JSTOR, get out of the wayBy
Has this ever happened to you? You are hot on the trail of exactly the article you need to complete a thought, a post, perhaps a book, and, oh no!, you hit the red light from JSTOR.
Chances are you have. As of June 2007, the JSTORE database contained 729 journal titles and over 165,000 individual journal issues, totaling over 23 million pages of text
JSTOR (short for Journal Storage) is a United States-based online system for archiving academic journals, founded in 1995. It provides full-text searches of digitized back issues of several hundred well-known journals, dating back to 1665 in the case of the Philosophical Transactions.
JSTOR was originally funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, but is now an independent, self-sustaining, not-for-profit organization with offices in New York City and Ann Arbor, Michigan.
But I say, this stuff is bought and paid for. It is time to release it into the public domain. Surely, there is a university server somewhere that would assume the costs. Google, I am quite sure, would be willing to shoulder the burden.
The fact of the matter is JSTOR is holding precious resources captive to sustain itself…and its ability to hold precious resources captive. This content was created by academics funded by not-for-profit institutions. JSTOR is not reinvesting revenue in academic production. It is, as I say, now self sustaining in the worst sense of the term.
JSTORE is taxing public knowledge in order to sustain its ability to block access to public knowledge.
Time to let go.