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JSTOR, An Online Searchable Archive of Over 1000 Academic Journals, Begins


JSTOR (short for Journal Storage), an online system for archiving academic journals, was founded in 1995.  In 2012 it provided online searchable texts of more than 1000 academic journals to member educational institutions. 

"JSTOR was originally conceived as a solution to one of the problems faced by libraries, especially research and university libraries, due to the increasing number of academic journals in existence. The founder, William G. Bowen, was the president of Princeton University from 1972 to 1988. Most libraries found it prohibitively expensive in terms of cost and space to maintain a comprehensive collection of journals. By digitizing many journal titles, JSTOR allowed libraries to outsource the storage of these journals with the confidence that they would remain available for the long term. Online access and full-text search ability improved access dramatically. JSTOR originally encompassed ten economics and history journals and was initiated in 1995 at seven different library sites. As of November 2010, there were 6,425 participating libraries. JSTOR access was improved based on feedback from these sites and it became a fully searchable index accessible from any ordinary Web browser. Special software was put in place to make pictures and graphs clear and readable.

"With the success of this limited project, Bowen and Kevin Guthrie, then-president of JSTOR, were interested in expanding the number of participating journals. They met with representatives of the Royal Society of London, and an agreement was made to digitize the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society back to its beginning in 1665. The work of adding these volumes to JSTOR was completed by December 2000. As of November 2, 2010, the database contained 1,289 journal titles in 20 collections representing 53 disciplines, and 303,294 individual journal issues, totaling over 38 million pages of text (Wikipedia article on JSTOR, accessed 01-12-2012).

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