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JSTOR /ˈdʒeɪstɔːr/ JAY-stor; short for Journal Storage is a digital library founded in 1995 Originally containing digitized back issues of academic journals, it now also includes books and primary sources, and current issues of journals It provides full-text searches of almost 2,000 journals More than 8,000 institutions in more than 160 countries have access to JSTOR; most access is by subscription, but some older public-domain content is freely available to anyone


  • 1 History
  • 2 Content
  • 3 Access
    • 31 Aaron Swartz incident
    • 32 Limitations
    • 33 Increasing public access
  • 4 Use
  • 5 See also
  • 6 References
  • 7 Further reading
  • 8 External links


William G Bowen, president of Princeton University from 1972 to 1988, founded JSTOR JSTOR originally was conceived as a solution to one of the problems faced by libraries, especially research and university libraries, due to the increasing number of academic journals in existence Most libraries found it prohibitively expensive in terms of cost and space to maintain a comprehensive collection of journals By digitizing many journal titles, JSTOR allowed libraries to outsource the storage of journals with the confidence that they would remain available long-term Online access and full-text search ability improved access dramatically

Bowen initially considered using CD-ROMs for distribution However, Ira Fuchs, Princeton University's vice-president for Computing and Information Technology, convinced Bowen that CD-ROM was an increasingly outdated technology and that network distribution could eliminate redundancy and increase accessibility For example, all Princeton's administrative and academic buildings were networked by 1989; the student dormitory network was completed in 1994; and campus networks like the one at Princeton were, in turn, linked to larger networks such as BITNET and the Internet JSTOR was initiated in 1995 at seven different library sites, and originally encompassed ten economics and history journals JSTOR access improved based on feedback from its initial sites, and it became a fully searchable index accessible from any ordinary web browser Special software was put in place to make pictures and graphs clear and readable

With the success of this limited project, Bowen and Kevin Guthrie, then-president of JSTOR, wanted to expand the number of participating journals They met with representatives of the Royal Society of London and an agreement was made to digitize the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society dating from its beginning in 1665 The work of adding these volumes to JSTOR was completed by December 2000

The Andrew W Mellon Foundation funded JSTOR initially Until January 2009 JSTOR operated as an independent, self-sustaining nonprofit organization with offices in New York City and in Ann Arbor, Michigan Then JSTOR merged with the nonprofit Ithaka Harbors, Inc - a nonprofit organization founded in 2003 and "dedicated to helping the academic community take full advantage of rapidly advancing information and networking technologies"


JSTOR content is provided by more than 900 publishers The database contains more than 1,900 journal titles, in more than 50 disciplines Each object is uniquely identified by an integer value, starting at 1

In addition to the main site, the JSTOR labs group operates an open service that allows access to the contents of the archives for the purposes of corpus analysis at its Data for Research service This site offers a search facility with graphical indication of the article coverage and loose integration into the main JSTOR site Users may create focused sets of articles and then request a dataset containing word and n-gram frequencies and basic metadata They are notified when the dataset is ready and may download it in either XML or CSV formats The service does not offer full-text, although academics may request that from JSTOR, subject to a non-disclosure agreement

JSTOR Plant Science is available in addition to the main site JSTOR Plant Science provides access to content such as plant type specimens, taxonomic structures, scientific literature, and related materials and aimed at those researching, teaching, or studying botany, biology, ecology, environmental, and conservation studies The materials on JSTOR Plant Science are contributed through the Global Plants Initiative GPI and are accessible only to JSTOR and GPI members Two partner networks are contributing to this: the African Plants Initiative, which focuses on plants from Africa, and the Latin American Plants Initiative, which contributes plants from Latin America

JSTOR launched its Books at JSTOR program in November 2012, adding 15,000 current and backlist books to its site The books are linked with reviews and from citations in journal articles


JSTOR is licensed mainly to academic institutions, public libraries, research institutions, museums, and schools More than 7,000 institutions in more than 150 countries have access JSTOR has been running a pilot program of allowing subscribing institutions to provide access to their alumni, in addition to current students and staff The Alumni Access Program officially launched in January 2013 Individual subscriptions also are available to certain journal titles through the journal publisher Every year, JSTOR blocks 150 million attempts by non-subscribers to read articles

Inquiries have been made about the possibility of making JSTOR open access According to Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig, JSTOR had been asked "how much would it cost to make this available to the whole world, how much would we need to pay you The answer was $250 million"

Aaron Swartz incident

Main article: United States v Aaron Swartz See also: Aaron Swartz § JSTOR

In late 2010 and early 2011, Internet activist Aaron Swartz used MIT's data network to bulk-download a substantial portion of JSTOR's collection of academic journal articles When the bulk-download was discovered, JSTOR employees initially placed a video camera in the room to film the mysterious visitor and left the relevant computer untouched Once video was captured of the visitor, the download was stopped and Swartz identified Rather than pursue a civil lawsuit against him, in June 2011 they reached a settlement wherein he surrendered the downloaded data The articles that were downloaded by Swartz were from scholarly journals which published scientific papers largely funded by public universities and taxpayer money

The following month, federal authorities charged Swartz with several "data theft"-related crimes, including wire fraud, computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer, and recklessly damaging a protected computer Prosecutors in the case claimed that Swartz acted with the intention of making the papers available on P2P file-sharing sites

Swartz surrendered to authorities, pleaded not guilty to all counts, and was released on $100,000 bail In September 2012, US attorneys increased the number of charges against Swartz from four to thirteen, with a possible penalty of 35 years in prison and $1 million in fines The case still was pending when Swartz committed suicide in January 2013 Prosecutors dropped the charges after his death


The availability of most journals on JSTOR is controlled by a "moving wall," which is an agreed-upon delay between the current volume of the journal and the latest volume available on JSTOR This time period is specified by agreement between JSTOR and the publisher of the journal, which usually is three to five years Publishers may request that the period of a "moving wall" be changed or request discontinuation of coverage Formerly, publishers also could request that the "moving wall" be changed to a "fixed wall"—a specified date after which JSTOR would not add new volumes to its database As of November 2010, "fixed wall" agreements were still in effect with three publishers of 29 journals made available online through sites controlled by the publishers

In 2010, JSTOR started adding current issues of certain journals through its Current Scholarship Program

Increasing public access

Beginning September 6, 2011, JSTOR made public domain content freely available to the public This "Early Journal Content" program constitutes about 6% of JSTOR's total content, and includes over 500,000 documents from more than 200 journals that were published before 1923 in the United States, and before 1870 in other countries JSTOR stated that it had been working on making this material free for some time The Swartz controversy and Greg Maxwell's protest torrent of the same content led JSTOR to "press ahead" with the initiative

In January 2012, JSTOR started a pilot program, "Register & Read," offering limited no-cost access not open access to archived articles for individuals who register for the service At the conclusion of the pilot, in January 2013, JSTOR expanded Register & Read from an initial 76 publishers to include about 1,200 journals from over 700 publishers Registered readers may read up to three articles online every two weeks, but may not print or download PDFs

This is done by placing up to 3 items on a "shelf" The "Shelf" is under "My JSTOR" below "My Profile" The 3 works can then be read online at any time An item cannot be removed from the shelf until it has been there for 14 days Removing an old work from the shelf creates space for a new one, but doing so means the old work can no longer be accessed until it is shelved again

JSTOR is conducting a pilot program with Wikipedia, whereby established editors are given reading privileges through the Wikipedia Library, as with a university library


In 2012, JSTOR users performed nearly 152 million searches, with more than 113 million article views and 735 million article downloads JSTOR has been used as a resource for linguistics research to investigate trends in language use over time and also to analyze gender differences in scholarly publishing

See also

  • List of academic databases and search engines
  • Aluka
  • ARTstor
  • ArXiv
  • Japanese Historical Text Initiative
  • Digital preservation
  • Project MUSE


  1. ^ a b "About" Ithaka Retrieved 2009-10-25 
  2. ^ "Jstororg Site Info" Alexa Internet Retrieved 2016-10-03 
  3. ^ "JSTOR Videos" YouTube Retrieved 16 December 2012 
  4. ^ a b "At a glance" PDF|format= requires |url= help JSTOR February 13, 2012 JSTOR 20120213 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Annual Summary" PDF JSTOR 19 March 2013 Retrieved 13 April 2013 
  6. ^ "Register and read beta" 
  7. ^ Leitch, Alexander "Bowen, William Gordon" Princeton University Press
  8. ^ "JSTOR, A History" by Roger C Schonfeld, Princeton University Press, 2003
  9. ^ a b Taylor, John 2001 "JSTOR: An Electronic Archive from 1665" Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London 55 1: 179–81 doi:101098/rsnr20010135 JSTOR 532157 
  10. ^ "About" JSTOR Retrieved 28 November 2015 
  11. ^ Data for Research JSTOR
  12. ^ JSTOR Plant Science JSTOR
  13. ^ Global Plants Initiative JSTOR
  14. ^ "A new chapter begins: Books at JSTOR launches" JSTOR November 12, 2012 Retrieved December 1, 2012 
  15. ^ "Access for alumni" JSTOR Retrieved December 1, 2012  subscription required
  16. ^ "Individual subscriptions" JSTOR Retrieved December 1, 2012  subscription required
  17. ^ Every Year, JSTOR Turns Away 150 Million Attempts to Read Journal Articles The Atlantic Retrieved 29 January 2013
  18. ^ Lessig on "Aaron's Laws - Law and Justice in a Digital Age" YouTube 2013-02-20 Retrieved on 2014-04-12
  19. ^ a b "JSTOR Statement: Misuse Incident and Criminal Case" JSTOR 2011-07-19 
  20. ^ a b c "Aaron Swartz, Internet Pioneer, Found Dead Amid Prosecutor 'Bullying' In Unconventional Case" The Huffington Post 2013-01-12 
  21. ^ Bilton, Nick July 19, 2011 "Internet activist charged in MIT data theft" Bits Blog, The New York Times Retrieved December 1, 2012 
  22. ^ Schwartz, John July 19, 2011 "Open-Access Advocate Is Arrested for Huge Download" New York Times Retrieved July 19, 2011 
  23. ^ Lindsay, Jay July 19, 2011 "Feds: Harvard fellow hacked millions of papers" Associated Press Retrieved July 20, 2011 
  24. ^ Ortiz, Carmen 2011-07-19 "Alleged Hacker Charged with Stealing over Four Million Documents from MIT Network" The United States Attorney's Office" Archived from the original on 2011-07-24 
  25. ^ Kravets, David 2012-09-18 "Feds Charge Activist with 13 Felonies for Rogue Downloading of Academic Articles" Wired 
  26. ^ "Aaron Swartz, internet freedom activist, dies aged 26", BBC News
  27. ^ "Aaron Swartz's father: He'd be alive today if he was never arrested", moneycnncom
  28. ^ "Moving wall" JSTOR 
  29. ^ "About current journals" JSTOR Retrieved December 1, 2012 
  30. ^ a b c Brown, Laura September 7, 2011 "JSTOR–free access to early journal content and serving 'unaffiliated' users", JSTOR Retrieved December 1, 2012
  31. ^ a b c Rapp, David 2011-09-07 "JSTOR Announces Free Access to 500K Public Domain Journal Articles" Library Journal 
  32. ^ "Early journal content" JSTOR Retrieved December 1, 2012 
  33. ^ Tilsley, Alexandra January 9, 2013 "Journal Archive Opens Up Some" Inside Higher Ed Retrieved 6 January 2015 
  34. ^ "Register & Read" JSTOR Retrieved 2015-10-21 
  35. ^ Orlowitz, Jake; Earley, Patrick January 25, 2014 "Librarypedia: The Future of Libraries and Wikipedia" The Digital Shift Library Journal Retrieved 20 December 2014 
  36. ^ Price, Gary June 22, 2014 "Wikipedia Library Program Expands With More Accounts From JSTOR, Credo, and Other Database Providers" INFOdocket Library Journal Retrieved 20 December 2014 
  37. ^ Shapiro, Fred R 1998 "A Study in Computer-Assisted Lexicology: Evidence on the Emergence of Hopefully as a Sentence Adverb from the JSTOR Journal Archive and Other Electronic Resources" American Speech 73 3: 279–296 doi:102307/455826 JSTOR 455826 
  38. ^ Wilson, Robin October 22, 2012 "Scholarly Publishing's Gender Gap" The Chronicle of Higher Education Retrieved 6 January 2015 

Further reading

  • Gauger, Barbara J; Kacena, Carolyn 2006 "JSTOR usage data and what it can tell us about ourselves: is there predictability based on historical use by libraries of similar size" OCLC Systems & Services 22 1: 43–55 doi:101108/10650750610640801 
  • Schonfeld, Roger C 2003 JSTOR: A History Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press ISBN 0-691-11531-1 
  • Seeds, Robert S November 2002 "Impact of a digital archive JSTOR on print collection use" Collection Building 21 3: 120–22 doi:101108/01604950210434551 
  • Spinella, Michael P 2007 "JSTOR" Journal of Library Administration 46 2: 55–78 doi:101300/J111v46n02_05 
  • Spinella, Michael 2008 "JSTOR and the changing digital landscape" Interlending & Document Supply 36 2: 79–85 doi:101108/02641610810878549 

External links

  • Official website
  • "Libraries and institutions offering access" JSTOR Retrieved 2015-10-21  Searchable database, includes many public libraries offering free access to library card holders
  • "Register & Read" JSTOR Retrieved 2015-10-21  Free individual registration, offering free read-only access no printing or saving to three articles every two weeks seventy-eight per year, j storm, jstor, jstor books, jstor journals, jstor search,,,,

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