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Aaron was an activist, a champion, and a really smart guy who worked on things he really cared about. So much has been said about his life, his death, and his fight for research open access — and I’m glad to be part of this conversation. I’m very glad to have helped Eva Vivalt (@evavivalt) start the #pdftribute movement, to spread the word about putting academic papers online for #openaccess.

Late last night, I noticed that Eva was opening access to her papers online in tribute to the memory of Aaron Swartz. I tweeted to some people I know in Silicon Valley, and to some friends of Aaron’s, and then Anonymous picked it up — and we’ve now had millions of impressions and over 500 tweets per hour.

This is something we can do for the memory of Aaron Swartz, and to lead the way toward more access to the scientific process for everyone. As Eva says:

Where will this go? Well, maybe someone can scrape the pdfs together into a repository. Maybe #pdftribute can be a pledge to avoid paywalls in the future. Maybe we can push journals for more change. JSTOR’s gradual opening has been heartening, but there is still more to do.

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