Shadow Libraries

Shadow Libraries is large-scale comparative research project on the provision of educational materials in higher education, with a focus on how students get the materials they need. The study explored the changing roles of publishers, universities, faculty, and students in this ecosystem; in particular, it looked at the large-scale practices of informal copying and sharing of materials that underpin the expansion of global higher education that have resulted in some truly massive online shadow libraries, such as Sci-Hub, which has copied and made available most of the world’s scientific knowledge.  The core work focuses on Brazil, India, South Africa, Russia, Poland, Argentina, Uruguay, and the United States and has resulted in a book, Shadow Libraries (2018), published by MIT.

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