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Is there evidence that Universities network administrators are aware of, or actively tracking student and/or staff usage of free online journal article databases such as Sci-Hub or LibGen?

My question is not meant to address any legal issues. I am merely asking about knowledge of student and staff usage by network administrators and by extension the University.

Unless faculty and students are using Tor a VPN or some other sort of anonymity network, University network administrators can easily track what web pages are being accessed over the University network.

University network administrators commonly track access to social media, gambling, pornography, plagiarism related sites and more. Are Universities also tracking faculty and staff usage of sites like Sci-Hub and LibGen?



1 Answer 1

There easily could be, so don't do marginally legal things on your university's network. Mine doesn't appear to do more than shut down bot nets and torrent hosting, but it's not hard to track the rest. It's mostly only in the university's interest to stop crimes and copyright infringement committed on its network so that it doesn't have to deal with law enforcement and/or lawsuits (i.e. paperwork and cooperation). I don't think Sci-Hub and LibGen have risen to that level quite yet. You might get away with it for awhile, but if enough people start accessing scientific content that way, then the paperwork will start to flow in, and the accesses will start getting shut down.