JSTOR offers free online reading access to the archives of 1,200 of the world’s most prominent journals
January 9, 2013 – New York, NY – 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.
Today’s announcement follows a successful 10-month test during which more than 150,000 people registered for reading access to an initial set of 76 journals.
“Our goal is for everyone around the world to be able to use the content we have put online and are preserving,” said Laura Brown, JSTOR managing director. “Register & Read provides a virtual way for anyone to walk into the JSTOR library, register at the door, and ‘check out’ a limited number of articles for reading.”
Journal archives from nearly 800 scholarly societies, university presses, and academic publishers are now included in Register & Read. These organizations license and entrust their content to JSTOR and share the goal of providing far-reaching access to scholarship.
Kate Duff, director of strategic partnerships and analytics for the Journals Division of The University of Chicago Press, has been an enthusiastic supporter. “We were very pleased to be part of the test period and with the resulting interest shown in the 5 of our journals that took part. All our journals were used and ranged in subjects from biology to economics and sociology,” said Duff. “It’s exciting to now have the opportunity to extend access to our entire journals portfolio through this important new initiative.”
With Register & Read, JSTOR is providing an unprecedented level of access to its archival collection to the general public. While this is among JSTOR’s first initiatives to provide access directly to individuals unaffiliated with educational and cultural institutions, it continues JSTOR’s long history of innovative approaches to expanding access to academic content. JSTOR has offered free access to not-for-profit institutions throughout Africa since 2006, and fees are waived or reduced for institutions in many other countries around the world. In addition, all journal content published prior to 1923 in the United States and 1870 elsewhere has been free to the public since 2011. In the 1990s, JSTOR also pioneered tiered fee structures for libraries, setting a standard that has provided more widespread and affordable access to academic content to libraries and educational institutions of all sizes. The result is a global network of more than 8,000 libraries in 167 countries – all of which are authorized to provide free walk-in access to the journal archives on JSTOR if they wish.
Now, with Register & Read, people can visit JSTOR directly and read any of more than 4.5 million articles for free. They can put up to three articles on their bookshelf where they must be held for a minimum of two weeks, after which more free articles can be shelved. In addition, for 40% of these articles, people also have the option of downloading them to keep or read offline for a fee.
“We have a deep commitment to test new approaches that expand access while also sustaining the JSTOR online library and preserving this content long into the future,” added Brown. “Register & Read is still an experiment for us, but we are thrilled by its initial success and are excited about this next step in its development”
) is a digital library of more than 1,600 academic journals, 15,000 books, and 2 million primary source objects. JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico.
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