This tutorial gives tips on searching in JSTOR. You will use the arrows below to move through the tutorial and follow along by completing the guided searches in the JSTOR database to the right. The tutorial covers:

• what’s in JSTOR

• search tips

• how to find the full text of articles

Use the arrows below to move through the tutorial.

What is JSTOR?

JSTOR is a library database and a great place to find research in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Here you’ll find:

  • academic journal articles (including peer-reviewed articles) 
  • descriptions of books 
  • and dissertations on a broad range of research topics.


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Let’s say you’re interested in doing research on medieval castles. Let’s begin searching in JSTOR by typing "medieval castles" in the top search box and hitting Search.

What happens?


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Over 7,000 results! Yes, this is fewer than you’d get in Google, but still too many. Luckily, there are ways we can narrow this down. To the left of our results is a column to Filter Results.


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Which filters would be useful to narrow down our search? 


4 of 7Let's narrow our search by selecting journal under content type first.

What does it do to our results?


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We still get over 7,000 results. So, we want to think about what specifically about medieval castles are we interested in?

Let’s take a look at our results’ titles and some of the topics listed below the results to find some additional search terms that sound relevant to us and that can help us focus our results.

After scrolling through the results, let’s say we’ve decided that what we really want to focus on are articles about the architectural design of these castles.

So, let's add architectural design to our search terms and see what happens.


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What does adding additional keywords do to our search? 


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Now we have less results to look through, and we can skim through the pages of our results to find articles that stand out to us without feeling too overwhelmed. 

Getting the Article

Now the fun part! You've found something great and want to dive into it. But, even if you click on the title of the article, what you are viewing isn't the whole article...

After you click on a result, you will be in the article's record. You'll have to click on the "Download PDF" button, and agree to JSTOR's terms and conditions.

Useful Tools

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A useful tool in JSTOR is the cite button located in the article's record. You can get the MLA, ALA, or Chicago Style citation. After you select the correct citation style, you can copy and paste the citation into your bibliography. 

Useful Tools

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If you want to email yourself an article from JSTOR, you will have to download the PDF and attach it to an email. You can also save it to another personal storage device.

Useful Tools

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Congratulations! You have now completed the tutorial. Want more ideas? Need some help?

•The library has a collection of quick how to guides to help you with your research.

• You can always email, call, or chat with a librarian! Go to for more details.

Go to the next page if you need to e-mail a completion certificate to your instructor, but remember to only enter in one e-mail address at a time.

Happy researching!



Please enter your name and email address to retrieve a copy of your completed quiz.

You can enter multiple email addresses separated by commas. If you are doing this for a class, you may need to enter your instructor's email address also.


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