Anyone in academia or who has had a brush with academia knows about JSTOR, the nearly two-decades old digital library of academic journals. God knows this longtime student is quite familiar with it. It’s notoriously closed off and expensive for those in academia to access, but its launching a new program to try to fix that. A little.
JSTOR is opening up their Register & Read program to the public after nearly a year-long pilot program which saw 150,000 participants.
Register & Read allows anyone (truly anyone) to gain access to JSTOR’s archive – but in a limited fashion. Subscribers are allowed to read up to three articles every two weeks for free. Note I said read, not download or copy.
As of today, the Register & Read program contains approximately 1,200 journals from over 700 publishers. “his includes content from the first volume and issue published for these journals through a recent year (generally 3-5 years ago),” says JSTOR
“Register & Read Beta…offers free, read-online access to individual scholars and researchers who register for a MyJSTOR account. Register & Read follows the release of the Early Journal Content as the next step in our efforts to find sustainable ways to extend access to JSTOR, specifically to those not affiliated with participating institutions.”
You’ll have to give up some personal info to signup for Register & Read (the ‘register’ part), including institutional affiliations and fields of study – data the publishers could find tasty.
“The fact that we’re able to gather data and help to understand who might be using the content and where interest might be can help [publishers] identify opportunities for building subscribers or membership or reaching new authors,” said Heidi McGregor, VP of marketing for the nonprofit that runs JSTOR told Inside Higher Ed.