1. Fees cover the costs of making the content accessible

The funds provided by libraries and institutions allows us to digitize millions of pages of scholarly content each year, provide reliable 24/7 access to people in 170+ countries, invest in new technologies to support the use of this content, provide outreach and support, pay license fees to content owners, and ensure the preservation of the content.

Fees for JSTOR collections have remained unchanged since 1997, even though additional content is added each year with the “moving wall.” Fees for access vary based on the type and size of institution; many institutions even have free access (see item #4).

2. JSTOR is widely available to walk-in library users

Every library in our network of more than 10,000 institutions worldwide is authorized to provide access to the content on JSTOR for walk-in users for free. Public libraries, such as Boston Public or the San Francisco Public, may provide off-site access to library card holders. Libraries may also utilize JSTOR for electronic interlibrary loan, providing a way for people to gain access even if their local libraries don’t participate in JSTOR.

3. JSTOR provides free or low-cost access to more than 1,500 institutions in 69 countries

More than 1,500 institutions in Africa and other developing nations receive access to JSTOR free of charge or for steeply reduced fees through our African Access Initiative and Developing Nations Access Initiative programs. This is made possible through a combination of philanthropic support and the fees paid by libraries in other countries around the world, as well as publishers’ eagerness to support this work. You can read about the history of our work in this area and a discussion of how we moved beyond access to impact.

4. JSTOR provides free access to hundreds of thousands of articles in the public domain

Our Early Journal Content makes more than 500,000 public domain articles from more than 200 journals freely available to the public on the JSTOR platform. Early Journal Content includes U.S. content published before 1923 and non-U.S. content published prior to 1870. The public domain content we preserve and make available remains in the public domain–anyone may redistribute the Early Journal Content files from JSTOR for noncommercial purposes. Here are two great examples: “A letter by Benjamin Franklin, Esq, concerning an electrical kite” and “”A letter of Mr. Isaac Newton containing his new theory about light and colors.”

5. JSTOR supports data and text mining

We offer a “Data for Research” (DfR) service, a free text mining tool for journal content on JSTOR. DfR provides a self-service option to obtain datasets via bulk downloads and includes a powerful search interface, online viewing of document-level data, downloadable datasets (including word frequencies, citations, and n-grams). More than 700 datasets have been downloaded annually since the service launched. We also work with researchers on special requests for access to even large-scale datasets for research of various kinds.