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Science AMA series: This is Daniel Himmelstein, PhD, and Casey Greene, PhD. We found that the Sci-Hub website has created a pirate repository of nearly all scholarly articles, which will push publishing towards more open models. Ask Us Anything!
  • eLife_AMA ,
  • r/Science AMAs

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See the eLife flyer and this post for pictures! Daniel Himmelstein (@dhimmel on Reddit, Steem, and Twitter) – Hi Reddit! I’m a data scientist in Casey Greene’s lab at the University of Pennsylvania. Before this, I got my PhD in Biological & Medical Informatics at the University of California, San Francisco. One reason I took the job at Penn (watch me accept the job on YouTube) was because I wanted to continue advancing open science – the idea that science will progress most quickly if research is immediately open without barriers to reuse and collaboration. Sci-Hub is a website that brands itself as the first pirate website in the world to provide mass and public access to tens of millions of research papers. It is a controversial form of open science, because it infringes upon the copyright of publishers. However, it’s interesting because we think it will push scholarly publishing towards more open business models. Therefore, when Sci-Hub tweeted the list of every article in its database in March 2017, we began analyzing it openly on GitHub. Fast-forward almost a year and, after the publication of three preprint articles, we published our findings in the journal eLife with the title Sci-Hub provides access to nearly all scholarly literature. We also created a Stats Browser to help anyone explore the data. Casey Greene (@greenescientist on Reddit, Steem, and Twitter) – My research lab is in the Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics at the University of Pennsylvania. Our primary focus is on developing machine learning methods to better understand human health and disease. I also run the Childhood Cancer Data Lab for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which is focused on integrating large-scale data to accelerate the pace of discovery. In addition to our research, I have an interest in the process of scientific communication, including our work studying Sci-Hub, our efforts to write a review paper entirely in the open via GitHub, and our biOverlay effort to launch an overlay for the life sciences. We’re here to answer questions about our eLife paper, or our work more broadly. We’ll start answering questions at 2pm EDT. AMA!