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Main article: "United States v. Aaron Swartz Aaron Swartz § JSTOR

In late 2010 and early 2011, Internet activist "Aaron Swartz used "MIT's data network to bulk-download a substantial portion of JSTOR's collection of academic journal articles.[19][20] When the bulk-download was discovered, a video camera was placed in the room to film the mysterious visitor and the relevant computer was left untouched. Once video was captured of the visitor, the download was stopped and Swartz identified. Rather than pursue a civil lawsuit against him, in June 2011 they reached a settlement wherein he surrendered the downloaded data.[19][20]

The following month, federal authorities charged Swartz with several ""data theft"-related crimes, including "wire fraud, computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining information from a "protected computer, and recklessly damaging a protected computer.[21][22] Prosecutors in the case claimed that Swartz acted with the intention of making the papers available on "P2P file-sharing sites.[20][23]

Swartz surrendered to authorities, pleaded not guilty to all counts, and was released on $100,000 bail. In September 2012, U.S. attorneys increased the number of charges against Swartz from four to thirteen, with a possible penalty of 35 years in prison and $1 million in fines.[24][25] The case still was pending when Swartz committed "suicide in January 2013.[26] Prosecutors dropped the charges after his death.[27]


The availability of most journals on JSTOR is controlled by a ""moving wall," which is an agreed-upon delay between the current volume of the journal and the latest volume available on JSTOR. This time period is specified by agreement between JSTOR and the publisher of the journal, which usually is three to five years. Publishers may request that the period of a "moving wall" be changed or request discontinuation of coverage. Formerly, publishers also could request that the "moving wall" be changed to a "fixed wall"—a specified date after which JSTOR would not add new volumes to its database. As of November 2010, "fixed wall" agreements were still in effect with three publishers of 29 journals made available online through sites controlled by the publishers.[28]

In 2010, JSTOR started adding current issues of certain journals through its Current Scholarship Program.[29]

Increasing public access[edit]

Beginning September 6, 2011, JSTOR made public domain content freely available to the public.[30][31] This "Early Journal Content" program constitutes about 6% of JSTOR's total content, and includes over 500,000 documents from more than 200 journals that were published before 1923 in the United States, and before 1870 in other countries.[30][31][32] JSTOR stated that it had been working on making this material free for some time. The Swartz controversy and Greg Maxwell's protest "torrent of the same content led JSTOR to "press ahead" with the initiative.[30][31]

In January 2012, JSTOR started a pilot program, "Register & Read," offering limited no-cost access (not "open access) to archived articles for individuals who register for the service. At the conclusion of the pilot, in January 2013, JSTOR expanded Register & Read from an initial 76 publishers to include about 1,200 journals from over 700 publishers.[33] Registered readers may read up to three articles online every two weeks, but may not print or download PDFs.[34]

This is done by placing up to 3 items on a "shelf". The "Shelf" is under "My JSTOR" below "My Profile". The 3 works can then be read online at any time. An item cannot be removed from the shelf until it has been there for 14 days. Removing an old work from the shelf creates space for a new one, but doing so means the old work can no longer be accessed until it is shelved again.

JSTOR is conducting a "pilot program with Wikipedia, whereby established editors are given reading privileges through the Wikipedia Library, as with a university library.[35][36]


In 2012, JSTOR users performed nearly 152 million searches, with more than 113 million article views and 73.5 million article downloads.[5] JSTOR has been used as a resource for linguistics research to investigate trends in language use over time and also to analyze gender differences in scholarly publishing.[37][38]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "About". Ithaka. Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  2. ^ " Site Info". "Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2016-10-03. 
  3. ^ "JSTOR Videos". YouTube. Retrieved 16 December 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "At a glance" (PDF). JSTOR. February 13, 2012. JSTOR 20120213. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Annual Summary" (PDF). JSTOR. 19 March 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  6. ^ "Register and read beta". 
  7. ^ Leitch, Alexander. "Bowen, William Gordon". "Princeton University Press.
  8. ^ "JSTOR, A History" by Roger C. Schonfeld, Princeton University Press, 2003
  9. ^ a b Taylor, John (2001). "JSTOR: An Electronic Archive from 1665". Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London. 55 (1): 179–81. "doi:10.1098/rsnr.2001.0135. JSTOR 532157. 
  10. ^ "About". JSTOR. Retrieved 28 November 2015. 
  11. ^ Data for Research. JSTOR.
  12. ^ JSTOR Plant Science. JSTOR.
  13. ^ Global Plants Initiative. JSTOR.
  14. ^ "A new chapter begins: Books at JSTOR launches". JSTOR. November 12, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Access for alumni". JSTOR. Retrieved December 1, 2012.  (subscription required)
  16. ^ "Individual subscriptions". JSTOR. Retrieved December 1, 2012.  (subscription required)
  17. ^ Every Year, JSTOR Turns Away 150 Million Attempts to Read Journal Articles. The Atlantic. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  18. ^ Lessig on "Aaron's Laws - Law and Justice in a Digital Age". YouTube (2013-02-20). Retrieved on 2014-04-12.
  19. ^ a b "JSTOR Statement: Misuse Incident and Criminal Case". JSTOR. 2011-07-19. 
  20. ^ a b c "Aaron Swartz, Internet Pioneer, Found Dead Amid Prosecutor 'Bullying' In Unconventional Case". The Huffington Post. 2013-01-12. 
  21. ^ Bilton, Nick (July 19, 2011). "Internet activist charged in M.I.T. data theft". Bits Blog, The New York Times. Retrieved December 1, 2012. 
  22. ^ Schwartz, John (July 19, 2011). "Open-Access Advocate Is Arrested for Huge Download". New York Times. Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
  23. ^ Lindsay, Jay (July 19, 2011). "Feds: Harvard fellow hacked millions of papers". "Associated Press. Retrieved July 20, 2011. 
  24. ^ Ortiz, Carmen (2011-07-19). "Alleged Hacker Charged with Stealing over Four Million Documents from MIT Network". The United States Attorney's Office". Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. 
  25. ^ Kravets, David (2012-09-18). "Feds Charge Activist with 13 Felonies for Rogue Downloading of Academic Articles". "Wired. 
  26. ^ "Aaron Swartz, internet freedom activist, dies aged 26", BBC News
  27. ^ "Aaron Swartz's father: He'd be alive today if he was never arrested",
  28. ^ "Moving wall". JSTOR. 
  29. ^ "About current journals". JSTOR. Retrieved December 1, 2012. 
  30. ^ a b c Brown, Laura (September 7, 2011). "JSTOR–free access to early journal content and serving 'unaffiliated' users", JSTOR. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
  31. ^ a b c Rapp, David (2011-09-07). "JSTOR Announces Free Access to 500K Public Domain Journal Articles". Library Journal. 
  32. ^ "Early journal content". JSTOR. Retrieved December 1, 2012. 
  33. ^ Tilsley, Alexandra (January 9, 2013). "Journal Archive Opens Up (Some)". "Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  34. ^ "Register & Read". JSTOR. Retrieved 2015-10-21. 
  35. ^ Orlowitz, Jake; Earley, Patrick (January 25, 2014). "Librarypedia: The Future of Libraries and Wikipedia". The Digital Shift. "Library Journal. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  36. ^ Price, Gary (June 22, 2014). "Wikipedia Library Program Expands With More Accounts From JSTOR, Credo, and Other Database Providers". INFOdocket. "Library Journal. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  37. ^ Shapiro, Fred R. (1998). "A Study in Computer-Assisted Lexicology: Evidence on the Emergence of Hopefully as a Sentence Adverb from the JSTOR Journal Archive and Other Electronic Resources". American Speech. 73 (3): 279–296. "doi:10.2307/455826. JSTOR 455826. 
  38. ^ Wilson, Robin (October 22, 2012). "Scholarly Publishing's Gender Gap". "The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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