Sci-Hub provides access to nearly all scholarly literature

  • 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 has been 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 85.1% 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, we find that Sci-Hub provides greater coverage than the University of Pennsylvania, a major research university in the United States. Green open access to toll access articles via licit services, on the other hand, remains quite limited. 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 may become unsustainable.
Author:Daniel S. Himmelstein, Ariel Rodriguez Romero, Jacob Levernier, Thomas Anthony Munro, Stephen Reid McLaughlin, Bastian Greshake Tzovaras, Casey S. Greene
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):eLife
Publisher:eLife Sciences Publications
Place of publication:Cambridge
Contributor(s):Peter A. Rodgers
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2019
Date of first Publication:2019/02/09
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/09/02
Tag:Feature article; copyright; journals; libgen; open access; paywalls; sci-hub
Page Number:22
First Page:1
Last Page:22
Copyright Himmelstein et al. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
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; dritter Preprint erschienen in: PeerJ preprints, 6.2018, e3100v3, doi:10.7287/peerj.preprints.3100v3
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