JSTOR Database Tutorial

JSTOR Database Tutorial


This tutorial will teach you how to use the library database JSTOR. JSTOR is a database focusing on history
and the humanities. The humanities includes a lot
of different things, which we’ll discuss more later. One key feature of JSTOR is that when it includes a publication –
either a magazine or a journal – it includes every issue
of that publication all the way back to the first one. Sometimes there is a delay on the newest issues being available online, but having access to all issues from the start makes it very useful for historical research. To get to it, you’re gonna go to the Library tab in myHeartland, and then look for the box that’s labelled Article Databases. The databases in this box
are in alphabetical order, so to find JSTOR you’ll just scroll down to the Js and click on its title. Once you’re in JSTOR, um, from the library tab, it’ll show you these two search boxes, and then a button where you can add another search box if you need one, and then below that there will be many other search options that you could choose to use. All of these search options will also be available to you on the results screen after you’ve typed in keywords
and hit search, and if you’re just starting out it might be a good idea to leave them blank here, and then just use them on the next screen after you’ve gotten your initial results, just to make sure you don’t miss anything. So, we’ll start out by typing some keywords in these boxes, and we can tell the database how
to combine them using the words in this dropbox, AND, OR, and NOT, if we want to make sure all our words are included we’ll leave it on AND and we’ll search for our example topic which is Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam. Don’t get confused and hit the “Add a search box” unless you actually want to add a search box. If you’re looking for the button to initiate the search it’s further down. So, once you get to the results screen, this is what it looks like. It’ll give you some basic information about each source that it has returned, including the source type. So this first one is a journal article, it’ll also tell you the title
of the individual source, and then give you some publication information about it, like the title of the publication
and when it was published. And then it will also include
these topics. The topics are the things
that the database has decided this article is about, based on an automated analysis
of the text. And it can usually give you
a pretty good idea of what the article is about but sometimes it’s not quite right, so just take those with a grain of salt and don’t make them, uh, your go-to if you’re trying to decide if this article is relevant to you or not. So – if you do find an article that you’re interested in and you want to read all the way then you can just click on the title to see more. So after you click on the title, it’ll take you to this page, with more information about the source. Over on the left will be more detailed publication information. And then, there will be the full text of the article embedded directly
in the page so you can start reading right away. What JSTOR doesn’t include is an abstract for all articles. If there’s an abstract included
in the article itself, then you can read that, but if the article itself
doesn’t provide an abstract, then JSTOR doesn’t provide one for you. So, you may or may not
get to read a summary of what the article is about
before you read it. If you get your initial search results and they’re not quite what you want then you can use those search limiters again on this page to adjust. So you can search within your results which is basically just like adding another keyword to your search. It’ll just search for that word, uh,
inside what it’s already returned. So if I wanna narrow it down to just things concerning assassination, I can type that in…and now I have fewer results than I had initially. You can limit by content type. If I’m only interested in journal articles or some other specific kind of source I could limit it down to just those. I could limit by publication date, if I’m interested in learning about what people were writing about my topic during a certain time period, I could put the date range in there. Or if I just wanna make sure that I have the most up-to-date information on my topic, I could limit it to just the past few years. Another way that you can limit by, is by subject, um, this list of subjects is every sort of humanities topic that JSTOR covers. So if I want to approach my topic from just a certain humanities viewpoint, then I could select one of these subjects, and it will only return results from journals that publish in that subject. So, if I want to approach my topic of Malcolm X from an
African American Studies perspective, then I could check this box, and wait for it to adjust, and now the results will have, will only be from magazines and journals that publish on the topic
of African American Studies. Once you’ve filtered and adjusted and gone through your results and you find one that you want to save for later then there is a Download PDF button over here on the right. If you click on it you just have to agree not to use the article for any sneaky or illegal purposes, according to the terms and conditions, and then hit Accept. And it’ll take you to a PDF that you could print or download, or add to your Google Drive, however you want to save it for later. There’s also a Cite This Item option on the left-hand side, if you click that it’ll spit out a citation in your chosen style. You’ll always wanna double-check it against the style manual to make sure that it’s correct, because sometimes it’s automatically generated and it’s not quite right. But it will pull together all
the information you need so that you can get a citation
to start with.

Danny Hutson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *