Among the most critical areas of study at academic institutions today is our changing environment and its impact on society. It is also one of the most challenging given its fundamentally transdisciplinary nature and the range of publications, data, and sources needed to conduct research in the field. JSTOR, the not-for-profit digital library, aims to make it easier.

Working with think tanks, publishers, universities and researchers, we have today released JSTOR Sustainability, a new online resource that brings together journals, policy research, and books on the topic of environmental sustainability and resilience. JSTOR Sustainability also features a set of tools to enable easy exploration of topics and ideas, whether they are being discussed by an economist, scientist, or an urban planner.

Among the nearly 100 content partners in the initiative are the American Meteorological Society, the International Association for Energy Economics, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Centre for European Policy Studies. A wide range of topics, from agricultural economics to green energy, and from climatology to sustainable business practices, are covered.

The new resource also gives users tools like topic pages, which explain more than 1,500 key terms related to sustainability, as well as theme-based searching. These tools are built on a thesaurus JSTOR has created and is refining all the time. This data investment enables what amounts to crosswalks through the literature, finding related articles even when researchers in disparate disciplines may be using different language to describe them. The JSTOR text analyzer, a new tool recently launched in beta that will find related works based on any document uploaded to JSTOR by its users, also promises to produce results and map connections a typical search may not find.

JSTOR built and tested the new resource, including these features, with several partner institutions. The Yale School of Forestry was instrumental in helping to understand the interdisciplinary challenges researchers face. The University of Washington provided the seed for further developing the topic feature and interface. Others have come on board in different capacities since then, including the University of Oregon, Amherst College, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

The launch of JSTOR Sustainability coincides with a 20-year celebration of JSTOR’s founding at the Association of College and Research Libraries this week. Laura Brown, JSTOR Managing Director commented, “Our founding mission is to use technology to advance scholarship and education. Over the past two decades, we have worked with the global education community to curate a foundational corpus of scholarly literature and create a flexible platform capable of keeping pace with the innovation required to advance research and teaching. JSTOR Sustainability is an example of how, together, we can forge connections at scale across disciplines and content types, and develop new ways of using this material to improve insights and advance research in emerging fields.”

Check out JSTOR Sustainability.