JSTOR Register & Read—Free Reading of Historical Scholarship Takes Off
New York, NY—JSTOR, the not-for-profit digital library of thousands of academic journals and other content, announced today that more than one million articles have now been accessed by individuals participating in its free program, Register & Read.
The archive collections, which constitute the core of the JSTOR digital library, have been available to researchers at universities, colleges, high schools, and other libraries for years, and increasingly to the general public through a variety of means, from being a walk-in user or alumni of a JSTOR-participating library to electronic inter-library loan. In 2010 JSTOR began work on an effort to vastly expand public access to the archive collections—building the necessary infrastructure and relationships with publishers—and in March 2012, JSTOR introduced Register & Read, a program that provides free, online-reading access to the complete archives of more than 1,300 journals to anyone who registers for an account.
Today, more than 700,000 people have registered and are reading academic journals that span more than fifty subjects in the arts and sciences. Registrants include independent researchers and professionals, in addition to students and scholars from around the world.
“We see this program as a vital next step in furthering our mission to expand access to scholarship to anyone who needs it,” said Laura Brown, JSTOR’s managing director. “Whether they visit once or again and again, it’s amazing to see a growing number of people delving into this archive of authoritative research produced by scholars and intellectuals over the past four hundred years.”
Reading is heaviest in fields like literature, education, economics, and history, but users are accessing journals in every area and specialization. Register & Read participants can read up to three items from the archive every two weeks. Many have read only one work, though about 50,000 users each month return to read more.
Diane L. Richard, a professional genealogist based in North Carolina, is among the regular users of Register & Read. JSTOR access has aided in her research for clients, and provides material for her work as a blog editor for UpFront with NGS (National Genealogical Society) and contributing author for the magazine Internet Genealogy.
“I am constantly doing client research covering North Carolina, Virginia, and the states east of the Mississippi from colonial to modern time,” Richard says enthusiastically. “I love the ability to be able to access three journal articles at a time.” Richard’s Register & Read shelf currently contains articles from The Virginia Magazine of History and Bibliography, including one entitled “Virginia Quit Rent Rolls, 1704.” Recently, she has used JSTOR to research abstracted church records and histories, as well as court records and wartime accounts of the American Revolution. She has also uncovered the histories of communities and buildings from historical settings related to her research. Richard concludes, “The material found in the journals available through JSTOR’s Register & Read can be simply invaluable.”
Jared Corduan, another Register & Read user, may not need JSTOR in his current day job, but he enjoys having access to a digital library he used heavily in graduate school. “I spent countless hours reading articles from JSTOR as a graduate student, and I loved every minute of it,” said Corduan. “After I finished my Ph.D., I decided to leave academia. One of the saddest parts of this decision, at least for me, was no longer having access to all the papers. Register & Read solves this problem for me and I am very appreciative!”
While the Register & Read program is off to a great start, this is only the beginning. “We hear all the time from people thanking us for making this resource available,” said Kristen Garlock, JSTOR’s associate director of education and outreach. “Of course it’s gratifying to hear, but we also see that many people still do not know about Register & Read. Spreading the word so others know our door is open and that scholarly content can give them a depth of understanding and perspective they can’t get anywhere else—that’s our next challenge.”
New journals are regularly made available to users of the Register & Read program. To register for an account, go to www.jstor.org and click on MyJSTOR.
About Register & Read
Register & Read allows users to visit JSTOR directly and read any of more than 4.5 million articles for free. They can save up to three articles at a time; the items are held for a minimum of two weeks before new articles can be shelved. In addition, forty percent of these articles can be downloaded and read offline for a fee.
More information: about.jstor.org/rr
JSTOR is a digital library of more than 1,800 academic journals, 16,000 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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