Monday, October 3, 2011

Research Archive Widens Its Public Access—a Bit


JStor, an organization that maintains a database of academic journal articles, is making about 6 percent of its content available to the public for free—articles that were published prior to 1923 in the United States or before 1870 in other countries. It's a small step, but it's an important one, because it is a recognition by JStor that it should make its stockpile of academic knowledge more broadly accessible.
But to use JStor freely, a reader has had to be part of an institution with a subscription to the database—such organizations include universities, colleges, public libraries, museums, and even some high schools (with some exceptions: access to JStor has been free for users in Africa since 2006 and in other poor parts of the world since 2008).

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