June 08, 2009

Online database JSTOR now available to alumni

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Saluki spirit of cooperation is historic at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and once again, it’s paying off.

Morris Library and the SIU Alumni Association have teamed up to now offer association members around the country access to JSTOR, an important library information source. JSTOR is a nonprofit digital online database carrying the complete archived texts of numerous scholarly journals.

“We are very excited about offering this tremendous resource to our alumni,” said David H. Carlson, dean of library affairs. “It brings one of the premier full-text databases to the fingertips of our alumni and offers them high-quality information not available elsewhere. SIU alums can access JSTOR anywhere in the country after registering on the Alumni Association Web site.”

JSTOR, whose name is in reference to “journal storage”, allows users to log in and type in a research topic, much like they would with popular Internet search engines, and be able to access related text dating back to the beginning of the printed material’s life. For instance, you can find the 1665 publication of “Philosophical Transactions” or articles from “Science” dating from its creation in the 1880s up to a few years ago. Publishers typically retain access to the most recent issues of their works for a specified time period. According to JSTOR’s Web site, the resource offers access to more than 4.5 million articles. The archive recorded more than 22 million JSTOR searches in the first two months of this year.

The Andrew W. Melon Foundation created JSTOR in 1997 and the archives host more than 450 publishers and 900 academic journals. There are thousands of subscribers, including Morris Library. Just a handful of institutions of higher learning, including SIUC, Columbia, Duke and the University of London, are able to participate in the pilot program allowing alumni access to JSTOR resources, officials said.

SIU Alumni Association members can access JSTOR through the association’s benefit page, online at www.siualumni.com/benefits and then following the links for JSTOR.