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Event details:

Join us on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 4:10 PM in Sinclair Lab Auditorium for an Open Access Week panel discussion, “Sci-Hub the Disruptor: Piracy and Publishing in Academia.”

Sci-Hub, the infamous online repository of pirated scholarly journal articles, has alternately been hailed as a paragon of open scientific communication and a criminal threat to beleaguered academic publishers.

The Friends of Lehigh University Libraries will host a panel discussion on how Sci-Hub has disrupted the age of open access, featuring Daniel Himmelstein, PhD, whose research found that nearly 70% of all scholarly articles in existence can be found in Sci-Hub's database.

Lehigh faculty members Jeremy Littau, Sera Cremonini, and Kathy Olson will comment on authors’ needs for open access and Sci-Hub’s rogue legal status, with comments from Lehigh’s Frank Pazzaglia on the Geological Society of America’s long road to open access - the legal way.

The Lehigh Libraries join institutions worldwide to celebrate International Open Access Week, which seeks to raise awareness of, and encourage participation in, open access advocacy, working towards the goal of making openness the new default in scholarship and research.

This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Lehigh University Libraries

​Sci-Hub is available at:

    Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands
    British Indian Ocean Territory
    Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  • scihub22266oqcxt.onion
    Tor Hidden Service (dark web)

Ⓐ 2011-09-05: created by Alexandra Elbakyan, the Sci-Hub website goes live


Ⓒ 2015-06-03: Elsevier files a civil suit against Sci-Hub and LibGen in the U.S. District Court for Southern NY.

2015-10-30: Elsevier is granted a preliminary injunction to suspend domain names. Bye

2016-02-10: “Meet the Robin Hood of Science” by Simon Oxenham

The New York Times:

Should All Research Papers Be Free?

Alexandra Elbakyan

Ⓕ 2016-04-29: Who’s downloading pirated papers? Everyone” by John Bohannon in Science

Ⓚ 2017-09-05: Sci-Hub blocks access to Russian IP addresses due to disputes with the scientific establishment.

Idiogramma elbakyanae

But what scholarly articles are not in Sci-Hub?

Catalog of 87,542,370 DOIs

Study at

Source code at

49% of 2.8 million articles

85% of 54 million articles

Source: Association of Research Libraries. Expenditure Trends in ARL Libraries, 1986–2015

Prices 1986–2015

  1. Inflation — 118%
  2. Library expenditures — 197%
  3. Journal subscriptions 521%

What library will continue to subscribe if a growing proportion of articles is available for free elsewhere?
Tom Reller (2013) Vice President, Elsevier

Defendants’ actions also threaten imminent irreparable harm to Elsevier because it appears that the Library Genesis Project repository may be approaching (or will eventually approach) a level of “completeness” where it can serve as a functionally equivalent, although patently illegal, replacement for ScienceDirect.

DeMarco, Hirschberg & Sen (2015) Attorneys for Elsevier


  • Science: Sci-Hub’s cache of pirated papers is so big, subscription journals are doomed, data analyst suggest
  • Inside Higher Ed: Inevitably Open
  • Quartz: A pirating service for academic journal articles could bring down the whole establishment

Sci-Hub  ⇒ open scholarly literature?

Libre Open Access