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Research Guides

Database Tutorials



Basic Searching

You will automatically be brought to the Basic Searching page if you get to JSTOR from anywhere on our websites or directly through If you're just looking to browse articles on your topic without much concern for specificity, you may want to use the Basic Search function. The Basic Search page looks like this:

JSTOR Basic Search screenshot

  • Type your search terms into the text box
  • From here, the only ways you can limit your results are by selecting one of the options in the dropdown menu that will appear once you start typing:

JSTOR Basic Search dropdown menu

  • You can either select one of the options below - if you want the author of the article to have the word "george" in it, or the title, or the publication name.
  • Or you can just click the teal Search button and it will search for your terms in the full text.
  • JSTOR will also show you how many articles will appear in your results (in gray to the right of your search term, in this case there are 1.8 million results for "george"), so you can determine quickly if you're going to need to limit your results


Advanced Searching

In advanced searching, you are given more ability to pinpoint exactly the kinds of articles you would like to see in your results. To get to Advanced Searching from Basic Searching, click on the "Advanced Search" tab in the top left of your screen or beneath the search box in the basic search. Your screen will then look like this:

JSTOR Advanced Search screenshot

  • In order to search author’s name, title, abstract, or caption, use the dropdown menu by the search box to select the appropriate field.
    • If you do not choose an option from this menu, the database will automatically search your term in all the article citation fields, including the abstract (but not the full-text)
  • To broaden or narrow your search results, use the ‘AND’ dropdown menus before the 2nd text box
    • There will be six options: AND (which is automatically chosen), OR, NOT, NEAR 5, NEAR 10, & NEAR 25
    • AND: will only display results that include both/all the search terms
    • OR: will display all results with either/any of the search terms
    • NOT: will display results with the previous search terms, but will leave out results that include the following search term
    • NEAR: will display results where your search terms appear within either 5, 10, or 25 words of each other. This is a good option if you've been trying to search and have been finding irrelevant results but don't want to put your search terms in quotation marks (See more search tips like this a little below)
  • If you need more than the two provided text boxes for search terms, click the plus button that says "Add a search box" and use as normal
  • Before you search, you can limit your results by scrolling to the boxes at the bottom of the screen:
    • You can limit by access type (either articles you have access to, or everything in JSTOR), item type, language, publication date, journal or book title, ISBN, or discipline
    • Check the boxes or click the options in the lists that you would like to limit by
    • This is optional - all of these filters will appear again on your result page (see below)
  • When you are ready, click the teal "Search" button
Searching Tips!
  • Not sure which word ending to use?
    • Attach an * to the base of your term, and the database will search for words that start with that string of letter, regardless of what the ending is.
    • Example: searching for feminis* will pull results for both "feminist" and "feminism", but not things like "feminine", which is missing the "s".
  • Want to search for alternate spellings of a word?
    • You can find words with spellings similar to your search term by using the tilde (~) symbol at the end of a search term.
    • Example: dostoyevsky~ will return dostoyevsky, dostoievski, dostoevsky, dostoyevski, dostoevskii, dostoevski, etc.
    • Note: doing this will bring back a lot of results. It's best to narrow this search by author, title, abstract, or caption.
  • Want to search for an entire phrase? 
    • Surround your phrase with " ", and the database will search for those words in that order without anything in between
    • Example: "critical feminist theory" will return results JUST with those exact words in that exact order. So you won't get results that are something along the lines of "Feminists are critical of X theory".



Limiting and Reading Results

Once you click the search button, you will get a list of resources, which will look like the image below:

JSTOR Results page screenshot

From here, you can:

  • Limit the results showing by clicking on the boxes on the left side of the screen that are below the "Refine Results" label
    • In this list, you can narrow your results based on content type, publication date, and subject
      • In parentheses next to each option is the number of resources that will appear if you limit by that particular thing
      • For example, above, if you limit your search by the subject "Art & Art History", there will only be 65 results
    • To undo that action, simply uncheck the box next to the option you chose
  • Change your search terms
    • Add or delete or modify terms in your search string at the top of the page
  • Find Full-Text of the article (more on that below)
  • Click into the resource's record to find more information



Reading a Detailed Record

If you click on an item to see more information, you'll get a page that looks like this:

JSTOR Item Record screenshot

In this view, you can find your basic citation information (title, author, journal, publication date, page numbers) right up at the top of your page. 

In this view you'll see all kinds of information about your resource:

  • Source Type: what kind of source you are looking at - this is not labeled explicitly, but the very first piece of information at the top of the page (in this case "Journal Article") will tell you what kind of source it is
  • Title
  • Author: who wrote the article/book. You can click on this name and see all the other articles written by this person (that are in this database).
  • Publication title, Volume, Issue, Pages, Number of pages, etc. etc.: your citation information is here at the top of your page, and the information will change depending on what kind of resource you've got. In this case, we are looking at an article, so here is listed the name of the Journal, volume number, issue number, the date it was published, and page numbers
  • Stable URL: this is the URL that will always exist to bring you back to that exact page. This is good for when you don't have the time to write down a whole citation or download the article. Copy and paste that link to save for later. 
    • Note: if you try to use the url at the top of your browser, you will probably get an error results because that URL is uniquely created based on the search you just did. Your computer won't know how to read or bring up that URL again.
  • Publisher: the institution or company that put that journal out into the world. This is a link - if you click on it, you can see all the journals that publisher has published and are in JSTOR, along with a description.
  • Other information: things like ISSN numbers, DOI links, etc. These will change depending on the kind of information the database can pull from the source.
  • Topics: words that describe what the article is about. These are all links, so if you click on one of the terms, the database will automatically create a search for that term as a subject term and return all the other items that have that same subject term.
  • References and Abstract: sometimes JSTOR can pull out the abstract (a short summary provided by the author) of the article and the list of items cited, and these are grouped together
    • Both of these are a little hidden, you have to scroll down to the tabs half way down the page
    • Click on References
    • The abstract and/or bibliography will be there if they are available. 

From this screen you can:

  • Find the Full-Text: more below on Full-Text, but there will be a WebBridge, Read Online, or Download PDF button you can click on
  • Cite the article:
    • simply click the button on the right that says Cite, and a box will pop out in the middle of your screen.
    • Look through the list to find the citation style you need.
    • Click the "copy" button and then paste into your document.
    • For more information on citing articles, see below.
  • Share with social media (or email): click on the corresponding icon beneath "Journal Information" for which way you'd like to share this article with your friends
  • Start reading your article: JSTOR has embedded images of the pages of their articles. If you don't want to commit to downloading the whole thing, you can start reading here. Or you can read the whole thing here if that suits your fancy.



For more help with Searching, click on the links below:

Getting Full-Text

When looking for full articles in JSTOR, always look for either the WebBridge or Download PDF buttons, which look like this:

WebBridge Link OR JSTOR Download PDF idon

So when in doubt, look for either of these and you'll get your article. There are a few ways to get the full article you are looking for, and a few different screens you can do it from.


From the Results List

From the search results page, you can see if you can download a PDF or not. If you can see the full text and download the article, the button will be in teal. If you cannot, it'll be greyed out and you won't be able to click on it. Here's what it looks like if you can download the PDF:

JSTOR download PDF from results screenshot

HOWEVER! Even if you cannot download the PDF, you may still be able to read the article! But you do have to click on the article title to see your options from the detailed record!


From the Detailed Record

You can also find the full text of an article from the full item record. From the results page, if you click on the title of the resource you want to look at, there will be a link in the top right of the screen for full text. 

If we have access to this article through JSTOR, your page will look like this:

JSTOR download PDF from record screenshot

  • Simply click on the "Download PDF button" to download
  • Or, you can scroll down and there will be images of your article that you can read from this page. Use the arrow button on either side of the page to navigate forward or backward through the article.
If we do NOT have access to this article through JSTOR, your page will look like this:

JSTOR WebBridge screenshot

  • DO NOT CLICK the Download and Subscribe buttons on the top right!! Don't do it!!!!!! 
  • You may be able to read this article online for free - click the "Read Online" button to do that
  • FOR FULL TEXT - scroll down to the box that says "You may have other access options through Saint Anselm College" with the WebBridge button. Click it!



Using WebBridge

WebBridge is an application we use here in Geisel Library when articles are not available in full text in the database you searched. This means we either have access to said article in another database, we have it in print in the library, or we don't have access to it at all and you'll have to use Interlibrary Loan to get it.

When you click on the WebBridge link, one of three things will be displayed.

  1. a list of databases where the article can be found in full,
  2. instructions on how to find the print text in the library, or
  3. a link to Interlibrary Loan if we have no access to this article online or in print.
If Geisel Library has the article in full in another database

Your screen will look like this:

WebBridge Other Databases Available Screenshot

To see the full text of this article, simply click on the link to one of the databases shown, and you will automatically be taken to the article in full in that database.

If Geisel Library has the article in print

Your screen will look like this:

WebBridge journal in print screenshot

Click on the "Check here for Location" link provided, and you'll be brought to the library catalog, where you can see where in the building the title you're looking for lives, and what volumes (if it's a journal article) we own. That page will look like this:

Library Catalog record screenshot


You will have to come into the library itself to retrieve these items. If you can't find what you're looking for, feel free to ask someone at the Reference or Periodicals Desk for help. We're happy to assist!

If Geisel Library does not have access at all

Fear not! You can still get said article! Your screen will look like this:

WebBridge InterLibrary Loan screenshot

If this is your screen, simply click on the "Geisel Library Interlibrary Loan (ILL)" link. You will be redirected automatically to a login page for ILL, which will look like this:

ILL Login

Type in your SAC Username (the first half of your email address, before the @), and then your password is your student ID number (including the beginning letter, probably an S). Once you login, WebBridge will fill in all the information you need about the article, so you will be shown a screen that looks like this:

ILL Request screenshotSimply click the "Submit Request" button at the bottom of the screen (you may have to scroll down), and you're all set! You should receive an email from our Interlibrary Loan Office that explains where you can retrieve your article when it is available. If you have any other questions about Interlibrary Loan, feel free to look through our ILL page, or you can contact the ILL Office directly.


Citing a Resource

You can cite from either the Results page or when you are looking at the article itself. In both cases, click on the "Cite this Item" button.

From the results page, it will look like this:

JSTOR Cite from results page screenshot


From the article information, it will look like this:

JSTOR Cite from article record screenshot


When you click on that button (from either location), a box will pop up in the middle of your screen, and will display citations for your article in MLA, APA, and Chicago (Notes-Bibliography): 

JSTOR Citations screenshot

  • Click on the "Copy" button to the right of the style citation you need
  • Paste into your bibliography document

You can also export the citation to your favorite bibliographic management application by using the links at the bottom of the box.

NOTE: Double check the citation to make sure the information and formatting is correct!!! Our databases pull information automatically from places it thinks the information should be and may not be able to format it correctly. Always always check the citation given to you by the database against the regulations given in the respective handbook for your citation style.

If you have any questions about citing sources, you can check out our Research Guide on the topic.

Saving Articles for Later

1.) Create a JSTOR Account

  • Click on the "Register" link at the top right side of the screen
  • Fill out the information on the next page, which will look like this:

JSTOR register for an account screenshot

  • Click "Register"
  • Congratulations! You now have a JSTOR account!

2.) Create a list

  • Hover your mouse over your name in the top right:

JSTOR screenshot hovering over name

  • Click on "My Lists", which will bring up this screen:

JSTOR My Lists screenshot

  • Click the "Create New List" button
  • Give your list a title, then click "Create"
    • You can now give your list a description if you like, or just click "Save"
  • You can do this step once you've done a search, too!

3.) Search as normal

4.) Save an article to your list

You can do this from the results page or the item record page.

  • Click on "Add to My Lists" next to the article information: JSTOR Add to My Lists link screenshot
  • A box will popup on your screen that looks like this:

JSTOR Add to My Lists popup screenshot

  • Either select the list you've already created or at the bottom of that box, create a new list by typing in a name and clicking "Create"
  • Tada! You did it! You saved an article to your list!

5.) See your lists again

  • Hover over your name in the top right again
  • Click on "My Lists"
  • Click on the list you'd like to see
  • All the articles you've saved in there will appear! Hooray! Your page will look like this:

JSTOR My Lists screenshot

  • You can add notes, cite, or delete your articles (from the list, not from the database entirely)