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Mary Linden Sepulveda

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Mary Sepulveda

Coordinator of Collection Development, Special Collections & Archives

What is JSTOR?

JSTOR (short for Journal Storage) started as a project to digitized academic journals in a variety of subject areas as a preservation tool for future researchers. 

Unlike most databases, JSTOR starts with the first issue of a journal and does not have access to its most recent publications.  Instead, journal issues are typically added to JSTOR 3 to 5 years after publication in what is referred to as a moving wall. 

How can I set up my search strategy in JSTOR?

To combine search terms:

  • AND combines two search terms producing results that contain both terms (e.g. genocide AND Darfur)
  • OR between two search terms generates results that contain either of the terms (e.g.Kampuchea  OR  Khmer Rouge)
  • NOT excludes one of the terms, which means that the results will include one term, but not the other (genocide NOT politicide)
  • NEAR (choose 5, 10, or 25) locate your search terms within a certain number of words
  • Combine search terms with parentheses  (Kampuchea  OR  Khmer Rouge or Cambodia) and (genocide NOT politicide)
  • Use quotation marks to look for only that specific phrase. For example, a search for “human rights” will generate results with that specific phrase, however a search for human rights will generate results that contain human AND rights somewhere in the article, not necessary side by side.
  • JSTOR’s wildcards allow you to look for multiple versions of a word. ? replaces a single letter (wom?n), while * replaces multiple letters. Example: Global* gives you results which can include the terms, globe, globes, globally, etc.

Searching Advanced JSTOR

Click on the ADVANCED Search tab under the opening dialog box

Advanced Searching: Sample Search

What is My JSTOR?

Register for a MyJSTOR account  (top banner) to:

  • Save citations
  • Email and export saved citations
  • Save and run searches
  • Receive email alerts for saved searches, tracked journals (eToc), and tracked citations


What does JSTOR search?

A full-text search in JSTOR searches the entire article; options include title, caption, author, and abstract. 

How do I specify that my terms are near to each other?

In this search, genocide and Darfur are required to be within 5 words of each other. You can also use near 10, near 25

Am I limited to searching on two rows (fields)?

No, for complex searching you can add up to 5 rows

What are recommended ways to further narrow a search?

  • Limit to content that is available
  • Limit to searching ARTICLES
  • You might also want to limit your search to certain disciplines or even journals. In the example search,  African Studies journals are selected. History and Political Science journals might also be added to the search