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Database Help: JSTOR

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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.

Thigpen Library subscription includes these JSTOR collections: Arts & Sciences I, II, III, IV, V, VII, XI and Life Sciences.

JSTOR: search tips

 Improve your search results with these tips on using advanced search and limit options.

Advanced Search

JSTOR "Advanced Search" link highlighted

JSTOR 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. See "Limit your Search" for more suggestions to improve your search results.

Limit your Search

Select an access type

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 subscription. You may be able to get the full-text article through interlibrary loan.

Narrow By

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

Journal Filter

Use JOURNAL FILTER lets you 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 but your search results keep articles from archeology and art journals. Search only the history and philosophy disciplines.

JSTOR Journal Filter section

JSTOR: Permalink

The permalink in JSTOR  is called the stable URL and it is easy to find since it is labeled "Stable URL" on the PDF.

Screen capture for an article description highlighting the Stable URL

You will also find the link on the HTML version of the article. The word "stable" is part of the URL.

This unique URL easily takes you back to your article or book again. However, the stable URL does not include the proxy prefix which makes access from off-campus a two-step process

Without the proxy prefix first use a library link to access JSTOR then use the stable URL to open your article.

With the proxy prefix on the stable URL is easy and lets you open the database and article simultaneously after verification. To add the proxy prefix:

  1. Find the stable URL:
  2. Copy this proxy prefix:
  3. Paste in front of the stable URL to create a proxied URL:
    Be careful and do not include extra punctuation marks or spaces when copying and pasting.

JSTOR: Print

To save or print the article select  "Download PDF" button. Adobe Reader needs to be installed on your computer to use this feature.


Create your own citation ...

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

Don't confuse the article title with the journal title.

HINT: Use the PDF version of the article. It has a cover page with all the information needed for your citation. Access date on this cover page is the European style of dd/mm/yyyy, not the typical American style of mm/dd/yyyy.

Use "Cite This Item" option ...

JSTOR provides citations in MLA, APA, and Chicago styles to help you get started. JSTOR cautions you to "Always review your references and make any necessary corrections before using. Pay attention to names, capitalization, and dates."

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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.