Does anyone know any forum, FB group or other platform where students from different univerisites would exchange academic literature available in their libraries?


On Twitter, there's the #ICanHazPDF hashtag. Wikipedia explains:

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 will then email it to them. The user then deletes the original tweet. Alternately, 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.

This 2013 article has some more information about the practice, including estimated usage figures and demographics. According to the data presented there, 24% of #ICanHazPDF users are students.

On Facebook, I don't know of any groups devoted to sharing literature, but I've certainly seen a lot of (successful) requests on my Facebook feed along the lines of "Can anyone get me a copy of this paywalled article?".

It's also worth noting that, if you are already a student with access to a university library, the library itself can provide you with interloans or copies of material from other libraries worldwide. As a university student, you have access to people who are literally paid to help you find the literature you need. Don't ignore that resource!

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    I just tried to use the #ICanHazPDF hastag on twitter a few days ago and created an account just for that (as I am not a twitter user). After some minutes my account got banned/locked. Does anyone have experience with that? Is the hashtag not allowed, maybe for some cases? I looked for a very old book which is the primary source for some papers I found... – asquared Jun 7 '17 at 8:10
  • @JayFromA Searching for the tag on Twitter brings up a lot of uses by accounts that haven't been banned. (Note that this is probably only a small proportion of the true usage since the tweet is usually deleted once the request is fulfilled.) I don't know of any official Twitter policy against #ICanHazPDF, but it may be that they are trying to suppress it quietly at the request of Elsevier et al. – Pont Jun 7 '17 at 8:28

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