Where can I access Library Genesis
Shadow libraries: download e-book about LibGen & Co.
The Library Genesis (LibGen) is just one example of many for shadow libraries, where students obtain knowledge free of charge and illegally. In addition to Alexandra Elbakyan's archives, there is more, as the book by Joe Karaganis shows. “Shadow Libraries - Access to Knowledge in Global Higher Education” was recently published as an e-book free of charge. If you want to buy the paperback, it is available in stores for 20.30 euros.
Shadow libraries - how it came about
In 2009 the student Alexandra Elbakyan (here is our interview with her) was looking for scientific papers for her master’s thesis. Since her university in Kazakhstan probably had to forego reference to the scientific work of various publishers for cost reasons, she looked for copies in her environment that she could use for her elaboration. It quickly became clear how lengthy and difficult the search would be for her and all other students, which is why she founded Sci-Hub (sci-hub.tw) years later.
The publishing houses' pricing policy caused the shadow libraries
By linking it with LibGen and other shadow libraries such as BookSC (BookSC.org), this has become the world's largest conglomerate for black copies in the scientific field. There over 3.4 million books and more than 52 million scientific articles are offered free of charge. The reason for the establishment of the illegal collection was the dissatisfaction of many students with the publishing houses, which all over the world charge a lot of money for the purchase of scientific articles. This pricing policy makes the work of scientists around the world considerably more difficult. This is especially true for the students who have a minimal budget in less wealthy nations and cannot afford to buy the work.
Publishers are following LibGen and Sci-Hub
Imitators of LibGen and Sci-Hub are, for example, the Spanish Hansi Library (ebiblioteca.org) and the Aaaaarg archive (aaaaarg.fail). Various publishers have already taken action against such portals. Of course, one sees one's own business model threatened for lukewarm by the free distribution of the shadow libraries of the high-priced works.
So far it has done little. Sci-Hub and LibGen have had to change domains several times. Alexandra Elbakyan, who is the only person to appear in public with her name, will probably never be able to visit Western nations again. They were convicted in the United States. Otherwise, despite the lawsuits and high claims for damages from several publishers, the portals continue to run as if nothing had ever happened.
Non-fiction is temporarily available as a free download
If you want to find out more about shadow libraries: The e-book "Shadow Libraries" by Joe Karaganis (International Development Research Center) can be read or downloaded here free of charge. If you prefer the printed book, it is available here for 20.30 euros. The DRM-contaminated Kindle version is naturally a bit cheaper. At this point, many thanks to Manuel Bonik for the tip!
Featured image by Jason Wong, thx! (CC0 1.0)
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