Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form


LaDue, John (2018) EXPLORING THE CONVENIENCE VERSUS NECESSITY DEBATE REGARDING SCI-HUB USE IN THE UNITED STATES. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Download (1MB) | Preview


This study used multiple regression modeling to explore the relationship between Sci- Hub use in the United States and the characteristics of the areas surrounding the download requests. The purpose of this study was to examine Sci-Hub usage in the United States to explore the validity of academic journal publisher claims of convenience over necessity. This study was broken down into two parts: 1) how Sci-Hub download requests are related to the institutional characteristics of research-intensive universities and 2) how Sci-Hub download requests are related to the population of their geographic location. Convenience, for the purpose of this study, was based on Zipf’s Principle of Least Effort.
In the first part of this study, universities were associated with Sci-Hub download requests within a 10-mile radius of the institution. The predictor variables for this section included an institution’s journal expenditures, the size of the graduate student and faculty population, and the amount of research funding from NIH and NSF. Research funding was found to have a positive, significant relationship with Sci-Hub use when controlling for the other predictors. Additionally, an interaction between the amount of research funding and the size of graduate student and faculty population was included in the final model. Institutions with larger numbers of graduate students and faculty and higher levels of research funding were found to
have the highest levels of Sci-Hub use. This interaction effect suggests that necessity may be more of a driver of Sci-Hub use than convenience.
In the second part of the study, Sci-Hub download requests were split up by the core- based statistical areas (CBSAs). The models in this section examined population size, the percentage of the population with an advanced degree, the number and type of higher education institutions, and the number of graduate students. Advanced degree holders were found to have a positive, significant relationship with Sci-Hub use when accounting for the other predictor variables. This finding may suggest necessity as people outside of higher education often do not have access to academic literature. Taken together, the two parts of the study suggest that necessity is likely driving people to use Sci-Hub.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
LaDue, Johnjol25@pitt.edujol250000-0003-0041-8290
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDeAngelo, Lindadeangelo@pitt.edudeangelo0000-0002-8508-5909
Committee MemberDelale O'Connor, Lorilori.delale-oconnor@pitt.edulori.delale-oconnor
Committee MemberTomer, Christingerchristomer@pitt.educhristomer
Committee MemberPage, LindsayLPAGE@pitt.eduLPAGE
Date: 26 September 2018
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 16 May 2018
Approval Date: 26 September 2018
Submission Date: 26 September 2018
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 170
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sci-Hub Academic Publishing
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2018 12:42
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2018 12:42


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item