Sunday, October 25, 2015


JSTOR's logo. JSTOR stands for "Journal Storage."
Want to impress your professor by using scholarly sources for your paper or project? Including articles from the JSTOR database in your research could do just that!

JSTOR indexes thousands of scholarly publications, especially in the humanities, social sciences, and life sciences. JSTOR also provides millions of pages of full-text, including primary source documents and books as well as journal articles, some written well over a century ago.*

Are you still trying to decide the specific topic for your paper or report? By searching a general topic in JSTOR, you are likely to discover all sorts of more specific topics that you can pursue.

For example, suppose the anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt has just passed (it was fought on October 25, 1415) and you decide to write about Shakespeare's play Henry V, which features the English king's surprising victory over the French. But what exactly about this play would you write? JSTOR includes so many different takes on Henry V, it might be difficult to choose!**

Suppose you have an assignment to write a book review. JSTOR has thousands of book reviews to serve as models for writing one. In fact, JSTOR has a box that you can check to limit search results just to reviews (illustrated in the example below)!

This search filter can come in handy for other types of reviews as well. For example, perhaps for a paper on a play the information sources required by your professor include a review of an actual performance of that play. JSTOR is very likely to have reviews of several different productions of the play (as long as it debuted more than five years ago).*

Searching JSTOR:

From the library home page at, find the FOR STUDENTS menu on the left.  There, click on A-Z List of Databases.

1.  At the Alphabetical list of database titles, click on the J.
2.  Click on the JSTOR link. (If off campus, you will then need to log in.)
3.  Below the search box that appears, click on the Advanced Search link.

This search finds reviews of the book The Puritan Dilemma by noted historian Edmund S. Morgan.                                        

4.  Enter search terms in the search boxes that appear.
5.  From the drop down menu to the right of each search box, select the field in which each search term will be searched.  The default field, “Full-Text,” often yields useful search results.
6.  To add search boxes, click on the ADD FIELD + button below the last search box.
7.  Narrow by item types, such as articles, by clicking on the appropriate check boxes.
8.  Narrowing the search further by date, language, etc. is usually unnecessary.  When you are ready to execute your search, click on the Search button.

For more information on searching JSTOR, please feel free to consult with an ACC librarian. JSTOR also offers excellent guidance. JSTOR's tutorials include basic and advanced searching techniques, sorting and reviewing search results, and using JSTOR on a mobile device. Have fun exploring the wealth of scholarly resources JSTOR offers!


* Full-text coverage in JSTOR varies from publication to publication.  For most periodicals, an embargo on the most recent five years of articles is in effect.  That is, JSTOR often indexes a periodical up to the present without providing full-text to the periodical’s most recent five years of articles. For more recent articles, you may wish to search some of the other great databases that ACC's libraries provide.
                       Is this a rabbit, or a duck?

** Some articles that JSTOR has indexed are seminal works in a particular scholarly area of interest, such as Norman Rabkin's highly influential "Rabbits, Ducks, and Henry V," which discusses Shakespeare's ambiguous portrayal of the English king.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

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