Online digital library JSTOR now offering free (but limited) access to everyone


JSTOR, an online digital library filled with quality academic papers, journals, and books, is now offering free access to everyone through their newly announced ‘Register & Read Program’.

Registering for an account to access JSTOR is known to be very expensive, and even then accounts are usually restricted to libraries and other academic institutions such as universities. The Register & Read Program allows anyone to simply create an account on the website, and be granted the ability to read 3 items every 14 days.

This works through their “shelf” system — every time you add a book or journal to your shelf, you’ll only be able to remove that item from your shelf after 14 days. While it might sound restrictive at first, take note that these are not short single articles, but very substantial pieces of literature so the need to borrow more than that might be for those who already have access to a full account.

In exchange for letting you read content for free, the personal details that you enter when you register is shared with JSTOR and its partners so that they can gain better insight as to who’s reading what material on the site. It’s a great deal, and if you’re a student at the moment, you should definitely take advantage.

For those interested, register for an account at the link below!

JSTOR registration page

[via The Verge]

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  • Coyote

    It’s instances like this that I realize the internet is not as advanced as it should be. JSTOR is not an online “library”, a library contains physical copies of books that are limited and require care. This is a online database that could be shared with every single man woman and child, at no extra effort or worry of lost books. Why is there a limit on books you can check out? DO they still not grasp the concept of a digital copy? And like Enrique said 100+ year old source material, shouldn’t that be public domain now?

    It was JSTOR and these archaic laws that made Arron Swartz kill himself.

    I understand the need to make money, but yeesh, fleecing the public for century old info is ridiculous. There’s also the point to be made that most authors would like their aritcles read, referenced, or heck just known about. But with gated systems like this, it requires months of paperwork and red tape to even have your name listed. And yet if someone reads your article before it’s published… that’s a felony.

  • Enrique

    @steve: Hundred year old sources aren’t so bad I guess! Haha. Yeah, it’s better than no access at all, that’s for sure :) Plus even the summaries can be pretty useful.

  • steve

    I see. Here’s the info page
    If you go to “Advanced Search” you can narrow search results to “Include only content I can access.” Unfortunately you won’t be able to get anny thing current. Still a pretty cool find though. :) As a test-search, I looked for “school psychology” and the first article that popped up was, “Some Aspects of the Development of Comparative Psychology” …. It’s from May 13, 1904 !!! Hee hee.

  • Frank D

    @steve: Yes, I’ve accessed a full article, after having gone through the steps of registration and some trial-and-error.

  • Enrique

    @riya: It’s limited but it’s free for life supposedly :)

  • Enrique

    @steve: I haven’t tried it yet but you should be. Maybe it might have to do with the particular book or article?

  • riya

    This will be useful to me :) Is it free for a year or lifetime?

  • steve

    Have you accessed any full articles or books?
    I’m only getting to the “You are viewing a summary” pages.

  • Enrique

    @Frank D: Thank Ashraf on this one, he pointed it out to me. I’ll be registering as well! :)

  • Frank D

    @Enrique: Excellent find! I’ve registered. Thank you.