Finding, Using, and Sharing Scholarly Content

The speakers for this session were Beth LaPensee of JSTOR and Alice Preston from Ithaka.

JSTOR is currently in the process of doing a major site redesign, and Beth LaPensee gave an overview of some of the changes that might (emphasis on the word might; this is still a work in progress) be included in the final version, which will be released sometime next year. Some of the more notable changes that she mentioned include:

  • The ability to limit searches to journals within a specific discipline from the basic search page.
  • The option to rerun previous searches within a session.
  • An auto-complete feature when searching by journal title.
  • The ability to search at any point while browsing; i.e., there will be a box on all of the browse pages that will allow you to search within a specific journal or issue of a journal that you have browsed to, without having to navigate back to the search page.
  • The main page for browsing a journal will be combined with the information page for that journal.
  • On the combined information page/browse page for each journal, there will be options for accessing the journal’s content for people who do not subscribe to JSTOR, such as “Publisher Sales Service” (a.k.a. article pay-per-view).
  • Citation linking and related articles linking.
  • Article-level links out of JSTOR to journal content that is on the wrong side of their moving wall.
  • Faceted searching (which is already available in the JSTOR Sandbox).
  • The ability to adjust the relative importance of keywords in your searches by using graphical sliders next to each keyword.
  • MyJSTOR, which will include things like the ability to save searches; notification of new results for searches; and the ability to save a list of favorite journals and favorite disciplines, which will be used as the default for your searches.

Alice Preston talked about Aluka, another project from Ithaka. Aluka is a digital library of material about Africa. It currently contains 20 terabytes of data, including high-resolution specimen sheets of African plants that can be zoomed in on to the microscopic level, photographs and laser scans of endangered cultural heritage sites, and digitized original source materials from southern Africa’s liberation movements.

JSTOR subscribers have a free preview of Aluka until the end of the year—it’s a link at the top of the JSTOR home page. Aluka will be offered free of charge to institutions in Africa, and Ithaka hopes that when Aluka is formally launched that enough institutions in the developed world will subscribe to Aluka to subsidize that free access for Africa.