January 18, 2013

On "Join Papester Collective 1.0: How to reply to #icanhazpdf in 3 seconds"

I'm totally supporting this potential system theorized some days ago by Micah Allen and his friend Hauke on Allen's Neuroconscience blog . They discuss a quick and reliable strategy to share papers behind a paywall.
The proposed system is really easy and accessible by everyone, since it uses particular twitter's #hashtags for query and response.
I strongly believe that what started after Aaron Swartz's dead with #pdftribute, and continued with #sharecredentials (unfortunately and strangely still not so shared on twitter), and now followed by #icanhazpdf / #papester  will quickly lead to a massive weaken of paywall systems. Therefore, this will push people to understand and to propose alternative ways that are more ethically correct and also apt to current science needs.

Also, i don't believe that this ways are so illegal to warn people not to use them, and even if they are is just because old rules simply doesn't fit anymore with the actual need of a more open and accessible science. Finally, i could suggest you to leave the army and join the pirates! Because no one will be interested in fighting for your right of research. We are facing really big issues nowadays, and without a coordinated network strategy we won't be able to solve this topics together. Instead we would leave this solutions to big institutions and corporations, that to this date are too biased by market logics and profitable goals.
Concluding, i think this battle has to be fight by those who believe that knowledge has to be definitely accessible to everyone on Earth.

I don't want to necessarily appear as a criminal, and of course I'm aware that editors have to make profits in order to produce a quality service, but the results of paywalls are pretty clear.

A recent article on Cyberpsychology, behavior and social networking journal, argue:
"In a national online longitudinal survey, participants reported their attitudes and behaviors in response to the recently implemented metered paywall by the New York Times. Previously free online content now requires a digital subscription to access beyond a small free monthly allotment. Participants were surveyed shortly after the paywall was announced and again 11 weeks after it was implemented to understand how they would react and adapt to this change. Most readers planned not to pay and ultimately did not. Instead, they devalued the newspaper, visited its Web site less frequently, and used loopholes, particularly those who thought the paywall would lead to inequality."[1]

 Finally, I want share the interesting idea of Allen and his friend Hauke:
"Yesterday my friend Hauke and I theorized about a kind of dream scenario- a totally distributed, easy to use, publication liberation system. This is perhaps not feasible at this point [1]. Today we’re going to present something that will be useful right now. The essential goal here is to make it so that anyone, anywhere, can access the papers they need in a timely manner. The idea is to take advantage of existing strategies and tools to streamline paper sharing as much as possible. Folks already do this- every day on twitter or in private, requests for papers are made and fulfilled. Our goal is to completely streamline this process down to a few clicks of your mouse. That way a small but dedicated group of folks – the Papester Collective – can ensure that #icanhazpdf requests are fulfilled almost instantly. This is a work in progress. Leave comments on how to improve and further streamline this system and join the collective!

Tweet (for example): “#icanhazpdf http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4568-12.2013”

Show your support for the papester collective by tweeting: “Thanks to #papester, my #icanhazpdf request was fufilled in seconds! Join: http://bit.ly/W7fa2T #pdftribute
  1. Twitter:  Monitor #icanhazpdf #requests 
  2. Zotero and zotero browser plugin: after clicking on DOI link or abstract page just click on ‘Save to Zotero’ button to auto-grabs PDFs  
  3. Zotfile: automatically copies new Zotero pdfs files saved to public Dropbox folder  
  4. Dropbox: Cloud storage system to seamlessly share files with anyone without login. 
  5. Dropbox linker: automatically adds links from public folder to your clipboard 
  6. Reply to request tweets: paste URL from clipboard and if you want #papester
 That’s it! Now you can just click request links, click the Zotero get PDF button, and CTRL+V a dropbox direct download link in response! 
1.The fundamental problem: uploading huge repositories of scientific papers is not sensible for now. It’s too much data (50 million papers * 0.5-1.5 megabytes together make up ~ 25-75 Terrabytes) and the likelihood for every paper to be downloaded is more uniformly distributed than with files traditionally shared like music. For instance, there are 100 million songs x 3.5 mb songs, and it is difficult to find exotic songs online – some songs have decent availability now because there are only a few favourites – not so with favourite papers. Also, fewer people will share papers than songs, so this makes it more even more difficult to sustain a complete repository. Thus, we need a system that fufills requests individually.  
Disclaimer: Please make sure you only share papers with friends who also have the copyrights to the papers you share." 
From Michah Allen's Neuroscience Blog

As you can see I reported the disclaimer of Allen's Blog. I don't agree with that, and also i don't see how my #sharecredentials is far more illegal in this sense!

Free your paper, Free your credentials and share your knowledge for free!

  • use the #sharecredentials to share your credentials for limited-access data-bases

  • use the #pdftribute to share your papers

  • Tweet #icanhazpdf  ARTICLE_URL or DOI;  more info here


Cook, J., & Attari, S. (2012). Paying for What Was Free: Lessons from the Paywall
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 15 (12), 682-687 DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2012.0251


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