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ACM Opinion

Who's Downloading Pirated Papers? Everyone

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Credit: WiseGeek

In increasing numbers, researchers around the world are turning to Sci-Hub, the world's largest pirate website for scholarly literature, to access research papers. Sci-Hub  hosts 50 million papers and counting. Over the 6 months leading up to March, Sci-Hub served up 28 million documents. More than 2.6 million download requests came from Iran, 3.4 million from India, and 4.4 million from China. The papers cover every scientific topic, from obscure physics experiments published decades ago to the latest breakthroughs in biotechnology.

What effect does Sci-Hub have on research and academic publishing? Who are its users, where are they, and what are they reading? 

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