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Accessing JSTOR


Using JSTOR Content

  • We support full-text keyword searching across all JSTOR content; from articles, books, and pamphlets, cover to cover. This makes it possible to search front and back matter, letters to the editor, advertisements, and other types of material along with scholarly articles and book chapters. There are two search forms on JSTOR: Basic Search and Advanced Search.

    Basic Search refers to the search box in the middle of the JSTOR home page. You can enter phrases, keywords, authors or titles without any special formatting, which will generally return a broad list of results. You can also enter Boolean operators directly into basic search if you know how to construct a more complex query, but for those who are unfamiliar we recommend the Advanced Search. This form is available by clicking on the 'Advanced Search' link beneath the Basic Search box on the home page, or by selecting “Advanced Search” in the Search drop-down menu in the upper left hand corner of the screen. Once you're on the advanced search page, you can easily construct Boolean searches and limit your results by field.

    Exact Phrase Searching

    If we had to choose one search tip to significantly improve the relevance of your results, it would be how to search for an exact phrase. When you are searching for a phrase, like “revolutionary war” or “fruit bat,” adding quotation marks will ensure that we return results relevant that exact phrase. Searching JSTOR differs from Google in that when you don’t put quotation marks around a phrase, as in the example below, our search engine searches for the words separately (mimetic AND behavior).

    Phrase Search

    However, when we add quotation marks our search engine knows to look for the keywords in the exact order you specified.

    Exact Phrase with Quotation Marks

    You will notice a smaller set of results that is more relevant to your query when you use exact phrase searching in JSTOR.

    Boolean Logic

    Boolean logic allows you to create more complicated search queries using the Boolean Operators AND, OR, and NOT. Boolean operators are used to connect your search terms, and can be used to either narrow or broaden your search results.

    AND: This is the default Boolean operator, and using it will narrow your search results by telling the search engine to return results that have BOTH/ALL search terms present.

    Boolean AND

    The search query above will return results that contain both the keywords “civil war” and women.

    You can explicitly denote AND in the following ways: cat AND dog, cat && dog, +cat +dog, (cat dog)

    OR: Using this Boolean operator will expand your search results by telling the search engine to return results that have EITHER/ANY of the search terms present. Using the OR operator to link synonym keywords together will expand the search results.

    Boolean OR

    The search query above will return results that contain the keyword “civil war” and either women or girls.

    You can explicitly denote OR in the following way: cat OR dog

    An important note here about using parentheses: When your search query includes multiple Boolean operators, it is important to group them appropriately. In the example above, (women OR girls) is grouped together by parentheses, making it a sub-query. By grouping the terms this way, you are telling the search engine what terms must be present and what terms are optional.  This ensures that civil war must exist and that either term women or girls may exist.

    NOT: Using this Boolean operator will narrow your search results by telling the search engine to exclude results that have a particular search term present.

    Boolean NOT

    The search query above will return results that contain the keyword “civil war,” excluding the keyword American, and either women or girls.

    You can explicitly denote NOT in the following ways: cat NOT dog, cat -dog (Be sure to include a space before the dash, but not after)

    Additional examples:

    + (finch OR sparrow) AND exotic will search for items that contain the word exotic and either the word finch or the word sparrow
    + (birds OR butterflies) NOT sparrow will search for items that contain either the word birds or butterflies and do not contain the word sparrow
    + birds NOT (sparrow AND robin) will search for items that contain the word birds but do not contain both the words sparrow and robin
    + birds NOT (sparrow OR robin) will search for items that contain the word birds but do not contain either the word sparrow or the word robin

    Check out our more advanced search tips.

  • Multiple Spellings (Truncation)

    Tilde Symbol

    You can find words with spellings similar to your search term by using the tilde (~) symbol at the end of a search term.

    Tilde Search

    In the example above, search results include items with dostoyevsky in the item title field, as well as variant spellings such as dostoevsky, dostoievski, dostoevsky, dostoyevski, dostoevskii, dostoevski, etc.

    Note: This way of searching encompasses a very large number of words. Narrowing this kind of search to the item title or another field is recommended. The first letter always remains the same.


    Wildcards take the place of one or more characters in a search term. A question mark (?) is used for single character searching. An asterisk (*) is used for multiple character searching.

    Wildcards are used to search for alternate spellings and variations on a root word. Wildcard characters cannot be used in place of the first letter of a word or within an exact phrase search, and word roots must contain at least three letters preceding a wildcard. For example:

    Wildcard Example 1
    This query finds the words woman, women, womyn, etc

    Wildcard Example 2
    This query finds bird, birding, birdman, birds, and other words that start with bird

    Wildcard Example 3
    This query finds organization or organisation

    Wildcard Example 4
    This query finds the words behavior, behavioral, behaviorist, behaviorism, behaviorally, etc

    You can combine search terms containing wild cards (wom?n AND "science education") and they may be used in a field search: au:sm?th or ti:shakespeare*

    Field Abbreviations

    Because JSTOR uses fields for categorization of metadata, you can narrow search results to a variety of item or journal. There are two ways to create a fielded search query: the Advanced Search form or manually entering field abbreviation. When you use advanced search the query will be automatically formatted, making this an easier option for most users.

    There are several basic fields on the top half of advanced search. To the right of the first two search bars, you'll see a list.

    Advanced Search Fields

    Full-Text is a keyword search, and the default field. Author limits your search to the name of an author. Item Title limits your search to titles (of books and journal/pamphlet articles) on JSTOR. Abstract returns results where your search terms appear in abstracts (Note: Only a small percent of JSTOR articles have abstracts). Caption returns results where your search terms appear in the captions beneath images.

    On Advanced Search you can also narrow your search by item type, date range, language, publication title, ISSN or ISBN, and JSTOR discipline.

    Advanced Search Fields 2

    Please note that before you can use this section, you'll need to have a search term entered.

    Your second option is to manually enter the field codes on basic search.  The format looks like this: (FIELD CODE:"Search term")

    Here are some commonly used codes:

    au: = author

    Author Field Code

    ti: = article title
    tb: = book title
    ca: = caption

    Caption Field Code

    ab: = abstract
    jo: = journal title

    Journal Title Field Code

    ty: = type of item
    ty:fla = full-length articles
    ty:brv = book reviews
    vo: journal volume
    cty:(book) = book
    cty:pamphlet = pamphlet
    rt: = title of a reviewed work
    no: = issue or number
    sn: or in: = International Standard Serials Number (ISSN)
    la: = language

    Language Field Code
    Note: Use the Library of Congress's three letter MARC language codes to limit the results to content in a specific language.

    Proximity Searching and Boosting Relevance

    JSTOR search allows you to find terms that are within a set number of words of each other. In Basic Search, use the tilde (~) symbol followed by a number to set the desired proximity.

    Proximity Tilde

    In this example, your search will return results with the terms debt and forgiveness within ten words of each other.

    In Advanced Search, use the Boolean drop-down boxes to combine search terms with NEAR 5/10/25. The NEAR operator looks for the combinations of keywords within 5, 10, or
    25 words places of each other.

    Boolean NEAR

    Important to know: The NEAR operator only works when searching for single keyword combinations. For example, you may search for cat NEAR 5 dog, but not "domesticated cat" NEAR 5 dog.

    You may increase the importance of any term in your search by using the caret (^) symbol followed by a number that represents the rise in relevance.

    Boost Relevance

    In this example, an occurrence of the word migration in an item is seven times more important than the word geese.

  • A great way to check your authentication status is to look for a line of text in the top right corner of any JSTOR page. Underneath the JSTOR logo you will see a line of text that reads

     “Your access to JSTOR provided by X.”

     If you don’t see this line of text, you are not authenticated and will need to follow the access methods established by your institution.

  • JSTOR now offers new and improved citation management options including preformatted citations in multiple styles (MLA, APA, and Chicago), exporting of citations in formats compatible with common citation management software, and social sharing options that enable both emailing and sharing of article links via social channels.

    On an article level page, you can access these options by clicking the blue “Cite This Item” box in the upper right corner.

    Cite This Item

    A pop-up will appear with the option to copy the citation in one of three pre-formatted styles (MLA, APA, and Chicago), or to export it as an RIS or TXT file, depending on your research management software.

    Citation Options

    From a search results page or an issue Table of Contents, you can select multiple articles and click the blue “Export Citations” button to export the citations as an RIS or TXT file.

    Table of Contents Export

    Previously saved citations are no longer be accessible via a MyJSTOR account and the Saved Citations page has been removed.

  • As a member of a participating institution, you might have access to JSTOR from an off-campus location. This is something that you will need to check with your library, although you can sometimes check through our Institution Finder feature. In many cases, in order to access licensed library resources like JSTOR from an off-campus location, it is necessary to log on via your library's web site. Check for a link to your library's remote access option on the JSTOR login page, or visit your institution's website and look for links to the library, online databases, or electronic resources to find options for access to JSTOR. If you are unable to locate this option at your institution, or if you need additional assistance, please contact your librarian or electronic resources administrator to learn about getting remote access to JSTOR.

  • When you visit the right side of the page is dedicated to our Institution Finder feature, which allows you to login remotely through your institution.

    1. Look for the name of your institution on the geographical list of institutions on the login page. There may be a link to your library's remote login page. If not:
    2. Go directly to your participating library's website and click on their JSTOR link.

    Note: Search for "JSTOR" or look under "databases," "off-campus access," "proxy server," or "Virtual Private Network" (VPN).

    1. You should be prompted to log in using your student username and password.
    2. After logging in to your library's system, you should be taken to the JSTOR website.

    Note: Not all institutions offer remote access. You might only have access to JSTOR from a campus location. If you have problems accessing JSTOR remotely, please contact your librarian for help.

  • Some participating universities and colleges offer online access to JSTOR for alumni. Alumni from participating institutions gain full access to the same set of archive collection content available to all current students and faculty at their institutions. Find out if your alma mater participates in this program.

  • JSTOR offers a variety of access options for individuals, and they are all covered in our Individual Access Support section.

  • JSTOR works with publishers to offer access to specific titles for society members and independent researchers. Individual access to journals in the JSTOR archive can also be provided by participating publishers. Information on how to access your individual journal subscription is covered in our Individual Access Support section.

  • JPASS gives you personal access to a library of more than 1,500 academic journals on JSTOR. If you don’t have access to JSTOR through a school or public library, JPASS may be a perfect fit.

    With JPASS, a substantial portion of the most influential research and ideas published over centuries is available to you anywhere, anytime. Access includes a vast collection of archival journals in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Coverage begins for each journal at the first volume and issue ever published, and extends up to a publication date usually set in the past three to five years. Current issues are not part of the JPASS Collection.

    Get a 1-month or a 1-year JPASS access plan and start your research today. For specific questions regarding the use and maintenance of your JPASS, please visit our Individual Access Support section.

  • MyJSTOR is a free account that allows you to experience more JSTOR content. Anyone can register for an account to:

    + Read content available in Register & Read
    + Manage individual purchases
    + Manage usage statistics (for library administrators)
    + Use My Lists to organize lists of content on JSTOR

  • You can create a MyJSTOR account by hovering over the MyJSTOR tab in the top-center of any JSTOR page and selecting "Profile" from the drop-down menu. This page will prompt you to register if you are a new user.

    MyJSTOR Registration

    Once you have completed the registration information and received a confirmation email, you will be able to log in to your personalized MyJSTOR account.

  • JSTOR recently released a feature called My Lists, which currently allows you to save citations, export them and organize them into personalized lists. To use My Lists, you first need to register for and be logged into a MyJSTOR account. There are several ways to save citations into a list:

    From Search Results:

    The second button next to every entry in a search results list gives you the option to “Add to My Lists."

    My Lists Search Results

    When you click this button, an overlay will appear prompting you to add the citation to a list, or to create a new list as pictured below.

    Create a List Overlay

    Once you create a list, or select the existing list into which you would like to add the citation, you will see a confirmation message to let you know your action was successful.

    Add to List Confirmation

    From Content Page:

    Similarly, you can add a citation to a list from the content level as well. If you find yourself on an article or chapter level page on JSTOR, the second blue button above the page scan view will allow you to save the citation to a list.

    Add Article to MyLists

    From MyJSTOR:

    Finally, you can create a list by selecting “My Lists” from the MyJSTOR drop-down menu along the top rail of any JSTOR page. On the My Lists page, you will find any previous created lists as well as a link to create a new list.

    MyJSTOR My Lists View

    Once you select that link, you'll be prompted to name your new list. After you think of a name, click 'Create.'

    Create a New List

    From there, you can either search for citations to add to it by using the basic search box on the bottom of that page or you can use JSTOR as you normally would.

    Search from My List

  • In most cases, logging into MyJSTOR does not provide access to JSTOR content. For some users at small institutions and secondary schools, or alumni association members, MyJSTOR accounts may also be configured to provide JSTOR access in addition to providing the functions described above.  If you are not sure if this describes your situation, it is always a good idea to contact your librarian or electronic resources coordinator for more information.

    MyJSTOR accounts provide access to free content through Register & Read. They also provide access to single article purchases, individual subscriptions, and to JPASS content.

  • You can make administrative updates to your MyJSTOR account, such as email changes or password updates, by selecting “My Profile” from the MyJSTOR drop-down menu in the top-center of the screen. The only exception is your MyJSTOR username. Once you create an account, the username cannot be updated.

    Manage My Account

    Deleting Your Account
    If you would like to delete your MyJSTOR account for any reason, please contact JSTOR Support with your request.

  • In order to download or print most JSTOR PDFs, you will need to follow the prompt to accept JSTOR’s Terms and Conditions. You need to do this only the first time you interact with a PDF in any given session. If you have any additional questions not covered here, please contact JSTOR Support for assistance.

    Saving + Downloading

    To download or save a JSTOR PDF on a content level page, click the blue “Download PDF” button above the page view.

    Download PDF

    A prompt to accept the Terms and Conditions of Use will pop up. When you click the link that says “Accept JSTOR's Terms and Conditions and proceed to PDF,” a PDF viewer will pop up.

    Terms + Conditions

    Once the article PDF is loaded in the viewer, you will have the option to save a copy by selecting the download icon in the grey navigation bar (Firefox).

    PDF Navigation Bar

    If the item does not open in PDF format, right click (or control click for Mac) on the PDF link, and save the file. Then open it in a PDF viewer.

    Note: If you have not yet accepted the Terms and Conditions of Use in a session, the download will produce a corrupted file. Simply click on the "PDF" link (which opens the Terms and Conditions of Use window), select "Proceed to PDF," and then follow the steps to save the PDF file.


    Because JSTOR uses high-resolution images to store and display pages, you cannot print item pages by using the "Print" button on your web browser. To print an item, you must first open the item in your PDF reader by following the instructions above under "Saving + Downloading". Once the article PDF is loaded in the viewer, you will have the option to print a copy by selecting the print icon in the grey navigation bar (Firefox).

    PDF Navigation Bar

    Note: If you use your web browser to print your item, the printout will be of poor quality, parts of it may be cropped, and the printed copy will contain all of the web page objects that appear around the item.

  • If you get an error message that your PDF is corrupted, it generally means that the download timed out. This could be due to a slow internet connection or a large file download size. Sometimes articles with images contained in them will cause the download to time out.

    You can right click on the "PDF" button and select "Open in New Window" (or "Open Link in New Window" for Firefox). Then right click on the link "Proceed to PDF" and select "Save Target As..." (or "Save Link as..." for Firefox). This lets you save the PDF directly to your computer and allows for a successful download.

  • While we host journal and book content in the JSTOR archive, JSTOR does not publish these journals or books or have full rights to the materials contained in the JSTOR archive. We recommend that you contact the publisher of the journal or book for permission information. See a current list of our partner publishers. Contact information, if available, can be found by following a publisher’s name link on that page.

    You may also gain permissions through the Copyright Clearance Center sometimes, if the publisher opts to manage the process this way. In the right rail of any given journal article, there is a link that says “More Rights Options.” This link takes you to the Copyright Clearance Center, where you may have the option to purchase the rights to the article. If the link does not resolve to these options, then you will need to contact the publisher directly with your request. 

  • While nearly all of the journals collected in JSTOR are peer-reviewed publications, our archives do contain some specific primary materials (like some journals in the Ireland Collection and the 19th Century British Pamphlet Collection). Also, some journal content is much older than today's standard peer-review process. This means that, though all the information in JSTOR is held to a scholarly standard, not all of the publications are technically "peer-reviewed." At the current time there is no way to search JSTOR for only peer-reviewed publications. We often find that if you have questions concerning the academic legitimacy of a particular journal or book, your institution's librarian or your course instructor may be best able to answer those inquiries.

  • While JSTOR provides access to journals in the archive, we do not publish these journals. JSTOR is an organization that works with publishers to digitize the back files of scholarly journals. If you are looking to publish your work, you may be interested in contacting one of our participating publishers directly. See a list of our participating journals and links to publisher contact information.

  • It is a priority for JSTOR to ensure that our website and the content we archive is available and accessible to all of our users. We have made every effort to ensure that our image-based PDF files are accessible and can be read with screen readers like JAWS. These files are tagged at a high level using an automated process. While this method is not exact, it dramatically increases the accessibility of the files as compared to an untagged version.

    In the event that the PDF tagging described above is not sufficient for your use, we can perform manual tagging on a limited number of articles for you. If this is a service you need, please contact JSTOR Support with your request. Please include the citations for the articles you need tagged.

    Limit of three articles per request
    Turn around time is three days per request

    We are continually seeking to improve our website and enhance accessibility. Please let us know if you have any comments or suggestions. Read more about JSTOR accessibility policies and procedures.