Sci-Hub provides access to nearly all scholarly literature [v3]

  • The website Sci-Hub enables users to download PDF versions of scholarly articles, including many articles that are paywalled at their journal’s site. Sci-Hub has grown rapidly since its creation in 2011, but the extent of its coverage was unclear. Here we report that, as of March 2017, Sci-Hub’s database contains 68.9% of the 81.6 million scholarly articles registered with Crossref and 85.2% of articles published in toll access journals. We find that coverage varies by discipline and publisher and that Sci-Hub preferentially covers popular, paywalled content. For toll access articles, green open access via licit services is quite limited, while Sci-Hub provides greater coverage than a major research university. Our interactive browser at allows users to explore these findings in more detail. For the first time, nearly all scholarly literature is available gratis to anyone with an Internet connection, suggesting the toll access business model will become unsustainable.

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Author:Daniel S. Himmelstein, Ariel Rodriguez Romero, Jacob Levernier, Thomas Anthony Munro, Stephen Reid McLaughlin, Bastian Greshake Tzovaras, Casey S. Greene
Parent Title (English):PeerJ preprints
Publisher:PeerJ Inc.
Place of publication:Corte Madera, CA [u. a.]
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2018
Date of first Publication:2018/02/02
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/09/02
Tag:LibGen; Sci-Hub; copyright; data-science; journals; literature; open-access; paywalls; piracy; publishing
Page Number:48
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ Preprints) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.
Erster Preprint erschienen in: PeerJ preprints, 5.2017, e3100v1, doi:10.7287/peerj.preprints.3100v1; zweiter Preprint erschienen in: PeerJ preprints, 5.2017, e3100v2, doi:10.7287/peerj.preprints.3100v2; finale Fassung erschienen in: eLife, 7.2018, e32822, doi:10.7554/eLife.32822
Institutes:Biowissenschaften / Biowissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:0 Informatik, Informationswissenschaft, allgemeine Werke / 00 Informatik, Wissen, Systeme / 004 Datenverarbeitung; Informatik
3 Sozialwissenschaften / 37 Bildung und Erziehung / 370 Bildung und Erziehung
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0