JSTOR Quick Start

JSTOR is database that contains scholarly articles from all different disciplines and subject areas. The full-text content goes back to the first volume of each journal – in some cases, to the 1800s. However, the most recent articles are often unavailable.

The steps and illustrations displayed below show how to access and do a basic search for journal articles using the JSTOR  research database via the Empire State College library.


Before You Begin
If you are unfamiliar with accessing the college’s research databases or entering your College login, review the “Access” quick start tutorial.

To Access JSTOR

  • Go to library’s home page at http://www.esc.edu/library.
  • Under Journals & Articles, click the link for Resources “by title”
  • Scroll down the list of databases and click the link for JSTOR
  • Enter your College username and password.
  • Across the top are tabs. The three tabs that are useful for research are SEARCH, BROWSE, and MyJSTOR.



If you click BROWSE, you will be taken to Browse By Discipline. This allows you to view a list of subject disciplines and see what journals have content that falls within that discipline. Simply click on a subject discipline to see the list of relevant journal titles. If you click on one of these titles, you will see information about the journal, plus links to volumes of the journal. By clicking those links, you will be able to view the articles within a particular volume and issue of a journal.

At the top of the Browse page, there is also a tab for Browse by Title. This allows you to view an alphabetical list of journals.



If you click SEARCH, you will be taken to the Basic Search screen. There is a search box at the top, and a menu of disciplines/subject areas at the bottom. JSTOR has articles on all topics, so you will usually get more relevant results if you narrow your search down to one or two disciplines. You can select two or more disciplines by holding down your Ctrl key while clicking (if you’re using an Apple computer, it’s the Command key.) Now you can search by author, title, or keywords.

There is also a tab at the top for Advanced Search. This allows you to specify a language, publication date range, and type of document. It also has three search boxes, each with a pull-down menu next to it. The pull-down menu lets you tell the database where to search for your keyword – in the title, author name, the abstract (description of the article,) or full text.

Finally, there is a tab at the top for Citation Locator. This is the option to use if you know the article you want. You enter in what information you have – item title (that’s the article) and author, and you select the journal it’s in. Then the database takes you right to that article.



Once you do a search, you will get a results list that looks like this:


  • You can use the Next and Previous links to view the whole list of results
  • You can use the Sort By menu to re-order the results in order of publication date.
  • The title, underlined and in red, is a link to the first page of the article. (You can page through and read the rest that way if you choose.)

Underneath that are other options:

  • Item Information gives you the information you need to make a bibliography or footnote
  • Page of First Match brings you to the first page of the article, and you can read the article by clicking arrows that take you to subsequent pages
  • PDF is the link to the article as a PDF file which can be saved or printed (more on that later)
  • Export Citation allows you to send the information to your citation management software (ie EndNote)

Viewing the article

All JSTOR articles require Adobe Reader or similar PDF reader software. Adobe is free and available to download here.

If you click the PDF link for the article, JSTOR will pop up a Terms and Conditions message. Just click OK.

Your article will display in a new window. From there, you can save it to your computer or a thumb drive, or print it using the icons at the top left of the window.


MyJSTOR is optional, but you will need to get a MyJSTOR account if you want to

  • use EndNote with JSTOR
  • Save and e-mail lists of citations

Just click the red Register link and enter the information it asks for. From then on, you will be able to log in at the MyJSTOR tab using that username and password.

If you have trouble with MyJSTOR, the Online Library and the TechInfo helpdesk will not be able to help you. You will have to contact JSTOR support.


GO BACK > Help and How Tos > Database Quick Starts


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