Sci-Hub is necessary but it is not a solution

There is a large and important debate in the scientific community at the moment which concerns access to research publications. Currently, a large amount of research is only available if a researcher or institution is willing to pay, often exorbitant fees, to access it. The debate has focussed on many issues, such as whether it is right for publishers to profit off research that is funded by the public when the researchers receive nothing or how a combination of high costs and funding limitations further the research gap between developed and developing countries.

There is increasing pressure, for example by the European Union and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to move to something known as open access, where authors pay a publication fees but where the research is then freely available to everyone. One player that often comes up in these discussions is Sci-Hub. Continue reading

Hypocrisy, thy name is…

The internet is great for getting the word out there when someone has done something wrong. However, it also makes claims very easy to check up. Sometimes people don’t put two and two together and hypocrisy can become quite evident very quickly. That’s been the case just recently in South Africa. I got a link to this post, where South African designer Euodia Roets calls out Woolworths for the way they stole her design. She gives a lot of details and photo evidence of the similarity between her picture and the one that was then printed on some scatter cushions to sell. Continue reading

A few follow-ups

A couple of times I have posted about an event that hasn’t yet been resolved. While it’s nice to hear about things as they happen there is the problem of follow-up. So I’ve decided to take this opportunity to address some earlier stories and what’s been happening there.

In my Valentine’s day post I mentioned that Alexander Aan was facing prison time and possible execution because of Indonesia’s law against blasphemy. I looked a bit to see if there was any progress but I didn’t find anything conclusive. About the best I can say is that Atheist Alliance International has been able to appoint Aan a lawyer. It’s not as good as him being cleared but at least he will have a chance. Continue reading