Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

JSTOR Makes Early Journal Content Free

Yowza! In a stunning triumph for open access and the free dissemination of works in the public domain, JSTOR announced this morning that all its out-of-copyright journal articles have been made freely available worldwide.

We encourage broad use of the Early Journal Content, including the ability to reuse it for non-commercial purposes. We ask that you acknowledge JSTOR as the source of the content and provide a link back to our site. Please also be considerate of other users and do not use robots or other devices to systematically download these works as this may be disruptive to our systems.

We also have Aaron Swartz to thank for this, I think. So thank you, Aaron Swartz. (Also: U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Carmen M. Ortiz, what does this do to your case against Mr. Swartz, I wonder?)

Updated to add:
From JSTOR's FAQ section:

Did you do this in reaction to the Swartz and Maxwell situations?
Making the Early Journal Content freely available is something we have planned to do for some time. It is not a direct reaction to the Swartz and Maxwell situation, but recent events did have an impact on our planning. We considered carefully whether to accelerate or delay going ahead with our plans, largely out of concern that people might draw incorrect conclusions about our motivations. We also have taken into account that many people care deeply about these issues. In the end, we decided to press ahead with our plans to make the Early Journal Content available, which we believe is in the best interest of the individuals we are trying to serve and our library and publisher partners.

6 Comments / Post A Comment

GiovanniGF (#224)

This shouldn't affect the case against Swarz, as it doesn't have anything to do with copyright (as much as his defenders claim it does). Here is a great analysis of the case that cuts through the hyperbole:

camelface (#4,600)

I read through all of the Early Journal Content on my lunch break just now, there is some pretty cool stuff but for the most part it isn't even worth looking at.

Tulletilsynet (#333)

I guess all those 1860s articles by Mommsen in Hermes were kind of old hat?

Smitros (#5,315)

This will be a national holiday in Geekistan.

squarefish (#5,744)

When I first got to college, I remember being told by a professor early on to use "JSTOR" as a source for research, without any explanation of what it actually was. The thing was, I found out about "J Date" from a dorm mate over a week before this, so I can't help but think of one when seeing something about the other.

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