Welcome to our online unit on how to use JSTOR.  



In this tutorial we'll look at how to: 

  • Why you'd want to use it
  • Access JSTOR from the Library's Homepage
  • Learn about the different content in JSTOR
  • How to find high-quality academic journal articles for your projects


Getting to JSTOR

Since we're cool, we'll start you at the JSTOR page.  Just click on the "Go to JSTOR" link.

Getting there from the library homepage:  

Just so you know...

  • From the library homepage, click on the Databases link near the top-center of the page
  • Then click on the Databases by Title tab 
  • Then scroll down to the JSTOR link.

Why use JSTOR?

Simply put, articles in JSTOR are written by experts in their field.  Articles available in JSTOR are published in academic journals, also known as scholarly journals or peer-reviewed journals.  All of these names indicate that the article was written by an expert in that field.  

Time for a mini-quiz: 

Articles in JSTOR are considered to be scholarly because they are:

JSTOR - What's it good for?

JSTOR covers a wide range of disciplines, including Art, Music, Theater, Literature, History, and a host of other areas.  We'll learn how to focus on specific disciplines later in this tutorial.  

Searching JSTOR - The Basics

From this screen, use JSTOR to find articles on your topic.  Type Allen Ginsberg in the first search box, and hippies in the second box, and then click enter.

(Note - is the image too small?  Click on it for a larger image)

Allen Ginsberg and Hippies

After you click Search, you'll get your search results.  This search indicates that there were 465 search results.  JSTOR Search results for Allen Ginsburg and Hippies  

Now it's your turn.  Do a search for "Alcohol" on the first line, and "prohibition" on the second. 

Searching JSTOR - Limit your results

As you can see, you can get a lot of search hits in JSTOR, almost as many as Google.  Let's look at ways to reduce the number (because you don't want to read 7000 articles, now do you?).  

Limit by Type of Source, Date, and Subject Area

Starting from the search results, limit your search to "Articles" (Note: we have access to only a few books, and they are really old - this database is best for searching articles) 

Then limit to a date range - ten years back is a good time frame to get articles that are reasonably current.

JSTOR Article Dates Limits

Next narrow your results by Discipline:

JSTOR Discipline selection

Then click the "Search" button at the top and bottom of the page. 

Quiz time:  Limiting your search to "American Studies" and "Language and Literature," how many results did you get?

Viewing and saving articles

From the results page, click on the title of an article that you want to read.  I've selected the first article from my list of search results (this might be different for your list, since JSTOR constantly uploads new articles).  

Click on the link and it should looks something like this.

JSTOR View Download articles


Help - these article are totally useless!

Results can vary depending on the search term used.  For example, you might be interested in the topic "Reincarnation," but some databases will also use a similar name for the topic, "Transmigration."  

So, remember to try different terms to express your concept.  For example, if you're not finding much using the term "Death Penalty," brainstorm for other terms, such as "Capital Punishment."  

Wrap up

You should now be able to use JSTOR to locate resources for your project.  Let me know if you have any questions - orenick@cod.edu or, we can talk in class.  

At the end of the tutorial, you'll be asked to put in your name (don't worry about the email).  Include your first name, print a copy and bring to class so that you'll get credit for completing it from your instructor.  




Please enter your name and email address to retrieve a copy of your completed quiz.

You can enter multiple email addresses separated by commas. If you are doing this for a class, you may need to enter your instructor's email address also.


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