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Sci-Hub: What is Sci-Hub?

This guides provides information on a journal article sharing site called Sci-Hub

What is Sci-Hub?

Sci-Hub is a search engine that works in concert with a repository called Library Genesis (LibGen) to give researchers access to a cache of articles taken illegally from scientific journals. Currently the repository holds roughly 47 million articles. In addition to drawing on the LibGen repository, Sci-Hub also uses the login credentials of university employees to bypass institutional authentication barriers and access journal content to which the university has licensed access. When it accesses an article in this manner, Sci-Hub sends a copy of the article to the requesting party and also deposits a copy of the article in LibGen for future use by others. 

How Does it Work?

Sci-Hub seems to obtain these login credentials by two means: 

1. Academics who support the program willingly contribute their credentials to Sci-Hub;

2. Academics unwittingly give Sci-Hub their credentials in response to phishing campaigns.

Please be careful!

How Does Sci-Hub Impact Researchers?

When considering requests like Sci-Hub's for your credentials, please remember that Marian University IT Policy prohibits sharing your credentials. There are at least two important reasons for this prohibition:

  1. Sharing your authentication information places you at personal risk. It gives others access to your private and confidential information in CIS, including your payroll and W-2 information, and your email account. Depending on your authorization profile, it will also allow access to other confidential and sensitive campus information as well.
  2. If you provide your Marian username and password to Sci-Hub (or anyone else) for purposes of granting them access to information resources licensed for campus use, you put the University at great risk. The University would be in breach of its licensing contracts, which could result in legal liability as well as loss of access to those resources.  It can also compromise University IT security.

Open Access vs Sci-Hub

Have more questions?

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Chris Bishop
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