I remember in grad school, not that long ago, when speaking to undergrads about the joys of library research, I used to proudly declare that the information that you found in a database would not come up in search results from a free search engine. After Google Scholar came along and started acting more like a library database, it was harder to make that same claim [even though Google Scholar really isn’t anything without access to a great library like ours].
The winds of change appear to be blowing. The Google effect of increased visibility is rubbing off on information providers, the ones that normally keep their content under a tight lock and key. JSTOR, one of the databases to which we provide access, has announced that they will be allowing individuals not affiliated with a subscribing institution [read: anyone] the ability to download articles from approximately seventy journals. The program, called Register & Read, will give a person three free articles every two weeks. This new initiative is the latest in the aggregator’s attempt to reach more users and provide high-quality scholarship to the masses.
So what do you think? Is this good? Is there a downside to the new venture?
Read more about it from Insider Higher Ed: JSTOR Gets Personal
Thanks to Renee for the heads-up!