Database in Depth: All About JSTOR

All About JSTOR

Research any field – from Business to Education to the Humanities to the Sciences – with the JSTOR database’s access to more than a thousand scholarly journals and over 1 million images, letters, and other primary sources. JSTOR is accessible within the library and remotely from the Articles & Databases page.

This database is an archive, so issues from the past 2-3 years are not included for most titles. All journals are indexed back to the first issue. For instance, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography goes back to volume 1, Issue 1 from July 1893. Some of the primary sources, such as pamphlets and personal collections, have content going back to the 1600s! The Cowen Tracts, containing the pamphlet collection of British Member of Parliament Joseph Cowen, goes back to 1603. 

You can perform a full-text search using the Search function from the database’s home page. Enter a word or a phrase (use quotation marks around the words of the phrase).   You may combine search terms and fields using AND, OR, and NOT. 
For more details on searching, click the Help link in the upper right corner.   This will open a new window. Within that window, click the Detailed Search link in the left column for a complete list of search functions. 
The Advanced Search page allows you to narrow your searches by author or item title, by type of item (such as article, review, or pamphlet), by date, by language, or by discipline or title of publication. 
Browse by Discipline lets you look through the database by academic discipline. Click on the plus sign next to the discipline in order to search through each of the journals in that discipline. 
If you already know about an article and you'd like to locate the citation in JSTOR, use the Citation Locator. Click the Search tab at the top of the page to access the search page for the Citation Locator. Fill in the fields you know, leaving unknown fields empty - you can search with blank fields – and click the "Search" button. 
Search results and accessing text:
The search results screen will show you articles marked with the following symbols:
Full AccessYou have access to this content
Partial AccessYou have access to part of this content
Link to external contentFull text on external site
No AccessCitation access – see access options
When an article indicates that you have access to ‘part of this content’, ‘full text on external site’, or ‘citation access’, please contact your reference librarians for options for full access to content.  
Once you click on an article title, you’ll be able to see which articles from that issue of the journal were the “Most Cited” and the “Most Accessed”. For articles with full-text availability, you can read the article as formatted for the web or click on ‘View PDF’ to see a more printer- and reader-friendly version of the text. You can also choose to view, export, email, save and track citations.
Another neat feature is the ‘Previous Item’ and ‘Next Item’ links. Clicking on these lets you page through the magazine and see that issue’s complete content.
Additional Content:
Plant Painting
One of the gems of JSTOR is the Plant Science collection and access is from the Content Update section on the right side of the page. This collection is offered free through the end of 2011. The collection is the world’s largest database of plant type specimens representing the botanical diversity of the planet, including more than 20,000 paintings, photographs, drawings, and other images, over 75,000 scientific research articles, letters, and other content dating back hundreds of years, and foundational reference works.
Explore content by clicking on the world map or resource type (such as photos, prints, reference sources, and letters), or by browsing the type of resource, geographic location, collection, or herbarium. There is a search box for quick searches and the advanced search lets you query the database for family, genus, or species, amongst many other options.
Take JSTOR for a drive!  If you want to learn how to get the most out of this database, contact your friendly librarian. We’ll give you a free tour tailored to your needs.