Fast Company: “Study: Over 50% of Academics Admit to Pirating Research Papers”
From Fast Company:
More than 50% of academics have used piracy websites like Sci-Hub in order to bypass paywalls for research they want to access, according to a recent study published in arXiv, a preprint server owned by Cornell University. The researchers surveyed more than 3,300 academics to examine why and how they use scholarly piracy websites.
“It stems from our experience,” says Francisco Segado-Boj of the Complutense University of Madrid in Spain, and lead author of the paper. “As academics, we spend most of our time looking for previous research, and many times you find you don’t have access to the papers you need to check. We also follow some pathways to access this kind of document behind a paywall that our institution isn’t subscribed to.”
“Those in the most privileged disciplines, in the most well-funded research areas, or from the highest-income countries have access to almost everything they need,” says Segado-Boj. “The picture is different once you look at those in less-funded areas, such as social sciences and humanities, and even more worrying for those in less-developed countries.”
(One academic, who spoke to Fast Company on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation from their employer, highlighted their own example of using a piracy website. “A depressing use of SciHub is for accessing an article, which I wrote, but in a journal which my current institution doesn’t currently pay for,” they say.)
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.