Liberate Knowledge
February 26, 2012 11:59 AM   Subscribe

JSTOR has made a lot of older scientific and academic journal articles free to access. This might not be guaranteed to last to last forever, so it would be a good idea if JSTOR didn't have sole control over this information. JSTOR doesn't allow automatic spiders to download their content. Enter the JSTOR Liberator - a crowd-sourcing project by Archive Team that lets you help liberate knowledge through a simple bookmarklet.
posted by Jimbob (25 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Server is down, will be up and awesome later. -- jessamyn



 
"You won't allow automated spiders? Fine, so we'll build one out of humans."
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:03 PM on February 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


jscott, if you stop by, I'm curious about the choice of URL.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:11 PM on February 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've done 6, but Horace has a point. With that URL I wouldn't show this to my Mom, who might participate otherwise. Good Luck!
posted by benito.strauss at 12:30 PM on February 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, and if you want to keep people going, you need a (searchable) way for them to view items they "liberated". I "Just Liberate"d an article and noticed it was about the paleography of North America. Now I'm curious about it and would like to view it. Where do I go?
posted by benito.strauss at 12:33 PM on February 26, 2012


benito.strauss - use the "View & Liberate PDF" option instead of "Just Liberate PDF."
posted by asnider at 12:38 PM on February 26, 2012


circlejerk.k-srv.info is an alias for tracker.archive.org, which also works when you go there directly. (tracker.archive.org is really an alias for abuie-dev.us.archive.org.)
posted by thebabelfish at 12:41 PM on February 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


(I'll note that tracker.archive.org is the domain used inside the bookmarklet.)
posted by thebabelfish at 12:47 PM on February 26, 2012


Well, thats a MUCH nicer URL. One the whole family can enjoy!
posted by Jimbob at 12:47 PM on February 26, 2012


Weird. k-srv.info doesn't look like it's affiliated with archive.org at all based on whois.
posted by kmz at 12:55 PM on February 26, 2012


I had already clicked "Just liberate". I guess I could click again on the "View and Liberate".

This is heaven for me. I don't believe in any of the sky gods, so visiting places of worship does not give me a sense of calm connection with the transcendent that it gives believers (although the beauty created there by humans touches me). But I confess that sometimes when I want contemplation and wonder I will go to a library and walk between the shelves, sometimes just appreciating the pattern and volume of the books, sometimes flicking my eyes over the titles, sometimes taking this one or that one down and flicking through the pages.

I was already enjoying that I came across "Thermodynamic Analogies for a Simple Dynamic System", from 1906!. I wonder if I can understand it, and if, by "dynamic system", they mean the same thing I learned.

But I might as will liberate one in the background while leafing through this. And I got "A Colony of Hermit Thrushes at Yaphank, Long Island, N. Y". That should be the title of a poem. I've already "liberated" one from the 1600s, and just had "The Decorator and the Furnisher" go by.

And now here's "The Source of Our Information regarding the Life of Jesus", from 1913, and now I've got a chance to liberate "Black Matter" from a science journal. Oh, wait, that's "Back Matter". Just two pages from the index — not as exciting. But I did pick up a new euphemism — "Sorry, couldn't come to the phone. I was liberating back matter."
posted by benito.strauss at 12:56 PM on February 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Very cool idea. JSTOR was created with fairly good intentions, but they often act rather badly. Anyone working in a quantitative field should post their work on arxiv.org.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:28 PM on February 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


[changed the URL per OP request. Feel free to drop us a line via the contact form for that sort of thing.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:30 PM on February 26, 2012


Well, now I know what I'll be doing in my downtime at work... awesome, awesome, awesome.
posted by naturalog at 1:40 PM on February 26, 2012


I got a funny error message: Sorry, you have full access to JSTOR. Please do not use this bookmarklet.

I assure you that I do not have full access to JSTOR, but I like thinking that I do. This is fun. I got to read an article about the selling of horseflesh in NYC and one about turn of the last century moss!
posted by jessamyn at 1:42 PM on February 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


JSTOR was created with fairly good intentions, but they often act rather badly.

If you're referring to the Aaron Swartz case, it's only fair to point out that JSTOR has distanced itself from the prosecution:

The criminal investigation and today’s indictment of Mr. Swartz has been directed by the United States Attorney’s Office. It was the government’s decision whether to prosecute, not JSTOR’s. As noted previously, our interest was in securing the content. Once this was achieved, we had no interest in this becoming an ongoing legal matter.
posted by verstegan at 2:26 PM on February 26, 2012


What is automatic spidering and why does JSTOR dislike it?
posted by IndigoJones at 2:41 PM on February 26, 2012


I've had so much from Archive.org that this feels like a great way to pay some of it back.
posted by Jehan at 2:42 PM on February 26, 2012


This is good.
posted by cashman at 2:43 PM on February 26, 2012


What is automatic spidering and why does JSTOR dislike it?

In my very non-expert understanding: systematic, automated downloading of everything on a site, much like the way Google indexes the web. They dislike it because it can overload their capacity and prevent other users from accessing the content.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 2:48 PM on February 26, 2012


Is it just me, or does the bookmarklet seem to have a lot of trouble with archiving whole issues / volumes? I've liberated a couple dozen articles, but occasionally the "next item" will be the entire issue of a journal, and the uploading (if it's happening at all) goes on forever.
posted by a small part of the world at 2:55 PM on February 26, 2012


The criminal investigation and today’s indictment of Mr. Swartz has been directed by the United States Attorney’s Office. It was the government’s decision whether to prosecute, not JSTOR’s. As noted previously, our interest was in securing the content. Once this was achieved, we had no interest in this becoming an ongoing legal matter.
I think MIT, not JSTOR is the 'victim' in this case.
posted by delmoi at 3:01 PM on February 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Liberator site appears to be down.
posted by Pronoiac at 3:09 PM on February 26, 2012


Apparently this was a premature launch. (I hate when that happens.)
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:19 PM on February 26, 2012


Hmmm. Apologies. This came up on my Twitter feed yesterday... I saw no-one had put it on Metafilter in the following 12 hours so thought I'd post it. If the admins need to take this post down for the sake of Archive Team, feel free.
posted by Jimbob at 3:26 PM on February 26, 2012


The Archive Team would like that a great deal, from what I gather. Maybe we can post this again when it's ready to go live?
posted by jessamyn at 3:37 PM on February 26, 2012


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