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Scholarship gets democratic: JSTOR launches register and read

JSTOR is one of my students’ favorite databases. They are kinda JSTOR junkies.

But not every high school can afford to subscribe to this not-for-profit full-text resource, offering access to scholarly content from more than 1300 journals and thousands of primary sources.

And then, so many individual researchers and young scholars don’t happen to be associated with a well-stocked virtual high school or college library.

In a beautifully heroic experiment, JSTOR recently announced the launch of it’s beta Register and Read Program.

JSTOR will offer free, read-only access to any researcher who registers for a MyJSTOR account. Registered users may add items labeled with the ReadOnline icon to a MyJSTOR shelf and view the content as full-text page images.

Users may keep up to three items on their shelves at any time, for as long as they like, but items must remain on the shelf for a minimum of 14 days being replaced with a new item.  PDF versions of some articles will also be available for purchase and download.

The program launches with a collection of

approximately 75 journals from more than 40 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).

JSTOR plans to continue to add freely accessible content.

This program comes on the heels of JSTOR’s earlier (and also free) Early Journal Content initiative,

as the next step in our efforts to find sustainable ways to extend access to JSTOR, specifically to those not affiliated with participating institutions.

Thanks to Gary Price for this lead and to JSTOR for its commitment to making content available to everyone who wants access to it, while doing so in a way that ensures sustainability of the service.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

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