The Dark side of Sci-Hub | Medico musings…

“The problem is that , as cyber security experts say, they have never met a cyber criminal who gets into a database, takes only what is necessary and gets out. Chances are he looks around. Pilfers something else that might be of value. Or worse still leaves behind something nasty.( as of this writing, there is no evidence that Scihub or its partners have actually compromised the security of the universities with any malware).

Moreover when a password is hacked, the hacker has access to the bare minimum information in the database – for example a library database. The details such as username, age, gender, timing of visiting the library, date of joining, last visit taken, last book etc can be easily gotten. From then it is only a matter of social engineering to gain access to other portals – email, social media etc. It is also a matter of concern that some people have the same password for all their sites ! …

[P]ublishers [might] tighten access – perhaps a DRM (digital rights management) or two factor authentication might be introduced – so even if the passwords are stolen by phishing attacks/attacks on university, it will become harder to access the articles….

To make things worse, nothing in Russia can be done without the tacit approval of the government. It is  a well known fact that , as a price for such approval, the government/non governmental actors might want to be a ‘part’ of the project, presumably not to download science articles. She being a marked woman, with no other refuge, would have to yield to their pressure or face the music. People have disappeared for daring to disobey the non-governmental actors in Russia.

This is where the possibility of compromised passwords providing access to the university systems causes worry. However all of this remains conjecture – or the feverish imagination of jobless bloggers at the moment. (But who doesn’t love the bragging rights to ‘I told you so’ when a disaster strikes in the future).

There is also evidence that China has been downloading a lot more than the usual academic download – although for what purpose isn’t known. Also Iran is the third largest access site – that too, a small city in Iran, raising eyebrows about what is going on….”

Sci-Hub blocked in Russia following ruling by Moscow court | News | Chemistry World

Sci-Hub, the popular pirate site that bypasses paywalls to illicitly host millions of pay-to-read scientific papers, is being blocked in Russia after a court in the country ruled against the site.

Last month, the Moscow City Court ruled that Sci-Hub should be blocked in the country following complaints from the academic publishers Elsevier and Springer Nature, who alleged intellectual property infringement. As a result, Russia’s state media regulator Roskomnadzor (RKN) has blocked Sci-Hub and related mirror sites. It is believed that Alexandra Elbakyan, who founded Sci-Hub in 2011, operates the site out of Russia. Elbakyan did not respond to a request for comment….”

G-8 Leaders Communique (June 18, 2013)

“Open government data are an essential resource of the information age. Moving data into the public sphere can improve the lives of citizens, and increasing access to these data can drive innovation, economic growth and the creation of good jobs. Making government data publicly available by default and reusable free of charge in machine-readable, readily-accessible, open formats, and describing these data clearly so that the public can readily understand their contents and meanings, generates new fuel for innovation by private sector innovators, entrepreneurs, and non-governmental organisations. Open data also increase awareness about how countries’ natural resources are used, how extractives revenues are spent, and how land is transacted and managed.

47. We have today agreed and published an Open Data Charter (annexed) with the following principles:

Open Data by Default – foster expectations that government data be published openly while continuing to safeguard privacy;

Quality and Quantity – release quality, timely and well described open data;

Useable by All – release as much data in as many open formats as possible;

Releasing Data for Improved Governance – share expertise and be transparent about data collection, standards and publishing processes;

Releasing Data for Innovation – consult with users and empower future generations of innovators….

We will publish individual action plans detailing how we will implement the Open Data Charter according to our national frameworks (October 2013)…[for example] Genome data, research and educational activity, experiment results….”

In Italy, only 46% of the research is “open”

“What happens when science becomes open? And what drives researchers to publicize scientific articles where they have the result of their work? It is from these two questions that has taken the International survey of scientific authors (Issa), a project devoted to the OECD by Brunella Boselli and Fernando Galindo-Rueda. 

A research involving over 6,000 researchers who responded to a questionnaire sent by email at the end of 2014. With the goal of measuring the spread of openness, it is the choice to freely publish research results. And the result is that between 50 and 55% of publications are available in open format within three or four years of publication. A choice, that of open access, widespread in emerging economies.

In Indonesia it is over 90%, in Thailand 80, in Turkey 70%. And even though it is limited to the more mature economies, South Korea is the 66%, followed by Brazil with 64 and Russia with 61. In Italy, however, only 46% of the research is published in open format….”

ResearchGate: Disseminating, Communicating and Measuring Scholarship?

Abstract:  ResearchGate is a social network site for academics to create their own profiles, list their 

publications and interact with each other. Like Academia.edu, it provides a new way for 
scholars to disseminate their publications and hence potentially changes the dynamics of 
informal scholarly communication. This article assesses whether ResearchGate usage and 
publication data broadly reflect existing academic hierarchies and whether individual 
countries are set to benefit or lose out from the site. The results show that rankings based 
on ResearchGate statistics correlate moderately well with other rankings of academic 
institutions, suggesting that ResearchGate use broadly reflects traditional academic 
capital. Moreover, while Brazil, India and some other countries seem to be 
disproportionately taking advantage of ResearchGate, academics in China, South Korea 
and Russia may be missing opportunities to use ResearchGate to maximise the academic 
impact of their publications.