JSTOR Update on the Recent Interface Changes

On August 21, 2010, JSTOR released a new interface. One feature of this new interface, the ability for any user to submit a search against all JSTOR content, drew strong reactions from many in the library community. The key concern expressed was that JSTOR users at participating institutions with a subset of JSTOR collections could get search results pointing to content they could not access, and that JSTOR had not yet enabled OpenURL for all articles, making it difficult for libraries to use link resolvers to re-direct users to other copies of the articles that might be available to them.

In response, JSTOR will issue an update to the interface changes released in August. This update is scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday, September 2. Beginning tomorrow, the default option for authenticated users on all search forms will be to search licensed content only. Authenticated users include users on campus or users logged in via a remote access option. Our reason for taking this step is to reduce any potential frustration for authenticated users until we can extend support for OpenURL linking throughout the platform, at which point librarians will be able to direct their users to alternative options for accessing content not licensed through JSTOR.

How will this work?

  • For authorized users at participating institutions, the checkbox for “Include only content I can access” on the Advanced Search form will be selected by default. Individual users will be able to deselect the checkbox if they wish to search across all content.
  • Other JSTOR search forms (the new basic search box on each page, the Citation Locator, and search within a journal) will also default to searching only licensed content.
  • After receiving search results for any search, any user may still elect to view all results for all content including unlicensed content.

Please note: Access requests from unauthenticated users (those who are not affiliated with a participating institution, or those we cannot recognize as authorized users because they are not logged in via a remote access option) will return results for all content. We will continue to provide login prompts and information about other access options to these users. Because users have indicated a strong desire to be able to see and explore comprehensively what is in the JSTOR archive, all content will be available for all users who browse the JSTOR content.

Please also note that it may take up to 24 hours for all users to see these changes.

We appreciate the comments we’ve received from librarians and users alike about the platform update. We will continue to listen to your input and feedback as we work to balance the interests and needs of all JSTOR constituents—users, librarians and publishers. We encourage you to contact JSTOR User Support with questions or comments.

Sincerely,
Kristen Garlock
Associate Director, Education & Outreach – JSTOR

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