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#ICanHazPDF is a hashtag used on Twitter to request access to academic journal articles which are behind paywalls. It began in 2011 by scientist Andrea Kuszewski. The name is derived from the meme I Can Has Cheezburger?
Users request articles by tweeting an article's title, DOI or other linked information like a publisher's link, their email address, and the hashtag "#ICanHazPDF". Someone who has access to the article might then email it to them. The user then deletes the original tweet. Alternatively, users who do not wish to post their email address in the clear can use direct messaging to exchange contact information with a volunteer who has offered to share the article of interest.
Use and popularity
The practice amounts to copyright infringement in numerous countries, and so is arguably part of the 'black open access' trend. The majority of requests are for articles published in the last five years, and most users are from English-speaking countries. Requests for biology papers are more common than papers in other fields, despite subscription prices for chemistry, physics, and astronomy being, on average, higher than for biology. Possible reasons for people to use the hashtag include the reluctance of readers to pay for article access and the speed of the process compared to most university interlibrary loans.
- Gardner, Carolyn Caffrey; Gardner, Gabriel J. "Bypassing Interlibrary Loan Via Twitter: An Exploration of #icanhazpdf Requests" (PDF). E-LIS. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 February 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
- Dunn, Adam, G.; Coiera, Enrico; Mandl, Kenneth D. (2014). "Is Biblioleaks Inevitable?". Journal of Medical Internet Research. 16 (4): e112. doi:10.2196/jmir.3331. PMC 4019771. PMID 24755534. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
- Kuszewski, Andrea (20 January 2011). "OMG, that should be the new "I'm requesting a paper" hashtag!". Retrieved 23 October 2015.
- Mohdin, Aamna (23 October 2015). "How to Get Free Access to Academic Papers on Twitter". The Atlantic. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
- Swab, Michelle; Romme, Kristen (2015). "2015: #icanhazpdf? User Requests for Medical Literature on Twitter". Medical Library Association Conference 2015. Medical Library Association. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
- Wendling, Mike (21 October 2015). "The scientists encouraging online piracy with a secret codeword". BBC. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
- Björk, Bo-Christer (2017). "Gold, green, and black open access". Learned Publishing. 30 (2): 173–175. doi:10.1002/leap.1096. ISSN 1741-4857.