Welcome to the Pirate Bay of science
A researcher in Russia has made more than 48 million journal articles – almost every single peer-reviewed paper every published – freely available online. And she’s now refusing to shut the site down, despite a court injunction and a lawsuit from Elsevier, one of the world’s biggest publishers. For those of you who aren’t already using it, the site in question is Sci-Hub, and it’s sort of like a Pirate Bay of the science world.
ROBERT STEELE: The combination of very poor Internet security at the document level, and very harsh pricing at the article level, make the collapse of the Elsevier and Thompson Reuters business model, at least in the academic arena, inevitable. As the Bloomberg Box is also encountering, collapse in the financial arena is likely as well.
The only way to survive, now while these legacy companies have cash flow excess, is to adapt. Palantir (now the band-aid of the day at Thompson Reuters) is what Dr. Russell Ackoff would call doing more of the wrong things righter. The vision on this web site of Applied Collective Intelligence and Open Source Everything Engineering (OSEE) are “the right thing.”
My best guess is that neither company is not fast enough and the “managers” between the internal champions of change and the CEO not brave enough, to get the truth on the table in time to save them. Everyone will play for themselves, toward their retirement before the whole thing implodes, and no one will be willing to make the tough decisions necessary to keep them viable for the next generation of managers and shareholders. A World Brain will emerge on its own, with profit models at the paragraph level instead of the article level, and knowledge will be disintermediated at the same time that it becomes more available, more persistent, more linked, more peer-reviewed.