For more on this development, see Gary Price’s post on INFOdocket.com.
The archives of more than 1,200 journals are now available for limited free reading by the public, JSTOR announced today. Anyone can sign up for a JSTOR account and read up to three articles for free every two weeks.
This is a major expansion of the Register & Read program, following a 10-month test, during which more than 150,000 people registered for access to an initial set of 76 journals. The new additions bring more than 4.5 million articles from nearly 800 scholarly societies, university presses, and academic publishers into the Register & Read offerings.
“Our goal is for everyone around the world to be able to use the content we have put online and are preserving,” said Laura Brown, JSTOR Managing Director. “We have a deep commitment to test new approaches that expand access, while also sustaining the JSTOR online library and preserving this content long into the future. Register & Read is still an experiment for us, but we are thrilled by its initial success and are excited about this next step in its development.”
The move follows others designed to increase access to JSTOR and other scholarly content for the unaffiliated: JSTOR already offers free access to public domain journal content, as well as free access for Wikipedia’s top 100 editors, and an alumni access program. Meanwhile, SAGE is offering alumni access at no additional charge. Udini, ProQuest’s solution for individual access, is also targeting the alumni audience.
Some have expressed concerns about Register & Read, on the scores of privacy and accessibility. JSTOR’s vice president of marketing and communications, Heidi McGregor, tells LJ that accessibility is not a concern: a screen reader will pick up text that asks visually impaired uses to contact JSTOR for a readable copy. McGregor also says JSTOR does not store any credit card information or sell personal information to anyone.