Below are some frequently asked questions about Register & Read and Early Journal Content. If you have additional questions, please contact JSTOR User Support at

Register & Read

  • When you encounter an item that is part of the Register & Read program, you may register for a free MyJSTOR account to read the item online. Once you’ve registered (or logged in with your account, if you already have one) you may add the item to your MyJSTOR "shelf,” which allows you to view the content as full-text page images. 

    You may have up to three items on your shelf at any time, for as long as you'd like. But an item must stay on the shelf for a minimum of 14 days before it can be removed and replaced with a new item. 

    PDF versions of some articles will also be available for purchase and download. If you purchase articles from your shelf, the shelf slot immediately becomes available for use with another item. Purchased PDF versions of items may be stored and accessed in your MyJSTOR account at any time.

  • Register & Read currently includes approximately 1,200  journals from more than 700 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).  See a list of the titles and publishers currently available through Register & Read.

  • Register & Read is an experiment to extend access to new audiences, and we expect the program content and features to change over time. We are also very interested in feedback about the program and encourage you to contact us at

Early Journal Content

  • The free Early Journal Content is available for use by anyone, without registration and regardless of institutional affiliation. Users may chose to browse the free Early Journal Content (journal content published in the U.S. before 1923 and before 1870 elsewhere) or use the Advanced Search to search across all content and limit results to “Only content I can access.”

  • Searches for “only content I can access” will search the Early Journal Content as well as other content that may be free for promotional or other reasons and any licensed content available to you. A “FREE” badge will show next to the Early Journal Content as well as other content that may be free for promotional or other reasons, in the list of search results and on Table of Contents pages, if the content is not otherwise available to you through a licensed collection. 

  • Our mission involves expanding access to scholarly content as broadly as possible, in ways that are sustainable and consistent with the interests of our publishers who own the rights to the content.  We believe that making Early Journal Content freely available is another step in this process of providing access to knowledge to more people; that we are in a position both to continue preserving this content and making it available to the general public; and this is a set of content for which we are able to make this decision.

  • We do not believe that just because something is in the public domain, it can always be provided for free.  There are costs associated with selection, digitization, access provision, preservation, and a wide variety of services that are necessary for content to reach those who need it.  We have determined that we can sustain free access and meet our preservation obligations for this particular set of content for individuals as part of our overall activities undertaken in pursuit of our mission.


  • Yes. It is possible for a person with library access to also have a JPASS plan. In cases where users authenticate by IP address or similar mechanisms, or if their institutional access is already tied to their MyJSTOR account, we will provide full, unlimited access to the content licensed by their library, as well as access to journals that are not licensed by their library but are part of the JPASS Collection, subject to the limitations of that offering.

  • JPASS plans are personal and must be purchased and used by individuals; they were designed with a single user in mind. JPASS users must maintain the confidentiality of their MyJSTOR login information in accordance with our Terms and Conditions of Use [LINK]. Libraries interested in providing access to their users should contact our Outreach & Participation Services team at

  • Our intention is for library patrons to use the access that libraries have provided for them. As noted above, the only time users might encounter JPASS on the JSTOR website is when they are logged in to their MyJSTOR account (if they have one). Note that users are prompted to log in through their institutions as part of the MyJSTOR registration process to ensure they use their institutional access first.

  • JPASS users gain access to a single collection of approximately 1,500 journals. Access is limited to back issues only (e.g. content behind the moving wall). Individuals with JPASS receive unlimited reading access to articles in the JPASS Collection; however, their ability to download PDF copies of articles will be limited to ten items for a 1-month plan and 120 items for a 1-year plan.

  • Our primary focus is to provide access to those people who do not currently have it. We anticipate making people aware of JPASS after they have already registered to read articles on JSTOR for free, through partnerships with member organizations serving populations without good access to library resources, and directly to members of the public who are outside of academia.

  • We are a not-for-profit organization with a mission to preserve and expand access to knowledge worldwide. Many people want to get access to the content on JSTOR today, but are not affiliated with a JSTOR-participating library. We are working to serve these people in a number of ways—by partnering with JSTOR libraries to offer access to alumni, by enabling free limited-reading access on our site, and now, by providing a means for people to purchase their own access plans.