Alexandra Asanovna Elbakyan (Russian: Алекса́ндра Аса́новна Элбакя́н) is a Kazakhstani graduate student, computer programmer, described as an Internet "pirate in hiding" & "Science's Pirate Queen" and the creator of the site Sci-Hub. Nature has listed her in 2016 in the top ten people that mattered in science, Ars Technica has compared her to Aaron Swartz, and The New York Times has compared her to Edward Snowden.
Elbakyan at Harvard University in 2010
|Born||6 November 1988|
|Alma mater||Satbayev Kazakh National Technical University|
|Known for||Creating Sci-Hub|
|Fields||Neural engineering, Computer Science|
Elbakyan was born in Almaty, Kazakhstan on 6 November, 1988. She is of Armenian, Slavic, and Asian descent. Elbakyan undertook university studies in Almaty, where she developed skills in computer hacking. A year working in computer security in Moscow gave her the finances to proceed to Freiburg in 2010 to work on a brain–computer interface project, and she developed an interest in transhumanism, which led her to a summer internship at Georgia Institute of Technology in the United States, where she studied "Neuroscience and Consciousness". In 2009 she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the Kazakh National Technical University, specializing in information security.
She began Sci-Hub on her return to Kazakhstan in 2011, characterised by Science correspondent John Bohannon as "an awe-inspiring act of altruism or a massive criminal enterprise, depending on whom you ask." Following a lawsuit brought in the US by the publisher Elsevier, Elbakyan is presently in hiding due to the risk of extradition; Elsevier has been granted a $15 million injunction against her. According to a 2016 interview, her neuroscience research is on hold, but she has enrolled in a history of science master’s program at a "small private university" in an undisclosed location. Her thesis focuses on scientific communication. In December 2016, Nature Publishing Group named Alexandra Elbakyan as one of the 10 people who most mattered in 2016.
Elbakyan and Sci-Hub were again involved in a lawsuit in 2017, this time with the American Chemical Society. ACS sued the site for copyright infringement, contributory copyright infringement, trademark counterfeiting, trademark infringement, and conversion. Later that year, the court ruled in favor of ACS, fining Sci-Hub $4,800,000 in damages.
Elbakyan has stated that she is inspired by communist ideals, although she does not consider herself a strict Marxist. She has stated that she supports a strong state which can stand up to the Western world, and that she does not want "the scientists of Russia and of my native Kazakhstan to share the fates of the scientists of Iraq, Libya, and Syria, that were 'helped' by the USA to become more democratic."
In particular, Elbakyan is strongly critical of the former Dynasty Foundation and its associated figures, believing that the foundation was politicized, tied to Russia's liberal opposition, and fit the legal definition of a "foreign agent"; Dynasty's founder, in her opinion, financed those researchers whose political views agreed with his own. Elbakyan states that after she began to investigate the foundation's activities and published her findings online, she became the target of a cyberharassment campaign by Dynasty's supporters.
In 2017 a species of parasitoid wasps discovered by Russian and Mexican entomologists was named after Elbakyan (Idiogramma elbakyanae). Elbakyan was offended by this, writing "If you analyse the situation with scientific publications, the real parasites are scientific publishers, and Sci-Hub, on the contrary, fights for equal access to scientific information." Following this event, and in the context of her long-running tense relations with the liberal, pro-Western wing of the Russian scientific community, she blocked access to Sci-Hub for users from the Russian Federation. Sci-Hub access was later restored to Russia and Elbakyan said in an interview that many fans contacted her and convinced her "that the opinion of the so-called 'science popularizers' who attacked me on the Internet cannot be considered the opinion of the scientific community.” The Russian entomologist responsible for naming the wasp stated that he supports Sci-Hub, and that in any event, the naming was not an insult, in particular because parasitoids are closer to predators than to parasites.
Elbakyan is a strong supporter of the Open Access movement and claims that Sci-Hub's mission falls perfectly in line with the movement. She argues that websites like Sci-Hub are part of the goal Open Access proponents are striving towards. Elbakyan believes that via this Open Access movement, citizens can become more informed.
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.
We have a recent addition to our lineup of speakers that we’ll start off the day with: Alexandra Elbakyan. As many of you know, Alexandra is a Kazakhstani graduate student, computer programmer, and the creator of the controversial Sci-Hub site.
In 2009, when she was a graduate student working on her final-year research project in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Elbakyan became frustrated at being unable to read many scholarly papers because she couldn’t afford them...
Just as Swartz did, this hacker is freeing tens of millions of research articles from paywalls, metaphorically hoisting a middle finger to the academic publishing industry, which, by the way, has again reacted with labels like "hacker" and "criminal." Meet Alexandra Elbakyan, the developer of Sci-Hub, a Pirate Bay-like site for the science nerd. It's a portal that offers free and searchable access "to most publishers, especially well-known ones."
Née en 1988 au Kazakhstan, elle est fascinée par « les livres de science soviétiques, qui expliquent scientifiquement tous les miracles attribués aux dieux ou à la magie ». Elle étudie les neurosciences à Astana et son université n’a pas les moyens de payer l’abonnement aux publications des éditeurs scientifiques. Pour son projet de recherche (l’interactivité cerveau-machine), elle aurait dû acheter chaque article autour de 30 dollars – un prix faramineux quand on sait qu’il faut consulter des dizaines ou des centaines d’articles. Elle n’a qu’une solution : les pirater.
Alexandra Elbakyan [...] Summer 2010 [...] Programming and data analysis
Alexandra Elbakyan, a 27-year-old researcher from Kazakhstan, started out with the same issues. While she was studying ‘Neuroscience and Consciousness’ in labs at Georgia Tech (US) and University of Freiburg (Germany), she was forced to pirate papers for herself and other researchers.
Elbakyan, a software developer and neurotechnology researcher, created Sci-Hub originally out of frustration over lack of access to scholarly material in her native Kazakhstan. After studying neuroscience and transhumanism (a futurist movement positing that the human species can evolve through technology) at Albert-Ludwigs University in Freiburg, Germany, and the Georgia Institute of Technology, Elbakyan returned to Kazakhstan, where Internet access was limited, article purchase fees steep, and interlibrary loan periods long. She often located pirated journal articles through online content access communities, and helped procure them for her fellow students; eventually she decided to automate the process and launched Sci-Hub.
Alexandra Elbakyan is a neurotechnology researcher and advocate, and a software developer. Alexandra holds a BS in CS from Kazakh National Technical University in Almaty, Kazakhstan, specializing in information security. During the last year of her study, she worked on a security system that would recognize individuals by their brainwaves. After obtaining her BS she worked for a while with the Human Media Interaction Group at the University of Twente on the mind-controlled game Bacteria Hunt. Later she joined the Human Higher Nervous Activity Lab dedicated to the study of consciousness. Currently she is working in The Brain Machine Interfacing Initiative at Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg on the development of ECoG-based hand prostheses
Alexandra A. Elbakyan graduated from KazNTU with a bachelor's degree in IT in June 2009. She conducted a study regarding person identification by EEG in her final year thesis. She is going to continue her research in brain-computer interfaces and brain implants
Elbakyan also answered nearly every question I had about her operation of the website, interaction with users, and even her personal life. Among the few things she would not disclose is her current location, because she is at risk of financial ruin, extradition, and imprisonment because of a lawsuit launched by Elsevier last year.
Aaron Hillel Swartz (November 8, 1986 – January 11, 2013) was an American computer programmer, entrepreneur, writer, political organizer, and Internet hacktivist. He was involved in the development of the web feed format RSS and the Markdown publishing format, the organization Creative Commons, and the website framework web.py, and was a co-founder of the social news site Reddit. He was given the title of co-founder by Y Combinator owner Paul Graham after the formation of Not a Bug, Inc. (a merger of Swartz's project Infogami and a company run by Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman).
Swartz's work also focused on civic awareness and activism. He helped launch the Progressive Change Campaign Committee in 2009 to learn more about effective online activism. In 2010, he became a research fellow at Harvard University's Safra Research Lab on Institutional Corruption, directed by Lawrence Lessig. He founded the online group Demand Progress, known for its campaign against the Stop Online Piracy Act.
In 2011, Swartz was arrested by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) police on state breaking-and-entering charges, after connecting a computer to the MIT network in an unmarked and unlocked closet, and setting it to download academic journal articles systematically from JSTOR using a guest user account issued to him by MIT. Federal prosecutors later charged him with two counts of wire fraud and eleven violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, carrying a cumulative maximum penalty of $1 million in fines, 35 years in prison, asset forfeiture, restitution, and supervised release.Swartz declined a plea bargain under which he would have served six months in federal prison. Two days after the prosecution rejected a counter-offer by Swartz, he was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment, where he had hanged himself.In 2013, Swartz was inducted posthumously into the Internet Hall of Fame.Distance education
Distance education or long-distance learning is the education of students who may not always be physically present at a school. Traditionally, this usually involved correspondence courses wherein the student corresponded with the school via post. Today it involves online education. Courses that are conducted (51 percent or more) are either hybrid, blended or 100% distance learning. Massive open online courses (MOOCs), offering large-scale interactive participation and open access through the World Wide Web or other network technologies, are recent developments in distance education. A number of other terms (distributed learning, e-learning, online learning, virtual classroom etc.) are used roughly synonymously with distance education.Do-it-yourself biology
Do-it-yourself biology (DIY biology, DIY bio) is a growing biotechnological social movement in which individuals, communities, and small organizations study biology and life science using the same methods as traditional research institutions. DIY biology is primarily undertaken by individuals with extensive research training from academia or corporations, who then mentor and oversee other DIY biologists with little or no formal training. This may be done as a hobby, as a not-for-profit endeavour for community learning and open-science innovation, or for profit, to start a business.Elbakyan
Elbakyan may refer to:
Alexandra Elbakyan (born 1988), founder of Sci-Hub
Anna Elbakyan (born 1963), Armenian actress
Armen Elbakyan (born 1954), Armenian actor, director and producer
Arthur Elbakyan (born 1961), Armenian actor, theater, movie, television director, television host, producer
Edgar Elbakyan (1928–1988), Armenian actorIdiogramma elbakyanae
Idiogramma elbakyanae is a species of parasitoid wasp found in the Mexican state of Tlaxcala. The species was named and described by the Russian entomologist Andrey I. Khalaim. The description was published in a 2017 open access article co-authored with Mexican entomologist Enrique Ruíz-Cancino.List of hackers
Here is a list of notable hackers who are known for their hacking acts.List of organisms named after famous people
In biological nomenclature, organisms often receive scientific names that honor a person. A taxon (e.g. species or genus; plural: taxa) named in honor of another entity is an eponymous taxon, and names specifically honoring a person or persons are known as patronyms. Scientific names are generally formally published in peer-reviewed journal articles or larger monographs along with descriptions of the named taxa and ways to distinguish them from other taxa. Following rules of Latin grammar, species or subspecies names derived from a man's name often end in -i or -ii if named for an individual, and -orum if named for a group of men or mixed-sex group, such as a family. Similarly, those named for a woman often end in -ae, or -arum for two or more women.
This list includes organisms named after famous individuals or ensembles (including bands and comedy troupes), but excludes companies, institutions, ethnic groups or nationalities, and populated places. It does not include organisms named for fictional entities, for biologists or other natural scientists, nor for associates or family members of researchers who are not otherwise notable. The scientific names are given as originally described (their basionyms): subsequent research may have placed species in different genera, or rendered them taxonomic synonyms of previously described taxa. Some of these names are unavailable in the zoological sense or illegitimate in the botanical sense due to senior homonyms already having the same name.Nature's 10
Nature's 10 is an annual listicle of ten "people who mattered" in science, produced by the scientific journal Nature. The ten people may have made a significant impact in science either for good or for bad. Reporters and editorial staff at Nature judge people in the list to have had "a significant impact on the world, or their position in the world may have had an important impact on science". Short biographical profiles describe the people behind some of the year's most important discoveries and events. Alongside the ten, five "ones to watch" for the following year are also listed.Open-door academic policy
An open-door academic policy, or open-door policy, is a policy if a university accepting to enroll students without asking for evidence of previous education, experience, or references. Usually, payment of the academic fees (or financial support) is all that is required to enroll.
Universities may not employ the open-door policy for all their courses, and those that have a universal open-door policy where all courses have no entry requirements are called open universities. The policy is seen to be a part of the educational revolution. From the dictionary meaning of the open-door policy, which is the idea of granting access to those who want access to the country freely, a similar idea can be drawn in terms of education.According to Deepa Rao, the open-door academic policy is one of the main ways in which adult learners become a part of university/college life. The recognized demand for post-secondary education made many institutions commit strongly to the policy, but many concealed limitations in the policy can prevent some from securing a degree.Open admissions
Open admissions, or open enrollment, is a type of unselective and noncompetitive college admissions process in the United States in which the only criterion for entrance is a high school diploma or a certificate of attendance or General Educational Development (GED) certificate.Open collaboration
Open collaboration is "any system of innovation or production that relies on goal-oriented yet loosely coordinated participants who interact to create a product (or service) of economic value, which they make available to contributors and noncontributors alike." It is prominently observed in open source software, but can also be found in many other instances, such as in Internet forums, mailing lists and online communities. Open collaboration is also thought to be the operating principle underlining a gamut of diverse ventures, including bitcoin, TEDx, and Wikipedia.Open collaboration is the principle underlying peer production, mass collaboration, and wikinomics. It was observed initially in open source software, but can also be found in many other instances, such as in Internet forums, mailing lists, Internet communities, and many instances of open content, such as creative commons. It also explains some instances of crowdsourcing, collaborative consumption, and open innovation.Riehle et al. define open collaboration as collaboration based on three principles of egalitarianism, meritocracy, and self-organization. Levine and Prietula define open collaboration as "any system of innovation or production that relies on goal-oriented yet loosely coordinated participants who interact to create a product (or service) of economic value, which they make available to contributors and noncontributors alike." This definition captures multiple instances, all joined by similar principles. For example, all of the elements — goods of economic value, open access to contribute and consume, interaction and exchange, purposeful yet loosely coordinated work — are present in an open source software project, in Wikipedia, or in a user forum or community. They can also be present in a commercial website that is based on user-generated content. In all of these instances of open collaboration, anyone can contribute and anyone can freely partake in the fruits of sharing, which are produced by interacting participants who are loosely coordinated.
An annual conference dedicated to the research and practice of open collaboration is the International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (OpenSym, formerly WikiSym). As per its website, the group defines open collaboration as "collaboration that is egalitarian (everyone can join, no principled or artificial barriers to participation exist), meritocratic (decisions and status are merit-based rather than imposed) and self-organizing (processes adapt to people rather than people adapt to pre-defined processes)."Open university
An open university is a university with an open-door academic policy, with minimal or no entry requirements. Open universities may employ specific teaching methods, such as open supported learning or distance education. However, not all open universities focus on distance education, nor do distance-education universities necessarily have open admission policies.P2P Foundation
P2P Foundation: The Foundation for Peer to Peer Alternatives is an organization with the aim of studying the impact of peer to peer technology and thought on society. It was founded by Michel Bauwens, James Burke and Brice Le Blévennec.The P2P Foundation is a registered institute founded in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Its local registered name is: Stichting Peer to Peer Alternatives, dossier nr: 34264847.Participatory culture
Participatory culture is an opposing concept to consumer culture — in other words a culture in which private individuals (the public) do not act as consumers only, but also as contributors or producers (prosumers). The term is most often applied to the production or creation of some type of published media. Recent advances in technologies (mostly personal computers and the Internet) have enabled private persons to create and publish such media, usually through the Internet. Since the technology now enables new forms of expression and engagement in public discourse, participatory culture not only supports individual creation but also informal relationships that pair novices with experts. This new culture as it relates to the Internet has been described as Web 2.0. In participatory culture "young people creatively respond to a plethora of electronic signals and cultural commodities in ways that surprise their makers, finding meanings and identities never meant to be there and defying simple nostrums that bewail the manipulation or passivity of "consumers."The increasing access to the Internet has come to play an integral part in the expansion of participatory culture because it increasingly enables people to work collaboratively; generate and disseminate news, ideas, and creative works; and connect with people who share similar goals and interests (see affinity groups). The potential of participatory culture for civic engagement and creative expression has been investigated by media scholar Henry Jenkins. In 2005, Jenkins and co-authors Ravi Purushotma, Katie Clinton, Margaret Weigel and Alice Robison authored a white paper entitled Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. This paper describes a participatory culture as one:
With relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement
With strong support for creating and sharing one's creations with others
With some type of informal mentorship whereby what is known by the most experienced is passed along to novices
Where members believe that their contributions matter
Where members feel some degree of social connection with one another (at the least they care what other people think about what they have created).Peter Sunde
Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi (born 13 September 1978), alias brokep, is a Swedish entrepreneur and politician. Sunde is of Norwegian and Finnish ancestry. He is best known for being a co-founder and ex-spokesperson of The Pirate Bay, a BitTorrent search engine. He is an equality advocate and has expressed concerns over issues of centralization of power to the European Union in his blog. Sunde also participates in the Pirate Party of Finland and describes himself as a socialist. As of April 2017, Sunde has been working on a new venture called Njalla, a privacy oriented domain name registrar.Sci-Hub
Sci-Hub is a website that provides free access to millions of paywalled and open-access research papers and books. Sci-Hub obtains paywalled papers by authenticating with universities' proxy servers, which provide access to publishers' online libraries, using illicitly obtained usernames and passwords. The means by which Sci-Hub obtains usernames and passwords is unclear. Sci-Hub stores papers it downloads on its own servers. Books are stored on LibGen.
Sci-Hub was founded by Alexandra Elbakyan in 2011 in Kazakhstan, as a reaction to the high cost of research papers behind paywalls, typically US$30 each when bought on a per-paper basis. The site is widely used in both developed and developing countries, serving over 200,000 requests per day as of February, 2016.Sci-Hub and Elbakyan were sued twice for copyright infringement in the United States – first in 2015 by Elsevier and then by the American Chemical Society in 2017, and judgments were declared against it both times, leading to loss of its Internet domain names. The site has cycled through different domain names since then.Sci-Hub has been lauded by some in the scientific, academic, and publishing communities for giving people free and efficient access to knowledge generated by the scientific community. It has also met with criticism for compromising universities' network security, jeopardizing legitimate access to papers by university staff, violating copyright, and threatening the economic viability of publishers.Social peer-to-peer processes
Social peer-to-peer processes are interactions with a peer-to-peer dynamic. These peers can be humans or computers. Peer-to-peer (P2P) is a term that originated from the popular concept of the P2P distributed computer application architecture which partitions tasks or workloads between peers. This application structure was popularized by file sharing systems like Napster, the first of its kind in the late 1990s.
The concept has inspired new structures and philosophies in many areas of human interaction. P2P human dynamic affords a critical look at current authoritarian and centralized social structures. Peer-to-peer is also a political and social program for those who believe that in many cases, peer-to-peer modes are a preferable option.Timeline of the open-access movement
The following is a timeline of the international movement for open access to scholarly communication.Timeline of women in science
This is a timeline of women in science, spanning from ancient history up to the 21st century. While the timeline primarily focuses on women involved with natural sciences such as astronomy, biology, chemistry and physics, it also includes women from the social sciences (e.g. sociology, psychology) and the formal sciences (e.g. mathematics, computer science), as well as notable science educators and medical scientists. The chronological events listed in the timeline relate to both scientific achievements and gender equality within the sciences.
Intellectual property activism