Why Sci-Hub Won’t Lead to the Downfall of Science Publishers

If you are not familiar with it, Sci-Hub is a new online portal that allows users to download for FREE any of the scientific publications in its database (supposedly, some 47 million articles). An explanation about how it operates can be found here. Let’s be clear from the outset: this portal is illegal as it violates international copyright law as well as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Sci-Hub was created by Alexandra Elbakyan, a Russia-based neuroscientist. She developed Sci-Hub after becoming frustrated in her efforts to access the vast network of science papers stored behind paywalls while attempting to do her research. The publications that she needed for her work were available but simply unaffordable. As a result, she engineered this database and is making it available at no cost to the entire worldwide community (not just researchers). While many have cheered the free availability of the papers contained in this database, consequences of a Sci-Hub “victory” have been predicted to be dire.
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