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LIBLICENSE-L  March 2016

LIBLICENSE-L March 2016

Subject:

Re: SciHub

From:

LIBLICENSE <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

LibLicense-L Discussion Forum <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 6 Mar 2016 12:53:36 -0500

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text/plain (73 lines)

From: Richard <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Fri, 4 Mar 2016 08:29:49 -0500

re. item 4: can we please stop pretending that raiding publishers to
provide free content in order to relieve researchers of the burden of
having to place ILL requests is in any way comparable to MLK or
Ghandi? It is a ludicrous comparison

Richard


> On Mar 3, 2016, at 6:50 PM, LIBLICENSE <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> From: "Jean-Claude Guédon" <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Thu, 3 Mar 2016 17:10:10 -0500
>
> In principle, researchers can publish wherever they want, etc. In
> principle, yes!
>
> Their evaluation committees, or the juries granting research funds
> tend to think differently, however: they tend to think that an article
> is worth not so much by what it contains, but by the journal title
> under which it appears. As a result, researchers flock to the journals
> that carry the strongest "logo" effect. That logo effect is largely
> the product of the impact factor.
>
> Regarding the freedom of scientists to publish wherever they want, the
> February 29th issue of the New Yorker contains an interesting article
> about some of the behaviours induced by extreme competition in the
> area of stem cells. When you read this article, where one researcher
> even ends up committing suicide, you know that the agency of a large
> fraction (probably a large majority) of researchers is severely
> limited. See http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/02/29/the-stem-cell-scandal.
>
> As for the issue of civil disobedience that Jim O'Donnell raised anew
> in a separate message, let me reiterate a number of points:
>
> 1, It is not what OA advocates support, at least not this advocate;
>
> 2. However, the presence of such sites is symptomatic of a systemic problem;
>
> 3. I tend to treat it as a form of civil disobedience because, so far
> as I know, Sci-Hub is not trying to make any money from their Robin
> Hood attitude;
>
> 4. Civil disobedience always looks ambiguous until well after the
> event. I alluded to the civil rights movement precisely because that
> was the case: Martin Luther King was being followed by the FBI. In the
> film "Suffragettes", women are breaking shop windows in 1912 London,
> blow up mail boxes, and even a minister's house under construction,
> all this to attract attention to their cause. In both cases, laws were
> broken (and, in both cases, some people died), but, retrospectively,
> we know they were bad laws. Sci-hub also breaks laws, copyright laws,
> but if it is only to point out that there is something deeply wrong
> with the present system of scientific communication, and point out
> that it needs to be made right, then the hypothesis of civil
> disobedience can be defended. This is why I also mentioned Aaron
> Swartz, a remarkable young man that I did meet on a couple of
> occasions. He too died.
>
> Documents produced in the process of scientific communication should
> not be covered by the same laws as novels, cooking books, etc. Which
> is not to say that they should not be covered at all by any law.
> People trying to deal with bad copyright laws are doing so in a
> variety of ways.
>
>
> Jean-Claude Guédon
>
> Professeur titulaire
> Littérature comparée
> Université de Montréal

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