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[liberationtech] Papester Collective - nearly-automatic paper request fulfillment over twitter

Eugen Leitl eugen at
Thu Jan 17 02:14:35 PST 2013

----- Forwarded message from Bryan Bishop <kanzure at> -----

From: Bryan Bishop <kanzure at>
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2013 19:43:42 -0600
To: science-liberation-front at,
	Bryan Bishop <kanzure at>, Micah Allen <ucfmicah at>
Subject: Papester Collective - nearly-automatic paper request fulfillment over twitter
Reply-To: science-liberation-front at

Yesterday my friend Hauke and I theorized about a kind of dream
scenario- a totally distributed, easy to use, publication liberation
system. This is perhaps not feasible at this point [1]. Today we’re
going to present something that will be useful right now. The
essential goal here is to make it so that anyone, anywhere, can access
the papers they need in a timely manner. The idea is to take advantage
of existing strategies and tools to streamline paper sharing as much
as possible. Folks already do this- every day on twitter or in
private, requests for papers are made and fulfilled. Our goal is to
completely streamline this process down to a few clicks of your mouse.
That way a small but dedicated group of folks – the Papester
Collective – can ensure that #icanhazpdf requests are fulfilled almost
instantly. This is a work in progress. Leave comments on how to
improve and further streamline this system and join the collective!


Tweet (for example): “#icanhazpdf”

Show your support for the papester collective by tweeting: “Thanks to
#papester, my #icanhazpdf request was fufilled in seconds! Join: #pdftribute”

Click: Here you can find more detailed instructions.



Twitter: Monitor #icanhazpdf #requests

Zotero and zotero browser plugin: after clicking on DOI link or
abstract page just click on ‘Save to Zotero’ button to auto-grabs PDFs

Zotfile: automatically copies new Zotero pdfs files saved to public
Dropbox folder

Dropbox: Cloud storage system to seamlessly share files with anyone
without login.

Dropbox linker: automatically adds links from public folder to your clipboard

Reply to request tweets: paste URL from clipboard and if you want #papester

That’s it! Now you can just click request links, click the Zotero get
PDF button, and CTRL+V a dropbox direct download link in response!

Click: Here you can find more detailed instructions.

1.The fundamental problem: uploading huge repositories of scientific
papers is not sensible for now. It’s too much data (50 million papers
* 0.5-1.5 megabytes together make up ~ 25-75 Terrabytes) and the
likelihood for every paper to be downloaded is more uniformly
distributed than with files traditionally shared like music. For
instance, there are 100 million songs x 3.5 mb songs, and it is
difficult to find exotic songs online – some songs have decent
availability now because there are only a few favourites – not so with
favourite papers. Also, fewer people will share papers than songs, so
this makes it more even more difficult to sustain a complete
repository. Thus, we need a system that fufills requests individually.

Disclaimer: Please make sure you only share papers with friends who
also have the copyrights to the papers you share.

Instead of forcing the user to manually monitor twitter, you could
just have a simple client that reads a twitter feed, passes the urls
through zotero (after resolving them from the shortlink),
download the pdf and upload to dropbox. Zotero already has a Google
Scholar search feature and auto-save-pdf feature, so I'm not sure
about those steps as written.

- Bryan
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----- End forwarded message -----
Eugen* Leitl <a href="">leitl</a>
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820
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