating misinterpretation/misuse. But, as you said, the vast majority will be unable to read/understand specialized fields, which might lead to (potentially more frequent) misinterpretation//misuse (even unintentionally).
Now, of course scientists could run a reputable journal for free or on donations. However, once you have achieved a reputable status with your journal, it becomes something that can be milked for money. And generally people fail to resist that temptation.
Even if they resisted, they still have the entire academic publishing industry very scared, and as we can see, these are people who aren't afraid to use the dirtiest tactics to protect their position.
Even though the status quo is strong, it can be dismantled.
Personally, I think it's always a mistake to build a business into government policy. It uses the government to protect the business from the free market, and the business to protect the government from public influence or public transparency
That is true across all fields, not just for publishing scientific papers. That's why we need a true cooperative economy, that is an economy of cooperatives which do not compete with one another but promote active cooperation to reduce the overall competition/privatization in society.
The metaphor of "producers and consumers" is inadequate for today's reality.
> ...promote active cooperation to reduce the overall competition/privatization in society.
David Graeber's ideas (memes) have truly infected me.
"The purpose of universities is to produce scholarship."
Facepalm slap. Like "duh", right?
Exposes the folly of higher ed's current focus on credentialing, for profit.
Graeber also points out that in our "service economy", much of the actual work being done, needing to be done, is "caring work" (vs "service work").
A distinct type of labor ignored by our current economic accounting rules.
Much of FOSS is something like "caring work", right?
Sure some people profit from the products and services. Which I have no problem with.
But there's a lot of really important work that just needs to be done. Just one recent example was OpenSSL.
Our Freedom Markets™, those magical invisible hands of the marketplace, haven't figured out how to incentivize and reward and sustain the efforts of maintaining the commons.
And this is why society defines regulations. Society, which has an interest in open access to knowledge.
They could offer the curation without the exclusive access and I'm sure many scientists would pay for that curation.
Like the stilted writing in patents, academic writing often has a loud thundering message in the content that is never actually expressed in the writing. If you have the right context it hits you like a red brick, to the lay person is has to be explained.
Some work is like, omg this is going to change the world and another is, showing another construction of an uninteresting thing we already knew. Both are presented in the same manner. Much of this meta analysis happens on twitter and reddit, but is easy to miss. It would be nice if it was contained within the journal structure itself.
I'm not sure why people still believe this. High-impact journals like Nature have the highest rates of retraction. The incentives around scientific publishing are too perverse to make naive claims like that journals enforce some kind of quality standard.
We can't even get critical infrastructure open source projects funded by donations. What makes you think people will start donating to free research journals?
What are the core functions of a journal?
1. facilitate reviews
2. distribute articles selected through #1
It seems to me that #2 is where the potential for restrictive and exploitative business models really shows up. The curation function #1 should be something that can be accomplished at nominal expense. Universities should be able to fund that collaboratively for very low cost, pro-socially without a need to recuperate those costs. Why don't we see that? I suspect that it's the existing journal industry blocking such a development.
> From January 2021, authors submitting primary research articles* to Nature will be able to choose to publish their work using either the traditional publishing route OR Open Access.
> *Non-primary research (e.g. Reviews, Comments, News & Views) is not eligible for Open Access and is only published using the traditional publishing route.
> The APC to publish Open Access in Nature is €9,500
It's just crime in white gloves. Academics are defrauding public money by having anything to do with Nature.
Running Arxiv per paper costs somewhere in the order of 10 dollars.
The other OA journals still cost money that needs to be budgeted, i. e. not something you would pay out of your pocket. For example PLOS One charges you $ 1749. I guess the prices for publishing the articles may actually converge on a fair price for the reputation associated with the journal.
But I think there were claims before that these journals were basically using their reputation to make outsized profits? i.e. all they do is receive publications, charge universities outrageous fees to access, and don't even pay reviewers? Thus an increasing number of predatory journals trying to take advantage of this model. If that is proven to be true I guess there is a case for nationalizing research publication work?
Honestly I have no idea though, I don't know enough details about this
Pain becomes palpable If one think about it. Maybe some thermodynamically provable illustrations of the energy around the issue would help us illustrate the problem (read: the scale of sickness of the 'intellectual property')
My hunch is that we're at the stage where KWh could - and should be used as the universal money (with all implications and hurdles it may signal)
Like purified BTC.
Concept that its author wanted to stress by crafting an energy consuming post.
(Joeberon, you never had to extensively decrypt the texts of theoretical philosophers of the latest centuries, had you ;) )
EDIT: actually that is false, I have read a lot of eastern philosophy, but that to me is more of a religious thing
This can be automated.
Oh right, they don’t want to because they aren’t as prestigious.
We don't want to because publishing in open access costs us $2000.
Or were you just referring to money?
(«free for the author but kept behind a paywall, or the author pays up front»)
At the end, the article says:
But it is still worth contemplating a world without Sci-Hub—that is to say, a world in which Sci-Hub would be unnecessary. The “effective nationalization” proposed by Wiley and by the academic publishers themselves might just pave the way there.
It is quite frustrating that the Scientific Community producing the Intellectual Property that the "Academic Publishing Industry" makes money out of, is not doing more to bring the "Cartel" down once and for all. Have they become so pusillanimous that they are no longer willing to stand-up against what is clearly unethical and wrong?
It is time to re-read The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse on Voluntary Servitude (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discourse_on_Voluntary_Servitu...) and ACT on it.
I am thinking of the newspaper industry. Their paywalls didn't work (most of them). Now, there is a lot more news of worse quality. It gives me pause.
It almost seems like a near perfect state — a world where Sci-Hub exists and the academic publishing industry. It's like having a thriving recording industry and Napster.
The difference between academic publishing and news publishing is that academic funding is separate from academic publishing funding. This means it is quite natural that you should have a website hosing content without ads or personal data sinks, so that the reputable publishers are more attractive than the non-reputable ones. (Funding or promotions are often given to people who have respected publications, but it's a separate process involving peer judgement. Impact is measured not by views, but by references - useless pseudoscientific research that would do well in the advertising market is kept separate.)
Moreover, the audience is completely different. Because they're not selling ad space, it doesn't matter if they get ten readers or ten thousand. Ordinary scientific literature is difficult to read for someone who hasn't been doing it since they were 18. News media is completely different: they are fundamentally funded by advertising (both in the preonline days and now), which means they need to maximise their audience.
In any case, we have the same problem now - so the same risk exist. Right now, it's much cheaper to produce fake scientific research, and if there's any appetite for it, it's now, when there's paywalls and unreasonable fees. If you could make a profit from distributing fake research, you should be doing it right now (and arguing for strong protection of IP), instead of waiting for the day when real research is less hamstrung than fake research in terms of distribution.
Similarly, the interest towards openly accessible research results is public.
I assume "raking" is a typo for "ranking", but I'm still not sure I understand your point.
The only official rankings for newspapers I'm aware of is circulation. Are you saying that a newspaper from say Ireland or Lithuania is of does not reach thresholds of quality for public use because they have a smaller target market than Fox News or Bild? (I doubt that's what you mean, but I can't identify an alternative meaning.)
What actually is a threshold of quality for public use?
Rankings exist; a widespread one is the Press Freedom Index from Reporters Without Borders. If you check the 2021 ratings on the map¹, you will see that excellence is reserved to a few countries only - CostaRica, Portugal and Ireland fare better than the UK, France, Germany, the USA and Australia.
With "receiving public funding yet not reaching thresholds of quality for public use" it was meant that if the news organization receives public funding, its quality should reach some level well above that of an agency financially left to its own devices, and its quality should justify public investment. An entity receiving public funding is supposed to respond about its use - practices, outcomes etc.
Now: the poster seemed to indicate a relation between "market" (number of buyers) and quality. The idea that information, commentary, analysis and research results and validation can be made akin to a "deregulated and for profit industry" (e.g. the music industry) is perplexing. Bread and water - privatized or not - must be accessible and not toxic, as part of societal organization. Less buyers' funding does not imply quality decrease, and free access to vital parts of knowledge is public concern.
The Press Freedom Index ranks countries media landscapes, not newspapers. Therefore, it cannot be used to allocate funding. We can use it to bring awareness to failings in public policy in particular countries.
I did not indicate a relationship between market and quality; on the contrary, I attempted to repudiate such a notion through a reductio ad absurdam.
How do we measure quality? How can we prevent those who benefit from poor quality media, once in power, from tweaking the measurements to give it to their supporters. That is my question.
I hope that increasing open access mandates - including distribution rights - for taxpayer-funded research will help to break down the paywalls.
It's encouraging that the University of California has open access requirements - hopefully they will become universal among public and private universities.
The article is trying to underscore the expensiveness of scientific literature (undeniable) with the above, but it is true for any reasonable value of "few"?
May their names always be associated with this infamy.
Ah yes, as shown by the example of OpenAI.
OpenAI's weird insistence that its "open" research only be accessible to entities it trusts not to do harm with it (like... Microsoft of course!) is indicative of a divide between academic research and corporate research that exists in all fields. While there are serious concerns about AI risk, when I hear it in a corporate context, it always seems to be a thin veneer of affected concern painted over an all-too-familiar drive to keep innovation under lock and key
When talking about ML's preference for open access, the article was probably referring to the fact that ML literature is overwhelmingly published on arXiv or similarly open-access places (even if it's also published elsewhere) compared to most fields. Personally, I think this is strictly because it's a relatively new field without as many entrenched norms
> By framing the debate about Sci-Hub as one concerning property rights, both advocates of Elbakyan’s site and its detractors fall afoul of what John Gall called the “operational fallacy.” In his book The Systems Bible, Gall defined the operational fallacy as a situation where “the system itself does not do what it says it is doing.” In other words, what a system calls itself is not always a reliable indicator of its true function. In this case, the name of the “academic publishing industry” implies that it is supposed to be involved in the dissemination of scholarship. But the effective function of the academic publishing industry as it actually exists is to prevent the dissemination of scholarly work.
The author mentions his disproval of Elbakyan and her friends focusing on property rights, yet doesn't actually make a logical or convincing argument against it. Fail.
The reason Elbakyan focuses on property rights is because intellectual property is the most harmful thing blocking science today.
Intellectual property literally commoditizes and monopolizes collective feedback loops/learnings, disinheriting the working class.
Tor, or more specifically the Tor Browser Bundle is not some huge hurdle to overcome if you want to browse certain content. I imagine for the audience of Sci-Hub, downloading then using Tor is no biggie.
The only real hurdle may be discovery of the right .ONION but once you search for `The Hidden Wiki` on DuckDuckGo you will be soon in Onionland and there are plenty of search engines and directories on there that could potentially point to the latest Sci-Hub .ONION
On the other hand, I know people who have searched for papers and downloaded them from Scihub.
I don't think you know "the audience" for Sci-Hub. It's meant to make the content public, not free for the right people who already know tons of stuff about the dark web.
If that is the case, why exactly don't researchers stick their papers literally anywhere on the internet that isn't a paywall? Is there a legal difference between sharing a paper with an individual and uploading it to a public index?
Honestly, with the current psychology of the public, I don't think this would be worse than having journals pick holding research for ransom.
Yes but in most cases, the authors are only legally allowed to give away the less desirable pre-prints manuscripts that was created for journal submission. The publishers allow them to retain the copyright to their draft work. However, the copyright to the final journal article with all the nice typesetting, pretty graphs, etc is assigned to the publisher. That more desirable finished article is the one behind the paywall.
(That's not to say that some authors "break the rules" and share the final journal article instead of their preprint but that's going to depend on the particular author.)
And certainly paying for scientific articles is a big rip off. It effectively means that once you are no longer enrolled or working at a university, your access to this paywalled information is gone.
What's the status with Biden administration?
Too much for the American values.
If you wouldn't mind reviewing https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and taking the intended spirit of the site more to heart, we'd be grateful.
But all nations have their problems. The US simply has more than one might think.
Mostly because of an outdated view on justice and crime.
Mostly because certain people profit off it. If you have private prisons and lifetime voting bans for someone locked up for a few months you have mega incentives to get a lot of people behind bars.
Whereas in Sweden for example, a violent rapist was awarded ~$84k - https://www.gp.se/ledare/v%C3%A5ldt%C3%A4ktsmannens-skadest%... - after he turned out to be a minor but had been tried as an adult, and in the end spent less than 2 years in prison.
Some of ThePirateBay founders had longer sentences, absolute clown world.
There might be an argument if the US actually had lower crime or recidivism rates than European countries, but it does not have that.
Yes, it takes some effort to overcome that primal view on justice, but it leads to a more humane society with less crime.
That injustice is separate and distinct from the one he committed on a fellow human being, and for that case he spent two years in prison. This sounds unreasonably short, but without further information, who are we to say whether that was acceptable or not? Perhaps two years was enough to help the rapist overcome his violent tendencies.
I guess it depends how you view your obligations. If you don't want people to be able to read, vet, or reproduce your research because the citations are suspiciously tricky to follow up on, that is of course your prerogative. As a scientist free and fair access to accurate and easily verifiable information should, of course, be in the forefront of what you care about. It is completely doable as well -- I've done it with my research for years. Even when citing books, I always ensure the relevant passages are available in Google Book search or something like SciHub. If not, I won't cite that source, because I wouldn't have been able to access it in the first place anyway.
When we cite a paywalled paper, we muddy the integrity of our field by saying "sure, you can check up on this, if you pay that is". The downstream effects of everyone doing this is that there are quite simply more inaccuracies out there in current publications. Replication studies literally become more expensive because to replicate 1000 papers, you have to get by 1000 * x paywalls, so we get less replication studies, so the field suffers. If we want accurate research, everyone needs to be able to access every single citation without issue or highway robbery just in case a janitor without JSTOR access finds a flaw in one of your citations' differential equations.
This also leads to the (damaging) centralization of power -- only large institutions can afford to do things like replication studies, and only academics at large institutions can afford to read paywalled citations. It's like we're living in the dark ages. This made more sense when paper and printing were incredibly expensive, like 300 years ago.
In this way, institutions paying for these subscription memberships actually does damage, since they are keeping this model profitable. They are subsidizing the destruction of integrity in fields they care about.
Those are fair sentiments but in my experience, replacing one ideological solution (capitalism) with another (socialism) just shifts the pile of money to be made, from one group of people to another.
From my perspective, I'm not sure there really is a solution as, no matter what we try, at some point somewhere greed just seems to get the better of us.