Researchers, academicians post their works as PDFs on Twitter in tribute
Twitter is suddenly abuzz with academia coming out in the open to share the PDFs of their research and other scholarly works on the micro-blogging website Twitter. These people are paying their tribute to Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide day before yesterday, probably in the depression of on-going federal case of attempting to publicly release academic papers from JSTOR, a subscription-only service. His trial was supposed to start in a few days and if convicted he would have spent most of his life in jail.
Swartz helped develop RSS, co-owned Reddit and engaged in Internet digital activism, co-founding Demand Progress, a political action group that campaigns against Internet censorship.
The idea of sharing academic works as a tribute to Aaron was floated on Reddit yesterday night and it seems to have caught on now. According to a Tweetreach report, at the time of writing this post, there were over 500 tweets per hour with #pdftribute and more than 2.5 million impressions.
Eva Vivalt, who started this hash-tag and shared the above Tweetreach figure, noted on her blog:
Aaron Swartz’s death affected me like it did so many people. After I started to tweet this to people, Jessica Richman (@venturejessica), who is much more twitter-savvy than me, suggested using the hashtag #pdftributetoaaronswartz, which I then suggested shortening to #pdftribute. We both tweeted and tweeted, and others also joined in and tweeted and tweeted.
You can follow the #pdftribute tweets here.