New on JSTOR: Books and Expanded Free Content!

JSTOR is a subscription-based online archive of journal articles and scholarly content, produced by not-for-profit organization ITHAKA, which may be one useful source of non-patent literature prior art for professional patent searchers. The site has recently undergone some major updates to the content coverage and accessibility of select journal articles within the archives, and patent searchers will benefit from the new types of prior art that can be accessed on the portal and the expanded free content on the site. Last year, JSTOR began offering limited free online content through the the Register and Read program, which was released in beta-testing phase during early 2012.  As of January 2013, JSTOR has greatly expanded the number of journals accessible through the Register and  Read program to more than 1,200 titles. JSTOR also recently added digital book coverage to the portal through the new Books on JSTOR program, and currently more than 15,000 scholarly books can now be searched simultaneously with the journal content on the platform.  Prior art searchers will therefore have access to a broader array of non-patent literature prior art formats that can be searched on a single intuitive interface, and more of the journal content is now freely accessible for registered users.

Continue reading for an overview of new free content accessible through the JSTOR Register and Read program, and also learn about the scholarly books now available on the JSTOR platform!

Expanded Register and Read Program

A press release on the JSTOR website describes the expansion of the JSTOR Register and Read program, which provides limited free access to journal content for registered users:

JSTOR, the not-for-profit digital library of thousands of academic journals and other content, announced today that the archives of more than 1,200 journals are now available for limited reading by the public. This is part of a major expansion of JSTOR’s experimental program Register & Read, in which people can sign up for a JSTOR account and, every two weeks, read up to three articles online for free.

Today’s announcement follows a successful 10-month test during which more than 150,000 people registered for reading access to an initial set of 76 journals. […]

Now, with Register & Read, people can visit JSTOR directly and read any of more than 4.5 million articles for free. They can put up to three articles on their bookshelf where they must be held for a minimum of two weeks, after which more free articles can be shelved. In addition, for 40% of these articles, people also have the option of downloading them to keep or read offline for a fee.

The “Register and Read” section of the JSTOR website states that the journal coverage available through the program “includes content from the first volume and issue published for these journals through a recent year (generally 3-5 years ago),” and users can view a full title list of all journals accessible through the Register and Read program here (Excel).

Select the "Read Online Free" icon to save the article to your MyJSTOR shelf.

Select the “Read Online Free” icon to save the article to your MyJSTOR shelf.

After a user has registered for a free MyJSTOR account, they can log on to the JSTOR portal and search through the journal content to locate relevant results. Through the full record view, users can select the “Read Online Free” icon to add the article to their shelf on the MyJSTOR account.  Users can add up to three items to the shelf, and the items added to the shelf can be removed after 14 days.

An article saved on the MyJSTOR shelf.

An article saved on the MyJSTOR shelf.

Books on JSTOR

During November 2012, JSTOR announced the addition of 15,000 scholarly books to the online platform:

JSTOR is pleased to announce the launch of its new books program, Books at JSTOR, which brings scholarly monographs from leading university presses and other academic publishers to the JSTOR platform. Books are deeply integrated with the 1,600 current and archival journals on JSTOR. All content is cross-searchable, and books are linked with millions of book reviews and from hundreds of thousands of book citations within the journal literature. […]

More than 15,000 front- and backlist titles are currently offered through the program, and new titles are added every month.

Users can view a full title list (Excel) and access pricing and quotes information through the Books portal on the JSTOR website.  All JSTOR content is searchable simultaneously, but users can immediately view a full list of book results by selecting the “Books” tab in the hit list.

Results under the "Books" tab in the hit list.

Results under the “Books” tab in the hit list.

The summary page for a book record on JSTOR includes:

  • Basic bibliographic data, cover image, and stable URL for the record.
  • Link to search for book reviews on JSTOR.
  • A collapsible book description.
  • Information on accessing the full book through JSTOR (or Worldcat).
  • Table of Contents information, with collapsible text excerpts.
The summary page for a book on JSTOR.

The summary page for a book on JSTOR.


Although the subject matter of the content on JSTOR seems to heavily focus on the humanities and social sciences, there are over 1,200 journal titles under the subject heading of “Sciences and Mathematics” available on the platform. JSTOR will therefore be one source (among numerous free and subscription non-patent-literature databases) that patent searchers will want to explore when hunting for non-patent-literature prior art.  The new book content on the portal expands the overall coverage of the archives, which the user can search through a single easy interface. I’d recommend that searchers create a free MyJSTOR account to take advantage of the expanded open-access content accessible through the Register and Read program.

Have you used the Register and Read program on JSTOR to access non-patent literature?  Let us know in the comments what you think about JSTOR’s open-access program!


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2 Responses

  1. I’ve been in the same boat for quite some time, and haven’t realized it could be done this way. Oh well, it’s better to find out later than never…

  2. The open access landscape is changing and I am happy to see that aggregators such as JSTOR are hopping on this wagon. With 100% OA titles, hybrid journals and embargo periods it is a full time job searching for Open Access content. Lean on your vendors for assistance here. If you document delivery vendor does not offer an open access filters, challenge them. We are saving our customers 6-24% of document delivery spend simply by filtering their content for OA articles.

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