The scientific community is part of a conflict that centers around copyright infringement and online piracy. This isn’t a new problem, but has been lifted higher in everyone’s awareness after Alexandra Elbaykyan, a graduate student based in Russia, set up Sci-Hub—an online database of 50 million stolen scholarly journal articles. The Innovation Files brought this interesting information to our attention in their article, “Copyright Infringement: Science Pirates Are Still Pirates.”
She believes scientific information should be free, but those in the profession disagree and believe it is simply theft of property that is not her own.
Sci-Hub has some support as the business model highlights the outdated approach used by scientific publishing firms. In this digital age, many believe they are in need of reform.
Like any business, developing the content for and publishing scholarly journals costs money regardless if it is print or online.
There are good points on both sides of this debate and it will be interesting to see where it ends.
Melody K. Smith
Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.