The Monopoly of Journal Subscriptions and the Commodification of Research – The Wire Science

“So the final question is whether the government of India should try to address the basic problem of proprietorship of knowledge, and its subsequent commercialisation, by negotiating for a better deal from journal proprietors for access at less exorbitant fees; or should it examine how to change the law to give proprietary ownership to the creators of the knowledge?

The earlier bulk subscriptions negotiated by Uruguay and Egypt, cost them about Rs 48 per capita, while India currently spends about Rs 12 per capita. For India to arrive at an agreement at the same rate as Uruguay and Egypt would mean an expenditure of roughly Rs 6,500 crore (or $890mn). As it is, in India, public funding for research is scarce and becoming scarcer by the day through market-friendly policies. Changing the law, on the other hand, would either mean modifying existing legal provisions or at least passing legislation with respect to publicly funded research and its products within India as well as free access to such research globally….

Meanwhile, we must be quite clear that Sci-Hub and Library Genesis are providing an enormously useful service to scholars all over the world. It will be a long time before any official agency in India will be able to provide a comparable service. The best we can hope for is that the court cases against them languish for as long as possible as they do for much less laudable causes.”

Sci-Hub Citation Study Confuses Causes With Effects – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Journal articles downloaded from Sci-Hub, an illegal site of pirated materials, were cited nearly twice as many times as non-downloaded articles, reports a new paper published online in the journal, Scientometrics….

Correa and colleagues could have added either one of these sources of usage data to their model to verify whether the Sci-Hub indicator continued to independently predict future citations. That would have confirmed whether Sci-Hub was a cause of — instead of merely associated with — future citations. Without such a control, the authors may have fumbled both their analysis and conclusion.

Sci-Hub may indeed lead to more article citations, although it is impossible to reach that conclusion from this study….”

Sci-Hub Case : Founder Elbakyan Takes ‘Fair Dealing’ Defence; Says Academic Journals Exploitative

“Online repository of science articles, Sci-hub, has taken the defence of ‘Fair dealing’ before the Delhi High Court in a suit for injunction filed by publishing houses Elsevier Ltd, Wiley India Pvt. Ltd., and American Chemical Society over alleged copyright infringement. The website’s founder, Alexandra Elbakyan has submitted that the platform is engaged in providing free access to research publications and scientific material, for the benefit of the students and researchers and the consequent benefit of the public….

Thus, it is claimed that the suit is barred by Section 52(1)(a)(i) of the Copyright Act. The provision provides that ‘Private use including research’ of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work amounts to fair dealing and shall not constitute an infringement of copyright….”

Sci-Hub Case : Founder Elbakyan Takes ‘Fair Dealing’ Defence; Says Academic Journals Exploitative

“Online repository of science articles, Sci-hub, has taken the defence of ‘Fair dealing’ before the Delhi High Court in a suit for injunction filed by publishing houses Elsevier Ltd, Wiley India Pvt. Ltd., and American Chemical Society over alleged copyright infringement. The website’s founder, Alexandra Elbakyan has submitted that the platform is engaged in providing free access to research publications and scientific material, for the benefit of the students and researchers and the consequent benefit of the public….

Thus, it is claimed that the suit is barred by Section 52(1)(a)(i) of the Copyright Act. The provision provides that ‘Private use including research’ of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work amounts to fair dealing and shall not constitute an infringement of copyright….”

Science Policy, Competition and Profits

How much India is spending on journal subscriptions? how difficult is it for Indians to access publicly funded research? A nationwide subscription proposal comes with a lot of financial and moral baggage. 

Assault on open access to science in India

“It was only a matter of time before the leading publishers of academic and scientific research turned their attention to India after their blocking the easy flow of knowledge in several Western countries. Now the big boys of scientific publishing, Elsevier, Wiley and American Chemical Society, have launched a similar case in the Delhi High Court asking internet service providers to block Sci-Hub and Libgen (Library Genesis) websites in India….”

Sci-Hub & Libgen Face ISP Blocking in India After Publishers File High Court Complaint * TorrentFreak

“A legal campaign by academic and scientific publishers to prevent Internet users from accessing Sci-Hub and Libgen has expanded to India. In a complaint filed at the High Court in Delhi, Elsevier, Wiley, and American Chemical Society, are demanding that local ISPs should block the sites to prevent copyright infringement.”

Sci-Hub Founder Criticises Sudden Twitter Ban Over Over “Counterfeit” Content * TorrentFreak

“Twitter has suspended the account of Sci-Hub, a site that offers a free gateway to paywalled research. The site is accused of violating the counterfeit policy of the social media platform. However, founder Alexandra Elbakyan believes that this is an effort to silence the growing support amidst a high profile court case in India.”