Article: This student put 50 million stolen research articles online. And they’re free.

Access, Open Decision-Support, Research

This student put 50 million stolen research articles online. And they’re free.

Alexandra Elbakyan is a highbrow pirate in hiding. The 27-year-old graduate student from Kazakhstan is operating a searchable online database of nearly 50 million stolen scholarly journal articles, shattering the $10 billion-per-year paywall of academic publishers.

Elbakyan has kept herself beyond the reach of a federal judge who late last year issued an injunction against her site, noting that damages could total $150,000 per article — a sum that Applied and Computational Harmonic Analysis, a journal in her database, could help calculate. But she is not hiding from responsibility.

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