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JSTOR is a large subscription-based online archive of journal articles and scholarly content. The system is produced by the not-for-profit organization ITHAKA.[1] It contains a wide range of disciplines, including science and technology content. The JSTOR website describes how it includes over a thousand academic journals in its collection, and "journals are always included from volume 1, issue 1 and include previous and unrelated titles."[2] JSTOR also provides access to Primary Source Collections, which include monographs, pamphlets, manuscripts, letters, oral histories, government documents, images, 3-D models, spatial data, type specimens, drawings, paintings, and more.[3]


Users can search or browse JSTOR through the following forms and pages:

  • Simple search form accessible on the homepage.
  • Advanced search form, where users can add up to seven forms and select the search field via a drop-down menu. Boolean/proximity operators are selected via drop-down menu between the search forms. Users can select the option to "Include only content I can access" or "Include links to external content." Users can also narrow the query through various filters, like item type, date range, language, publication title, or discipline.
  • The citation locator form searches for exact document citations. Users can enter the title, author, publication title, ISSN, volume/issue number, start page, and publication date.
  • Users can browse alphabetical lists of disciplines, journal titles, or publishers.

In the results list, users can sort the results by date or relevance, select how many results to view per page, show only results with images, show only content the user can access, and select to modify save the search. Saved searches can be turned into RSS feeds or daily/weekly/monthly alerts. Users can also select citations from the list (through checkboxes) and save, email, export, or track citations. Results are labeled with icons that indicate what type of access the user has to this content (full, partial, full-text on external site, or citation only).

When a users selects to view a full record, they can page through a PDF version of the original article (if the user has full access). In the full record view, users can view the "Page Scan" (browsable PDF version of the article), "Summary" (bibliographic information and abstract), or "Page Thumbnails." A stable URL is included in each full record view. Users are also given a list of options on the full record view to view PDF, view citation, email citation, export citation, save citation, or track citation.

Users can set up a MyJSTOR account to:[4]

  • Save citations
  • Email and export saved citations
  • Save and run searches
  • Receive email alerts for saved searches, tracked journals (eToc), and tracked citations

Recent Updates

January 2013 - According to an announcement on the JSTOR website:[5]

JSTOR, the not-for-profit digital library of thousands of academic journals and other content, announced today that the archives of more than 1,200 journals are now available for limited reading by the public. This is part of a major expansion of JSTOR’s experimental program Register & Read, in which people can sign up for a JSTOR account and, every two weeks, read up to three articles online for free.

November 2012 - According to an announcement on the JSTOR website:[6]

JSTOR is pleased to announce the launch of its new books program, Books at JSTOR, which brings scholarly monographs from leading university presses and other academic publishers to the JSTOR platform. Books are deeply integrated with the 1,600 current and archival journals on JSTOR. All content is cross-searchable, and books are linked with millions of book reviews and from hundreds of thousands of book citations within the journal literature.

January 2012 - According to an announcement on the JSTOR website:[7]

Register & Read Beta is a new, experimental program to offer free, read-online access to individual scholars and researchers who register for a MyJSTOR account. Register & Read follows the release of the Early Journal Content as the next step in our efforts to find sustainable ways to extend access to JSTOR, specifically to those not affiliated with participating institutions.

How will it work?

  • Find an article that’s part of Register & Read, click on a “Get Access” option.
  • Register for a free MyJSTOR account, or log into your account if you already have one.
  • Add the content to your shelf to read the full-text online. After 14 days, you may remove it and add new items to your shelf.
  • PDF versions of some articles will also be available for purchase and download. If you purchase articles from your shelf, the PDF versions may be stored and accessed in your MyJSTOR account at any time.

At launch, Register & Read will include approximately 70 journals from more than 30 publishers, a subset of the content in JSTOR. This includes content from the first volume and issue published for these journals through a recent year (generally 3-5 years ago). We plan to add more titles at a later date. Register & Read is a beta program, and we expect to adjust aspects of the program as needed. This may include both functionality and the available content.

September 2011 - According to an announcement on the JSTOR website:[8]

On September 6, 2011, we announced that we are making journal content in JSTOR published prior to 1923 in the United States and prior to 1870 elsewhere freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world. This “Early Journal Content” includes discourse and scholarship in the arts and humanities, economics and politics, and in mathematics and other sciences. It includes nearly 500,000 articles from more than 200 journals. This represents 6% of the content on JSTOR.

User Experiences

Many of the titles in JSTOR are covered from the very first edition, although JSTOR may be lacking in more recent and timely content.--KWhitman 13:23, 23 September 2010 (EDT)


  1. "JSTOR home." JSTOR website, http://www.jstor.org/. Accessed September 7, 2011.
  2. "Content & Collections." JSTOR website, http://about.jstor.org/content-collections. Accessed September 7, 2011.
  3. "Primary Sources." JSTOR website, http://about.jstor.org/content-collections/primary-sources (link no longer available). Accessed September 7, 2011.
  4. "Register for MyJSTOR." JSTOR website, http://www.jstor.org/action/myJstorSettings. Accessed September 7, 2011.
  5. "JSTOR offers free online reading access to the archives of 1,200 of the world’s most prominent journals." JSTOR website, http://about.jstor.org/news/free-read. Accessed January 10, 2013.
  6. "More than 15,000 books join the journals on JSTOR." JSTOR website, http://about.jstor.org/news/new-chapter-begins-books-jstor-launches. Accessed January 10, 2013.
  7. "Register & Read (Coming soon!)." JSTOR website, http://about.jstor.org/rr. Accessed January 30, 2012.
  8. "Early Journal Content on JSTOR, Free to Anyone in World." JSTOR website, http://about.jstor.org/participate-jstor/individuals/early-journal-content (link no longer available). Accessed January 30, 2012.

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