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JSTOR Search Tips   Tags: databases, help, how-to  

Search and result tips to help you get the most out of JSTOR
Last Updated: May 11, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Access JSTOR

  • JSTOR  
    Multi-disciplinary collection of over 3.4 million full-text scholarly articles.

Avoid Frustration

JSTOR is a full-text database. JSTOR finds and retrieves all articles that include the keywords you type into the search box. This means you may need to use some of the advanced search functions described below to get the results you want. View the  detailed (aka advanced) search functions page to view all of the options in one place.

"quotation marks" - around a group of words will retrieve articles with that exact phrase

AND - between two keywords will narrow/reduce number of articles found

OR - between two keywords will expand/increase number of articles found

NOT - between two keywords will exclude all articles containing the second keyword

? - use a question mark in place of a letter to find alternative spelling (ex: wom?n)

* - use an asterisk in place of many letters to find word variants (ex: behavio*)

# - use number sign at end of word to find related variants (ex: goose# finds goose, geese, and gosling)


Exclude Book Reviews

JSTOR includes full length articles, book reviews, opinion pieces, and other types of content. Typing ty:fla after you search words will only retrieve full length articles. 

Searching for...

Full Length Article limit  

will retrieve only full length articles with the phrase organizational change.

Alternatively, you can exclude full length articles and retrieve other document types by typing the following after your search words:

Retrieve ONLY book reviews by using ty:brv
Retrieve ONLY opinion pieces by using ty:edi


Increase Keyword Relevance

Increase keyword relevance in your results by using the ^ symbol (Shift-6) followed by a number to increase importance. 

Searching for...

Increasing term relevance

gives the the word democracy five times more importance in an article than the word independence


Proximity Searching

Use the ~ (tilde) followed by a number to find words within close proximity to each other.

Searching for...

Proximity searching

will retrieve articles where the words postcolonial and india occur within 5 words of each other. Adding ty:fla retrieves only full length articles and excludes book reviews.

Alternatively, you can use Advanced Search and choose the NEAR 5, NEAR 10, or NEAR 25 option from the dropdown box between words and check the Article box under Narrow by.

Proximity searching using Advanced Search 


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