For their study, the researchers examined 8,661 scientific articles published in three multidisciplinary journals (Nature, Science, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), three economic journals (The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Political Economy, and Econometrica), three consumer research journals (Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, and Journal of Consumer Psychology), and three neuroscience journals (Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Nature Neuroscience, and Neuron).“emphasis mine”
“We showed that articles accessed through Sci-Hub systematically received more citations than papers not downloaded from Sci-Hub. Up to the best of our knowledge, this is the first endeavor that shows an empirical estimate of the relationship between Sci-Hub downloads and citations,” the researchers said.
This reminded me of the “Slashdot-Effect” and hence the title. I belong to the earlier dot-com-era that predates the birth of Twitter and Facebook.
The slashdot effect refers to a temporary surge in traffic to a website, which can occur when a high-traffic website posts a link to smaller site or blog, thus directing an unprecedented surge in traffic. If the traffic increase is very large, it slow the site down or make it unreachable. The site is then considered to have been “slashdotted.”
Can we see the same for the scientific articles? Yes definitely. However, paywalls play the spoil sport.