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How to Search JSTOR

Understanding Search Results

Search Results

The format and display of search results is the same for Basic and Advanced searches.

  • Use "Academic Content" option to filter results by journal articles or ebook chapters.
  • Use "Primary Source Content" option to filter results by the type of primary source.
  • Use the "Publication Date" menu to limit results to a certain publication time period.
  • Use the "Subject" menu to limit results to journals related to specific subjects.
  • Use the "Access Type" menu to limit your results by type of access.
  • Use the "Sort by" menu to view search results by relevance, oldest items, or newest items. 
  • Use the "Export Selected" menu to choose the export format

Search Relevance

Relevance on JSTOR is a combination of many things. Key elements include:

  • More unique terms in the text result in higher scores when searches contain those terms. For example, the keyword “epistemology" gets a greater boost than “university” because it is less common.
  • Phrase matches are boosted higher than just keyword matches. A search for "the quick brown fox" will assign higher relevance to a document containing the exact words "the quick brown fox" than a document containing "the brown fox is quick."
  • More recent content is given a slight boost.

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