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Database Help: JSTOR

Find answers to your questions on the library's online resources, including databases.

JSTOR logoJSTOR is a collection of full-text journal articles and eBooks. Full-text scholarly journal issues are typically added to the database 3 to 5 years after the publication date. The full-text eBooks are from academic publishers.

These JSTOR collections are available: Arts & Sciences I, II, III, IV, V, VII, XI and Life Sciences.

Searching in JSTOR

Use these JSTOR search features to get better search results.

Review the "General Tips" page on this guide for help with search terms. 

The JSTOR database opens with the basic search option. For quicker and more precise searching select the "Advanced Search" link.

Why use Advanced Search? Advanced search saves you time and reduces your frustration because you can eliminate reviews, set date limiters, and select discipline. 

It is best to set limiters at the beginning of your search, especially the recommended Narrow By options. These filters create a better results list based on your search terms.

Recognizing that you need to change search terms is more obvious when you apply limiters.

Use the options in the Narrow By section to retrieve fewer but more relevant sources. The two most important limiters are item type and publication date.

Check the "Articles" box under Item Type when searching for scholarly articles.

Why? This limits the results to only articles and, most importantly, excludes book and other reviews from your search results. Select other Item Types based on your information need.

Enter Publication Date, especially in the "From" field to eliminate older articles.

Why? This database has articles from scholarly journals from the early 1900s (and earlier). Do not sort through old articles – eliminate them from your search results.

JSTOR "Narrow by" options

For some searches you may want to select a Language. Most articles are in English, but there are non-English journals in the collection.

Using Journal or Book Title or ISBN allows you to limit your search to a specific publication.

Verify that "Content I can access" is selected.

JSTOR access type: "content I can access"

"All content" retrieves articles that are not available in our JSTOR subscription. However, you may find the article in another library database or request the full-text article through interlibrary loan.

Use JOURNAL FILTER to limit your search results to journals in relevant disciplines and eliminate articles from non-relevant subject areas

For example, you need information on Buddha from a historic or philosophical viewpoint. Your search results have articles from archeology and art journals. Use Journal Filter to search only the history and philosophy disciplines.

JSTOR Journal Filter section

Saving your JSTOR research

There are several ways to save the information you find in JSTOR for future use

  • Keep a copy by saving or printing
  • Save a link that takes you back to the information with the permalink
  • Save the source information with a citation

To save or print the article select  "Download PDF" button.

The Save button saves the article or book chapter to your workspace. This workspace is temporary unless you create a JSTOR account.

A permalink gets you back to the article in a library database. The permalink is different than the link in the browser bar.

The permalink in JSTOR  is called the stable URL.

JSTOR also provides a URL with proxy

  • Save the URL with proxy to easily get back to Vol State's subscription and the specific article.
  • This URL is visible on the content metadata information tab when viewing the article
  • URL with proxy is not available on the PDF download.

JSTOR screen capture showing Stable URL and URL with proxy on metadata content tab.

Use "Cite This Item" option ...

JSTOR provides citations in MLA, APA, and Chicago styles.

JSTOR cautions you to "Always review your references and make any necessary corrections before using. Pay attention to names, capitalization, and dates."

Create your own citation ...

  • Where did you find it?  in the subscription database JSTOR
  • What is it?  either an article from a scholarly journal or a chapter from a book

HINT: Use the PDF version of the article. The cover page has all the information needed for your citation. The article title is first and the journal title is identified as Source.

Finding JSTOR articles in Pioneer Search

Pioneer Search, the multi-search engine on the library's website, will find articles from JSTOR but there is a random exclusion of journals. For example, the Journal Title List shows that the Tennessee Historical Quarterly (THQ) is available in JSTOR but articles from THQ do not appear in the search results. This is true for other journals as well.

For the best results you can use the Journal Title List in Pioneer Search to find which databases have a journal, magazine, or newspaper and then search that database. 

JSTOR: Help resources

JSTOR support provides up-to-date information on using their database in articles on their support website and in their LibGuides.

This page offers easy access to the database JSTOR  and provides a few tips about using this resource effectively. It is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to the database; it simply assists Vol State users with common questions. Use the "Help" link in JSTOR for additional help.