Mar 19, 2020

Open-Access JSTOR Materials Accessible to the Public

The online academic resource has long had ebooks and journals available without the need for a login.

Orla MurnaghanEditor-At-Large
Andrew Murphy for The University Times

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly implied that JSTOR had made its database accessible to the public for the first time. In fact, only certain materials from its database are available to the public, and this has been the case for some time. The headline, subheading and body of this article have been updated to reflect this information.

Online academic resource JSTOR has clarified that much of its database is accessible to the public, amid the widespread closure of universities across the world due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The database, frequently used by university students for research and essay work, flagged on Twitter today that it has over 6,000 accessible ebooks and over 150 journals.


The database is also working to expand on the amount of free content available online to students accessing the database through its subscribed universities.

In a statement on its website, JSTOR said that it has “an expanded set of content that is available to institutions where students have been displaced due to COVID-19 through June 30, 2020”.

“We are working with publishers to make more than 20,000 books available at no charge for JSTOR participating academic institutions and secondary schools that do not participate in our books program”, the statement said. “The number of books available through this effort is growing daily as more publishers opt in.”

Cambridge and Oxford have opened the archives of their university presses – which also house online databases – to public access until the end of May, meaning students can access over 700 online textbooks for free.

The news comes following the closure of Trinity’s libraries last week following the outbreak of COVID-19.

On Monday, an email sent to all staff and students stated that all residents must leave Trinity’s accommodation – including campus, Halls, Binary Hub and Kavanagh Court – by 8pm on Tuesday, or if the resident is an international student by 5pm yesterday.

After widespread uproar from students, Trinity rowed back on several of its instructions, widening the criteria and changing its instruction to residents of Binary Hub and Kavanagh Court – privately owned complexes linked to the College – to “strong advice” to leave.

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