Meet the Robin Hood Neuroscientist Who Made 47 Million Scientific Papers Available to Everyone

Written by on March 24, 2016 in Sci-Tech, Science with 17 Comments


By CoNN | We Are Anonymous

Information. It’s the only thing that truly differentiates us from our ancestors, and from our peers in poorer nations. Information in the form of science and technology in particular, presents us with the ability to tangibly manipulate our environment for our benefit. To exclude others from access to information is then to restrict their ability to thrive.

Between 2010 and early 2011, hacktivist Aaron Schwartz tried to download academic journal papers from JSTOR, a digital repository which hid tax-payer-funded knowledge, that should be in the public domain, behind a paywall.

He was arrested and indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of wire fraud, computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer, and recklessly damaging a protected computer. At the worst, he faced 50 years in prison, all for copying some articles for the benefit of others. He later apparently committed suicide.

Far from benefiting the original researchers (who do not earn a cent from the fees charged by such journals), such restrictions simply act to prevent other researchers (particularly from poorer nations) from building on existing research, slowing down scientific progress for everyone.

Indeed, researchers effectively pay to hand over the copyright of their work to a “prestigious” journal (which profits handsomely from their work) in the hopes of being recognized with jobs and promotions. Other researchers then need to pay to access said work.

While Schwartz was facing prosecution, Alexandra Elbakyan, a researcher from Kazakhstan, created Sci-Hub. The site illegally obtains and provides over 47,000,000 scientific papers and articles.

The website’s introduction:

research paper is a special publication written by scientists to be read by other researchers. Papers are primary sources neccessary for research – for example, they contain detailed description of new results and experiments. At this time the widest possible distribution of research papers, as well as of other scientific or educational sources, is artificially restricted by copyright laws. Such laws effectively slow down the development of science in human society.

Last month, RT interviewed Sci-hub’s founder.

“There should be no obstacles to accessing knowledge, I believe,” she said. “Everyone has the right to freely participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.”

“For me, even the purchase of one such article would be a financial setback,” Alexandra said via email. While researching her thesis, she was faced with the prospect of paying at least 300 dollars for articles that would be skimmed through once and never used again. “So I had to go about acquiring all the articles by pirate means.

In 2012, scientific publisher Elsevier filed a lawsuit against Sci-Hub, and was successful in late 2015 at getting a temporary injunction against Sci-Hub. However, beyond ruling in Elseivier’s favor, US courts can’t touch Sci-Hub for three reasons: First, Elbakyan has no US assets. Second, a large number of researchers are fed-up with publishers and support her endevor. Third, and by and far the most important of these reasons, Sci-Hub’s servers operate on the dark net.

“Even if legal access to [Sci-Hub] is blocked, the user can still get in through the TOR network and immediately gain access to all the articles. However, we intent to fight for free access to all information. After all, using TOR still provides obstacles. And I believe there should be no obstacles on the way to scientific knowledge,” she concluded.

An excerpt of an open letter written by researchers who boycotted Elsevier, reads:

“There are many businessmen who own knowledge today. Consider Elsevier, the largest scholarly publisher, whose 37 percent profit margin stands in sharp contrast to the rising fees, expanding student loan debt and poverty-level wages for the adjunct faculty. Elsevier owns some of the largest databases of academic material, which are licensed at prices so scandalously high that even Harvard, the richest university of the global north, has complained that it cannot afford them any longer.
Sources: RT, Big Think, The Guardian, Sci-hub

This article (The Robin Hood Neuroscientist Who made 47 Million Scientific Papers Available to Everyone) is a free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author(CoNN) and

Read more great articles at We Are Anonymous.

Tags: , , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

17 Reader Comments

Trackback URL Comments RSS Feed

  1.' Riko Bernandus Sambera Bernandus says:

    #Trump 2016 Thank You illinois ! ? Hey Guys…!!! TOOK ME HOURS TO FIND, FINALLY GOT THE OFFICIAL LINK, <3 <3 <3

    ?BATMAN V SUPERMAN: Dawn of Justice Full Movie

    ?THE PURGE: Election Year Full Movie

    ?Deadpool Full Movie

    ?Fifty Shades of Black Full Movie

    ?X-Men: Apocalypse Full Movie

    ?Captain America: Civil War Full Movie

    ?London Has Fallen Full Movie

    ?Barbershop: The Next Cut Full Movie

    ?Ride Along 2 Full Movie

    ?The Perfect Match Full Movie

    ?Meet the Blacks Full Movie

    ?Fast 8 Full Movie

    ?Suicide Squad Full Movie

    ?The Legend of Tarzan Full Movie

    ?Star Wars: The Force Awakens Full Movie

    ?Kung Fu Panda 3 Full Movie

    ?Creed Full Movie

    ?Zootopia Full Movie

    ?10 Cloverfield Lane Full Movie

    ?Daddy's Home Full Movie

    ?The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 Full Movie

    ?Straight Outta Compton Full Movie

  2.' Bahanuso Bahanuso says:

    Genius you are lady

  3.' Anna Lloyd says:


  4.' Robert Rodriguez says:


  5.' Ian Hail says:

    Knowledge should be free and available to all. She is cool

  6.' Rega Sue Jamel says:


  7.' Syed Shahan Jehangir says:

    Tri Bagus Susilo

  8.' Vibeke Seymour says:

    Marc Solomon

  9.' Waheeb Abugharsa says:

    I salute her

  10.' Waheeb Abugharsa says:

    Hossam Elwany Abdualah Farhan

  11.' Bo Patel says:

    Marquita De La Cruz dope

  12.' Katrina Bergstrom says:

    And she’s still alive? Wow that’s a great feat.

  13.' Hossam Elwany says:

    She deserves all goods

  14.' Thomas Chenhall says:

    Even the Electric Spacecraft Journal?

  15.' Muhammad Farooq Khalid says:

    Wonderful, sharing knowledge multiplies the knowledge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the articles on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use' must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.
Send this to a friend