Sci-Hub usage in medicine
When we say that all information published in scientific journals must be freely accessible, the idea that comes into mind is that the issue is only about science: and science is something that a relatively small number of weird people in white clothes love to do in their research institutions. Whether access to journals in science is free or not, is only of interest to scientists and not to general public.
That opinion is wrong, because the great chunk of scientific journals are journals about advances in medicine. Millions of research papers are published on the topic of medicine, health, diseases and better treatments. However, today all these information are not accessible because of high prices. That leaves millions of ill people and health professionals in the dark.
The issue of lack of access to medical information - that became especially prominent in poor countries - has been discussed since nineties. Medical professionals called upon World Health Organization to solve the problem.
They did not, and then Sci-Hub emerged to solve the problem: the website practically enabled free access to the world’s literature on health care. The database of Sci-Hub accumulated more than 24 million papers published in medical journals.
data show that Sci-Hub can help clinicians in ophthalmology working in less privileged institutions or countries worldwide by allowing them to obtain essential information and respond appropriately to patient care needs. Without this option, they would not be able to cope with the demands of their profession.
Sci-Hub is being presented as an illegal website that breaks copyright law: hence for some users an ethical dilemma arises.
The medical knowledge is too expensive and inaccessible to medical workers. However, they can get it for free on Sci-Hub website.
Should they obey the law - or help their patients instead? Is it ethical for someone to steal knowledge in order to save human life?
Two papers were published on this topic:
Sci-Hub and medical practice: an ethical dilemma in Peru
Sci-Hub and evidence-based dentistry: an ethical dilemma in Cuba
But it seems to be that the authors of these papers are being sarcastic, because the answer is obvious. On the contrary, the question must be: is it ethical to make profits by restricting access to important medical knowledge that can help save human lives, as publishers do? Academic publishing business is deeply unethical.
In 2020 a group of Internet archivists created a freely accessible repository of research papers about COVID-19, using Sci-Hub as a source. When asked by journalist about legality of their actions, the organizer responded:
‐ it is a moral imperative. Copyright on the health of humanity? Freak off.
I just wanted to say thank you so very much for helping me to help my patients in the NHS as well as further my own education when researching medical issues. When I am in clinic, I need answers quickly and you allow me to instantly access papers which the local library can take a minimum of a few hours to source instead. As you know, sometimes, the first paper isn’t the right one for the desired information, but the references then allow for signposting to different papers etc, so I can navigate through several full text publications in a matter of several minutes, rather than several days.
I wish you all the success that you fully deserve for offering such a valuable resource to the world and your help to others cannot be calculated. I have no doubt that you have saved lives through prompt access to information.
Consultant Spinal Surgeon
Morriston Hospital Swansea
Dr Kaushal K Tiwari
MD (Hons), MS, IMCS, PhD, FMICS
Associate Professor of CTVS, Kathmandu University
Consultant Cardiothoracic & Vascular Surgeon
I just wanted to thank you for the immense work you have done. I always believed that knowledge should be freely available especially since those who wish to impart it do so without charging anything.
The non-availability of scientific papers due to the steep fees charged by the publishers of journals was a significant impediment for me and a large number of people like me. I sincerely thank you for creating Sci-Hub that has opened up the vast pool of knowledge that was locked up by the publishers.
Dr Abhijeet Wakure
I want to thank you for your paramount and significative gift. By making information reachable for everybody you have impruved our work (I mean all the physicians) and and through that, you have positively impacted in peoples heath around the world. You gave us a pressious gift.
Let the force be with you!!!!
Thank you very much! (apologies, my english is so bad)
My name is André Souza, I´m medical doctor in Brazil, foot and ankle surgeon and writting this email just to say Thank you so much. I´m not linked to any University so the papers were always so expansive to me. Your work help me to make my work better and bring more health to my patients.
Dr. André Luiz Rocha de Souza
Ortopedia e Traumatologia
Cirurgia do pé e tornozelo
You must be a saint! And overall, you're brillant!
I wish you much happiness in your life !!
(sorry for my poor english)
Thank you again.
knowledge seekers from low resource countries. I am highly benefited
by accessing scientific papers using your site.
Dr. Quazi Ahmed Zaki
Department of Community Medicine
Shaheed Syed Nazrul Islam Medical College
I wish you all the best for all your future endeavours and once again thank you for Sci-Hub. We would have been at level 0 without it. Love from India!
I have completed my Neurosurgery from India's dedicated neurosciences centre at Bangalore.
NIMHANS - National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences.
This institute was established way back in 1923 as dedicated psychiatry hospital. Today this institute is apex centre in India for Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.
It is very grateful that you have created this Sci-Hub website.
Dr Prashant Singh
Mch Neurosurgery, NIMHANS, Bangalore
PDF Neurosurgery, SGPGI, Lucknow
Thank for being here.
Pr Rym Benmously Mlika
I JUST WANTED TO TELL YOU THAT YOU ARE AWESOME !!!
Im not sure if you get a lot of e-mails or if you will ever read this, but a lot of doctors depend on your website to gather evidence to treat patients, especially in these difficult times.
KEEP DOING WHAT YOU DO, YOU DESERVE A F***** NOBEL PRIZE !!!
From a Huge Fan
thank you for scihub :D and everything.
Thanks to you, we can access the articles free of charge.
I want you to know that almost all of the residents in Mexico use the tool that you made, here we take decisions about treatment and diagnosis and we are doing first world medicine thanks to you, our patients are receiving the best treatments.
You are kind of a hero between scientists at least here in my country, i wanted to donate some coins but there's no account or link for doing that. I just wanted you to know that sci-hub isnt just opening for scientists,its reaching people that doesnt even know what is it, and also is helping to save lives.
If there is something that mexican doctors can do for you, just say it. Thanks a lot Alexandra.
I LOVE your site sci-hub and it DID help me a lot for bypassing paywalls.
Asst. Prof. Dr. Ahmet Tolgay AKINCI
Trakya University, Medical Faculty
I am really thankful for the work you’ve done to make science available and accesible with a huge impact on medical education and daily practice
Most of my medical career has been facilitated by your work. Not having a stable income as a student, thanks to you I've been able to read lots of texts and become a better doctor. I'm on the surge of becoming a oncogynecologist :) so thank you forever, from me and in behalf of a lot of doctors I know.
Patricia Perezchica Márquez
I would like to thank you (and your co-authors) for this wonderful tool that is the sci-hub platform.
I am an Orthopaedic Surgeon in São Paulo, Brazil and, for obvious reasons, we didn’t have full access to the scientific literature (just as many of the professional living and working in the 3rd or 4th world).
There is no one day in my life that I have to seek for some reference or citation through your creation.
You are my hero! Thank you so much for sharing with us your personal information and especially your face and smile.
God help you always.
Prof. Dr. Caio Nery
Professor Associado - Medicina e Cirurgia do Pé
Departamento de Ortopedia e Traumatologia - Escola Paulista de Medicina
Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein
THANK YOU SO MUCH for your work getting free scientific knowledge for entire world.
Without your work with SCI-HUB, it would be impossible to physicians like me, to access to high quality scientific information. Thanks to it, I could treat and offer better treatments for my patients, and obtain new information to help people in my clinical practice.
My name is Gilberto González López, I am 31 years old, I'm a Colombian Neurosurgeon in a public (poor) hospital.
Thank you again for Sci-Hub.
hugs from Colombia
Gilberto González-López MD
Neurosurgeon University of Cartagena
WFNS Fellow in Pediatric Neurosurgery Universitätsklinikum Tübingen