Elsevier buys SSRN


And the sales reps get paid well and take potential customers out for dinner. Nice dinners too.


I don’t know of any scholars whose contracts assign copyright over their scholarly work to their host institutions.

It was the norm until the 1970s


Scihub was founded by a software developer from Kazakhstan who wanted to improve access to the world’s knowledge for scientist living in parts of the world where academic libraries can’t pay the exorbitant fees for journals. It was set up to address a 2nd and 3rd world problem!

Scihub tries to rebalance the mess that is academic publishing and improve access to researchers from poorer parts of the world. When you are from Kazakhstan having a .RU domain is presumably not surprising.


OK, but what you’re talking about then is a pretty small subset of scholarly work, and pretty much none produced by any scholars who are still working. As you know, the field of academic publishing has exploded over the past several decades. The vast majority of scholarly journals publishing today did not exist in the 1970s. For instance, by 1980, Elsevier was publishing a total of 4 (somewhat obscure) English-language journals.

You scared me a little. But my journal has only been publishing for a little over 30 years, so this does not appear to apply to us.


First off, I’m not comfortable with Russia for numerous reasons, and where my level of trust is X for the U.S. Government, that level of trust is somewhere near X-100 for Russia. So siphoning data from western companies, whether right or wrong, to (ostensibly) Russian-governed repositories and/or websites, is not okay with me.

Could the site/data be hosted from somewhere that wouldn’t bother my sensitive geographic feelings? Sure. Other than that, I’d agree with Cory in that, again, the internet has allowed tectonic shifts but the related earthquakes haven’t quite happened yet. I agree with Open Access and think that the middle-men content aggregators ARE charging outrageous prices and instituting unlawful (or just plain shitty) policies, but I see SciHub as an unsustainable intermediate step.


Funny! But I don’t know what you would reasonably do about the paper versions. Relying on a retracted article without realizing it could lead to problems. But in the digital world, it would be better for Elsevier to put warnings on the retracted article, with links to information concerning the retraction, rather than just deleting it. It should remain part of the literature, but marked as RETRACTED, so people know what happened, and can interpret other later papers that haven’t been retracted that may have relied on the bad one.

But if you have a subscription through a professional society, why can’t the publisher at least send a big pdf of all the articles in the current issue each month? Since we paid for them? Why the f**k do we have to spend a half-hour downloading them individually?


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