[Noisebridge-discuss] sci/med journal access in hackerspaces?

kjs bfb at riseup.net
Sat Oct 3 21:18:42 UTC 2015

Hi Praveen,

I agree 100%.

I did some research into the UC Berkeley $100/year library card[0].

As far as I can tell, the card does not grant remote access to licensed
databases. To me, this policy renders the card useless.

I like the proposal to forge relationships between public universities
and hackerspaces. I am interested in exploring options here. I imagine
this would entail reaching out to institutions and requesting remote
access to licensed databases with some restrictions (adherence to the
acceptable use policy/terms of service, requests much originate from a
specific IP, one open session per account, etc). I have no idea what the
likelihood of an institution fulfilling such a request would be.
Probably small, as this sounds like it would violate their license
agreements with publishers.

Another way forward is indexing "Green Open Access" manuscripts as one
or many collection/s on archive.org (Ex:
https://archive.org/details/journals). These sort of solutions require
much work, and to me are inferior to direct, legitimate access to the


[0] http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/information/visitors
[1] http://guides.lib.berkeley.edu/openaccess/defined

Praveen Sinha:
> Hi folks,
> I've asked this question before in private with not a lot of good
> responses, but I'll put it out to a wider audience.  One of the things that
> is nice about being a university is full online journal access.
> For myself, in the past I've had friends inside a uni run an underground
> proxy server for me so I can access said licensed content ("Right to Read
> <http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.en.html>" anyone?).  UC
> Berkeley offers the general public library access for $100 a year, which is
> great but cost prohibitive for starving hackers
> My question is: is there someway we can get hackerspaces and members forge
> a path to having access to non-open access journals?  Maybe through some
> sort of library grant, or charity access, or something?  My library
> knowledge here falls short.  But there are multiple great reasons for us to
> do this:
>            * accelerate research and innovation at a grassroots/citizen
> level.  One of the biggest wins I see here is with citizen driven disease
> research (austin just opened a medical hackerspace
> <http://district.life/2015/10/02/launching-the-first-medical-makerspace-in-the-usa/>).
> Can you imagine what the cyborg group could do with a broader network?
>            * open access journals are great, but the coverage falls short
>            * for a lot of folks who have never had access to a university,
> it's simply a matter of fair educational access
>            * it can encourage projects to re-invent journal access itself
> Would love to hear ideas or possible points of contact!
> Love,
> Praveen
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