Location

Room 217

Type of Presentation

Panel (1 hour and 15 minutes presentation total for two or more presenters)

Target Audience

Higher Education

Abstract

In recent months, the site Sci-Hub (https://sci-hub.io/) has gained attention for providing easy access to any scholarly journal article, without regard to the user’s subscription status, and without requiring payment. For articles that are not already open access, this activity infringes on the copyright in the articles, generally held by publishers, and, for articles obtained via a library subscription, is presumptively a breach of the license between the library and the publisher. Regardless, this activity has proven to be a popular and expedient way to break through access barriers to important scholarly information for students and faculty, especially those in situations where paid access is a real challenge. Librarians have been quick to recognize that so-called pirate sites such as this are illegal, but it’s not as clear where the ethical lines should be drawn. Some have argued that sites like Sci-Hub hurt publishers as well as hurting legitimate open access initiatives, while others have argued that using these sites is a form of civil disobedience in the face of unrealistic access barriers to information that was funded by and for the public. In this panel discussion, four librarians from academic research libraries will discuss what pirate sites like Sci-Hub mean for libraries, and for library users in understanding how to use information legally and ethically.

Presentation Description

In this panel discussion, four librarians from academic research libraries will discuss what scholarly "pirate" sites like Sci-Hub mean for libraries, and for library users in understanding how to use information legally and ethically.

Keywords

Library, Open access, Piracy, Sci-hub, Academic publishing

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Sep 30th, 1:15 PM Sep 30th, 2:30 PM

Scholarly Piracy vs Scholarly Activism: Where Sci-Hub Fits in the Information Literacy Landscape

Room 217

In recent months, the site Sci-Hub (https://sci-hub.io/) has gained attention for providing easy access to any scholarly journal article, without regard to the user’s subscription status, and without requiring payment. For articles that are not already open access, this activity infringes on the copyright in the articles, generally held by publishers, and, for articles obtained via a library subscription, is presumptively a breach of the license between the library and the publisher. Regardless, this activity has proven to be a popular and expedient way to break through access barriers to important scholarly information for students and faculty, especially those in situations where paid access is a real challenge. Librarians have been quick to recognize that so-called pirate sites such as this are illegal, but it’s not as clear where the ethical lines should be drawn. Some have argued that sites like Sci-Hub hurt publishers as well as hurting legitimate open access initiatives, while others have argued that using these sites is a form of civil disobedience in the face of unrealistic access barriers to information that was funded by and for the public. In this panel discussion, four librarians from academic research libraries will discuss what pirate sites like Sci-Hub mean for libraries, and for library users in understanding how to use information legally and ethically.