My name is Alexandra Elbakyan and I'm the person behind this website. On this page you can find information about me and why I created Sci-Hub.

I do programming since 12. By the time I got into the university I created web pages in HTML, wrote PHP scripts and Delphi code, and hacked some websites. I had an interest in neurosciences too and wanted to code a Tamagotchi with artificial intelligence. That didn't work, but in the process I've collected a large e-library on neuroscience and cognition. I downloaded these books from pirate websites.

There were also books from MIT CogNet website in my collection. They were paywalled, but a bug on the MIT website allowed to circumvent the paywall. I programmed a PHP script that could download any neuroscience book from this website for free. I was 16 years old then.

During my third year at the university I was and avid reader of science news and blogs in English. Then I read about new technology of brain-machine interfaces: devices that connect human brain to the computer so you can control it by thinking. That inspired me and I thought: can we connect brain to the computer to experience proceses and calculations that are running inside it? Should we connect our brain to the artificial neural network — to understand and feel its thinking? Connect to the bird brain and get inside its consciousness to experience flight — or create one global whole-Earth brain by connecting neurons of all people together via Internet?

Hence I wanted to dedicate a final year university thesis to brain-computer interfaces. I studied information security so I decided to write about entering password by thinking of it. I used neural networks to recognize patterns of brain activity.

After graduation I wanted to start PhD program at some top US university to work on brain-machine interfaces, and traveled abroad. But it was not sucessfull: nobody worked on the research topic I was interested, to connect networks of conscious experiences — that is very complicated. While simpler projects I found to be not very inspiring. However I was happy to participate in two conferences: one on the philosophy of Consciousness in Arizona and the other about transhumanism in Harvard.

Thinking how to interface brain with computer to experience processes inside microchips and artificial neural networks, I explored various theories of consciosuness. There was an Integrated Information Theory of consciousness that has a point. Brain is a network of billions of neurons connected to each other — that is a gigantic network much like Internet. Hence thinking and consciousness are essentially communication or information transfer.

I was 23 and I returned to Kazakhstan and started working as a freelance programmer. With that experience I was able to quickly in three days start Sci-Hub — a web service that solved a serious problem in science communication. I met this problem while working on my brain-computer interfaces diploma project. That problem is closed access to research literature. Publishers are using paywalls to block access to research articles, asking for high reading fees. A lot of researchers are against that, they created a movement for Open Science or Open Access. Sci-Hub is a PHP script that downloads articles for free to make them open access. Thereby communication in science is restored. Sci-Hub immediately became popular among researchers.

Science must be open while communism and communication are same-root words. I got interested in politics thanks to russian president Medvedev who promoted information technologies and openness that time. I moved to Russia and in 2012 started a masters program in Public Administration or Governance at the HSE University in Moscow.

I wanted to continue my research on open information, and study the history of the problem: how did people in ancient societies understood what 'information' is? For ancient people information was sacred, language and writing and communication were manifestations of the god. That god was known by various names: Thoth in ancient Egypt or Hermes in Greece or Tir in Armenia; and this god is known in modern astrology as Mercury. In addition these gods were associated with knowledge and intellect. That again proved valid the Soviet motto 'communism and science are inseparable'.

In 2017 I started a masters program in Linguistics at the Saint-Petersburg State University, with profile in Languages of the Bible: thereby I could study both communication and religions. There were troubles but in 2019 I graduated and now have a Masters degree in Linguistics.

Today I'm doing a PhD at the Institute of Philosophy of Russian Academy of Sciences. I study theory of knowledge and want to prove that knowledge must be open.

there is also a long version of biography available in Russian

1988 06 November 10:35 am born in Almaty Kazakhstan

2005 graduated high school with math major
accepted to Satbayev University
Institute of Information Technologies

2009 graduated from university with bachelor degree
major in Information Security
participated in brain-machine interfaces workshop
eNTERFACE'09 in Italy
internship in neuroscience lab in Moscow

2010 internship in neuroscience lab in Germany
internship in neuroscience lab in USA
participated in conference in Arizona
Toward the Science of Consciousness
talk at the transhumanist conference Humanity+ in Harvard

2011 work as a freelance programmer in Kazakhstan
05 September published first version of Sci-Hub

2012 started a master program
Governance · Public Administration
Higher School of Economics in Moscow

2014 droppped out of masters · started working on Sci-Hub
participated in several Personal Growth trainings

2015 started a master program in religious studies
Russian Christian Academy of Humanities
St.Petersburg Russia
clash with Dynasty foundation in Russia
Sci-Hub get sued in US by Elsevier

2016 dropped out of masters program
was rejected Russian citizenship
Sci-Hub became known worldwide

2017 started a masters program in
Linguistics · Biblical Languages
Saint-Petersburg State University in Russia

2019 graduated from masters program · with huge troubles
suspected for being Russian spy by US authorities

2020 started a PhD program in Theory of Knowledge
at the Institute of Philosophy in Moscow

political views: communism
religion: new age · hermeticism


The current system of producing knowledge in science is a classical example of a failed capitalist system. Researchers are being exploited, and do not receive money for their work: the knowledge they produce in the form of research papers, does not belong to them. And it does not belong to people either. Instead, the knowledge in science today is a private property of a few mighty businesses, who make huge amounts of money from it. Not only that system is an obstacle to the progess, but it also creates huge distances between rich and poor, where poor people are blocked from access to knowledge. And that includes such important areas as medicine and healthcare.

All this was made possible by the fundamentally wrong concept of intellectual property.

Not only intellectual property creates injustice, but is also self-contradictory. The basic unit of scientific knowledge is a publication in academic journal. But journals essentially are vehicles for communication: they exist to communicate, or to make common. Knowledge and communication are inseparable. Hence communism is the true essence of science, information and knowledge.

That idea, that intelligence is inherently connected to communication, is also proven by the brain structure: brain is essentially a network of billions of neurons that communicate between each other.

Also sociologist Robert Merton identified communism as one of the basic ethical values in science. And is not a coincidence that Soviet Union, the first communist state, was based on science.

The central idea of Sci-Hub is that
Knowledge belongs to all people

:::::: references


In ancient mythologies, we can find various gods and goddeses of knowledge and information. Saraswati in India, Thoth in ancient Egypt or Hermes and Athena in ancient Greece or Tir in Armenia, or Nabu in ancient Mesopotamia. The ancient mythology survived to present days in modern astrology: the planet Mercury is associated with a Greek god Hermes and predicts events that are connected to information technologies, communication, and cognition. That ancient connection of knowledge to communication shows how science and knowledge are essentially common.

  • [2020] The Open Science Idea presentaton at TEDxMoscow
  • [2019] Why Stalin is a God?
  • [2017] Hermes the Thief: evolution of a myth
  • [2017] Enemies of science: on Zeus and Neptune
  • [2017] Athena the Virgo
  • [2016] Saraswati: Indian goddess of knowledge
  • [2015] The library of Ashurbanipal: the cult of Nabu
  • [2013] Information in ancient societies student paper
global brain

I enjoy the topic of collective intelligence. A group of people can be viewed as a single collective brain. Such brain has more knowledge that an individual one. New technologies such as Internet and brain-machine interfaces can in future allow to literally connect brains of different people to each other. When all neurons on the planet get connected to each other, the global brain will emerge. Human person will become immortal and will know everything.

Human language is the main medium for communication and encoding knowledge. Hence I applied to the masters program in Linguistics to study how language works. Here I did some research on texts in ancient Hebrew language.

some other articles and stuff I wrote

  • [2017] Merchants of the doubt big corporations are enemies of science
  • [2016] Scientific Tower of Babel English as the language of science
  • [2016] The Saint Pirate Columba earliest case of copyright infringement
  • [2016] 15 minutes about Open Science conference presentation
  • [2015] Science and Islam religion to push science forward
  • [2013] Press freedom as an obstacle to information openness unpublished paper

The best way to contact me is by email: [email protected]

I'm also available on Telegram: @mindwrapper
on ВКонтакте: alexandra.elbakyan
on Academia: alexandra
on Twitter: @ringo_ring
on ResearchGate: Alexandra-Elbakyan
on Facebook: alexandra.elbakyan check rarely