Below are some frequently asked questions about how JSTOR works with CrossRef to make publishers’ content discoverable and the digitization process that JSTOR undertakes to prepare journals for public release onto the platform. If you have additional questions, please contact JSTOR Content Development at

Journal Release Process

  • JSTOR acquires all back issues for digitization through a donation or loan from publishers, institution, or third party. Publisher arranges an ongoing complimentary subscription for all future issues of its journal.

  • JSTOR prefers donations. It allows us to focus our resources on releasing more content to the JSTOR site as quickly as possible. However, we recognize that not everyone is positioned to offer donations, and offers of loans are gladly received.

  • JSTOR’s goal is to preserve at least one copy of a complete back-run of each journal in the JSTOR archive in multiple and geographically separate paper repositories. JSTOR currently deposits one donated or purchased copy of a digitized volume into a paper repository located at Harvard University where all of the material is owned by JSTOR. JSTOR also collaborates with the University of California on a second paper repository where print journals included in the archive are collected and put into long term storage. For more information, please read about Preservation.

  • Yes, JSTOR digitizes journals in advance of the moving wall shift, so it is important that we maintain current subscriptions for every actively publishing journal in the archive. The subscription should be sent to our Michigan office:

    Journal Issue Acquisition Specialist
    301 East Liberty, Suite 310
    Ann Arbor, MI 48104-2262

  • The production/conversion process is very involved. We perform a high level quality assessment of the physical source material before sending the journals to our scanning vendor. Production Librarians perform a detailed analysis of the indexing features in each journal. Findings obtained during each review are provided to the digitization vendor when the journal is shipped for processing. Our digitization vendors’ conversion work is based on general and journal specific documentation JSTOR produces. Once the digitized content is delivered back to JSTOR our staff performs a detailed quality control (QC) review on a sample set of the scanned images, illustration content and reference linking data. We do a targeted review of the metadata to ensure that it meets JSTOR’s stringent specifications and that indexing guidelines have been correctly applied. After all of the data for a journal has been accepted by JSTOR the vendor is then asked to return the paper volumes. Usually with lent volumes, the lender wants them rebound. That process requires time and the need for additional QC review on the rebinding work to make sure we are returning volumes with which the lender will be satisfied.

  • After the back issues have been received, JSTOR collates and indexes all back volumes to prepare them for the scanning vendor.
    JSTOR then ships the journals to vendors who unbind each volume by carefully cutting off the spine in order to scan in every page. This process can take some time depending on the length and age of the complete back run of the journal.

  • JSTOR currently uses three digitization vendors: Apex CoVantage, Ninestars and SPi. At the vendor’s facility, the physical journals are inventoried for missing content and evaluated for damage. The journals are then disbound and separated into discrete issue units. Each journal page is scanned in black and white at 600 dpi resolution. Additional grayscale or color illustration scans are made at 300 dpi when illustration content is present on a page. The vendors follow JSTOR scanning specifications, paying meticulous attention to detail and quality. JSTOR has a discrepancy process for pages containing critical problems for which the vendor is unable to produce a final image of acceptable quality as well as for missing pages. JSTOR works to acquire replacement scans obtained from local and distant library copies. Scans are provided to the vendor to be inserted in place of damaged or missing source. An OCR (Optical Character Recognition) file is created for every page in the archive. The OCR files must meet an accuracy level specified by JSTOR and they must contain article zoning tags. The OCR files allow for full text search and search term highlighting in the articles and PDFs.

  • In order to feed the individual pages into the scanning equipment and in order to obtain high quality images, the scanning vendor unbinds the volumes by carefully cutting off the spines. The volumes are returned to JSTOR in an unbound state (in page order, secured with cloth ties, and in some cases, shrink-wrapped). JSTOR will then review the pages to make sure they are all intact, in good condition and in the correct order. We will then send them to a commercial bindery (the same one used by the University of Michigan libraries) to be rebound according to the Library Binding Institute standards. The bindery uses Grade F Buckram for the hardboards and a double-fan adhesive for the bind. We consult with the lender regarding hardboard color and orientation of lettering on the spine, etc. Upon return of the volumes from the bindery we review the volumes to make sure they are acceptable and then return them to the lender.

  • JSTOR checks and confirm the accuracy of an indexing metadata file in XML format for each issue that is provided by the vendor. This file includes a wide range of indexing elements including bibliographic citation information, article type, illustration captions, abstracts, keywords, and citation and reference information (which facilitates linking to the cited content within and without the archive).

  • Once the vendors have finished digitizing the issues and JSTOR has ensured the quality of the data, the vendor returns the print copies to JSTOR.

  • Loaned issues are prepped and either returned directly to the lender or sent to a bindery for rebinding. The rebinding process can vary depending on the length and age of the volumes. Donated volumes are sent to JSTOR's paper repository.

  • JSTOR will cover any shipping and rebinding costs. JSTOR maintains a Federal Express account for shipping purposes. We can supply you with the needed information to use this account for shipping volumes to us. If you intend to proceed with a loan or donation, please let us know, and we will send you the needed FedEx information. If you would prefer to use another carrier, simply send us an invoice for the costs incurred and JSTOR will reimburse for the shipping costs.

  • Data release is the process of preparing, testing and releasing new journal content to the JSTOR website where participants can access the new content. The process involves the testing of the new content within the context of the JSTOR website. How content looks and how it interacts with our search index are just a few of the elements that are tested during data release.

  • The number of new journals released each data release can vary anywhere from none to many, depending on the total number of discrete issues in a given release as well as other types of content included in a release.  Other content can include such things as issues from already released journal titles, missing issues that have been located and digitized since the initial release of a journal, new content types added to the JSTOR archive, etc.

  • The time between when an agreement is signed to the time that the journal is released to the JSTOR site can vary greatly in length, anywhere from 6 months to a few years. This process can vary in length due to such things as scheduling issues, collection goals and priorities, and journal length and complexity. However, we strive to keep this time to a minimum and are investigating ways to reduce this time across all signed titles.

CrossRef Linking

  • CrossRef is the creator of a cross-publisher citation linking system that allows a researcher to click on a reference citation on one publisher's platform and link directly to the cited content on another platform, subject to the target publisher's access control practices.
    To facilitate this activity, CrossRef manages and maintains a registry database of metadata, digital object identifiers, and stable URLs (metadata + DOI + URL) for scholarly articles and other types of works. CrossRef members contribute article information to the database and, in order to link to others, retrieve DOI information for articles published by other members.

  • A DOI is a unique alphanumeric string assigned to a digital object—in this case, an electronic journal article—that provides a persistent link to its location on the Internet. In the CrossRef system, each DOI is associated with a set of basic metadata and a URL pointer to the full text. If the URL changes, a new URL will be associated with the DOI, so a user will still be able to find the article on the Internet. If the article is available in multiple places, multiple URLs can be associated with the DOI.
    For more information on the DOI itself, which is a NISO standard syntax, please visit the International DOI Foundation.

  • Publishers of primary research material in digital formats, libraries, intermediaries (secondary publishers and journal hosting services), and technology companies participate in CrossRef.

  • JSTOR has joined CrossRef and paid membership dues. JSTOR plans to register DOIs for all articles in the archive that have not previously been registered. This will enable users of the CrossRef system to link to hundreds of years worth of articles in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences.

  • If you are already working with CrossRef, JSTOR will contact you to confirm the date range of articles for which you have registered DOIs. JSTOR can register DOIs for earlier content on your behalf and will discuss this option with you. The CrossRef system also enables the multiple resolution of links, so with publisher approval, JSTOR will deposit what is known as a "secondary URL" for articles that publishers have already deposited.

  • Yes. For articles where JSTOR is the registrant, publishers may add secondary URLs if at some point they make the content available on their own sites. In such cases, JSTOR agrees that the publisher URL will may be "primary" in any list of options presented to users.

  • Secondary URLs give users an alternative pathway to an article if they are unable to access it on the publisher's site. Also, the registration of a secondary URL will ensure that any links established to an article "persist" (or resolve to full-text) even if the publisher elects to no longer make that article available in the future. For any article that has both a publisher and a JSTOR URL, the publisher URL will be "primary" in any list of options presented to users.

  • JSTOR understands that, for consistency, some publishers may wish to own the DOIs associated with their journals in the CrossRef system, and JSTOR will transfer ownership upon request. We expect that in these cases, the JSTOR URL will be retained as a secondary URL. The publisher will be responsible for paying the deposit fees for any transferred DOIs, and, subsequently, JSTOR will be reimbursed its deposit fees by CrossRef.

  • No. JSTOR will not register DOIs in cases where the publisher has already done so, or at the publisher's request. The only exception will be cases where ownership of journals is transferred from one publisher to another after JSTOR has registered DOIs. In these instances, JSTOR will invite the publisher to add a secondary URL.

  • No. JSTOR will only register DOIs for full length articles and book reviews. This is the content most likely to be cited in other publications and therefore the target of links. JSTOR may decide to include other materials (news items, editorials, etc.) in the future.

  • Any user can follow a CrossRef link. However, only users who are IP-authenticated through JSTOR participating universities, or password account holders, will have access to the complete, full-text target articles on our website.

  • JSTOR does not provide reference linking from digitized articles today, but plans to in the future. At that time, JSTOR will retrieve DOIs from CrossRef for items that are referenced by articles in JSTOR and that are available online through other resource providers.

Working with Copyright Clearance Center (CCC)

  • Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), the rights licensing experts, is a global rights broker for the world’s most sought after materials, including millions of in- and out-of-print books, journals, newspapers, magazines, movies, television shows, images, blogs and ebooks.  Founded in 1978 as a not-for-profit organization, CCC provides smart solutions that simplify the access and licensing of content that lets businesses and academic institutions quickly get permission to share copyright-protected materials, while compensating publishers and creators for the use of their works.  

    For more information, visit

  • To enable publishers to automate the collection of permissions fees at the point of use, JSTOR implemented “More Rights Options” links for every available article available on the platform. The “More Rights Options” link takes the user to to look up and purchase reuse rights for that work.

  • Users interested in purchasing reuse permissions to an article can simply click on the “More Rights Options” link located in the right rail of every article-level page on JSTOR.

    Using a web service known as RightsLink Basic from CCC, JSTOR will automatically open a new window to, where users can indicate their intended use before adding their order to a shopping cart. CCC collects royalties from users and distributes royalties to publishers. Publishers receive quarterly distribution payments from CCC. Royalty information is available 24x7 via CCC’s RightsCentral service, its reporting and communications hub for rightsholders. 

    Note that both users and publishers must register for the appropriate CCC account to take advantage of the “More Rights Options” link.

    • If a publisher has never enrolled in CCC's rightsholder programs, the publisher will need to create an account on RightsCentral. For an overview of CCC's rightsholder services, please read the available brochure.
    • If a user has never previously purchased rights from CCC, the user will need to create an account on If a user works for an organization that has a CCC Annual Copyright License, will indicate if the rights they are requesting for the JSTOR article are covered under the annual license.

    JSTOR and CCC implement the RightsLink Basic links on all JSTOR articles at no charge to publishers. All available articles on the platform automatically have these links. 


    While no action is required from publishers to implement these links, we encourage any publisher who has not yet registered at CCC’s RightsCentral  to facilitate the permissions process. Registration will allow publishers to provide the most up-to-date contact information, payment instructions, and specify the type of permissions that they will grant. 


    For any questions, please contact JSTOR at or CCC at