Study uncovers free swapping of academic journals

November 2, 2009

In an examination of an unnamed website aimed specifically at medical professionals and students, a new study has found that thousands of people were obtaining non-open-access materials for free. In a 6-month period, almost 5,500 articles were exchanged, costing journals about $700,000 in that time. The report states that during the study period, the site's 127,626 registered users put in requests for 6,587 journals, and there was an 83% success rate in finding an article. While the study does not focus on the ethical implications, it does note that "the site displays activities by medical students, teachers, and practicing professionals that are ethically dubious." The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | Read the report