New Article: “Who’s Downloading Pirated Papers? Everyone” (Sci-Hub Data)

„From a New Article in Science (No Paywall For This Article).
From Science (NO Paywall):

„But in increasing numbers, researchers around the world are turning
to Sci-Hub, which hosts 50 million papers and counting. Over the 6
months leading up to March, Sci-Hub served up 28 million documents.
More than 2.6 million download requests came from Iran, 3.4 million
from India, and 4.4 million from China. The papers cover every
scientific topic, from obscure physics experiments published decades
ago to the latest breakthroughs in biotechnology. The publisher with
the most requested Sci-Hub articles? It is Elsevier by a long
shot—Sci-Hub provided half-a-million downloads of Elsevier papers in
one recent week.

These statistics are based on extensive server log data supplied by
Alexandra Elbakyan, the neuroscientist who created Sci-Hub in 2011 as
a 22-year-old graduate student in Kazakhstan. I asked her for the data
because, in spite of the flurry of polarized opinion pieces, blog
posts, and tweets about Sci-Hub and what effect it has on research and
academic publishing, some of the most basic questions remain
unanswered: Who are Sci-Hub’s users, where are they, and what are they


The Sci-Hub data provide the first detailed view of what is becoming
the world’s de facto open-access research library. Among the
revelations that may surprise both fans and foes alike: Sci-Hub users
are not limited to the developing world. Some critics of Sci-Hub have
complained that many users can access the same papers through their
libraries but turn to Sci-Hub instead—for convenience rather than
necessity. The data provide some support for that claim. The United
States is the fifth largest downloader after Russia, and a quarter of
the Sci-Hub requests for papers came from the 34 members of the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the wealthiest
nations with, supposedly, the best journal access. In fact, some of
the most intense use of Sci-Hub appears to be happening on the
campuses of U.S. and European universities.“

The article includes the following charts/graphs/maps:

Sci-Hub Traffic Over Six Months
Sci-Hub Traffic, Globally
Top Five Cities Where Most Requests Come From (U.S.)
Top 10 Most Downloaded Papers on Sci-Hub
Most Downloaded Publishers

Full Text

Coverage in the Washington Post

„[John] Bohannon [author of the Science article] quoted a George
Washington University student saying it was sometimes difficult to
access journals his school subscribes to from Google Scholar, a tool
viewed as the easiest way to surface relevant papers. But if he puts
the paper’s title into Sci-Hub, he said, “It will just work.” (LIBLICENSE-L)

On Sci Hub see here:

Autor: Klaus Graf

Historiker und Archivar, Blogger

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