JSTOR (subscription database)
JSTOR is a research database that offers teachers and students access to peer reviewed scholarly journals, primary sources, and books. Its focus is primarily for academic research published in the humanities, social sciences and sciences. Used widely in universities and high schools, it provides students with access to over 1,000 academic journals and other content. Students can enter their search topic in the search bar or browse research topics by discipline, by title, or by publisher. The advanced search page comes with a Tutorial and Help suggestions. Advanced search allows students to limit search results to show only content their school can access, as well as search within specific publications or search results (e.g. Search for “Lincoln” in the search results for “Abraham”). Students can also use Boolean language, and narrow the date range or item type (e.g. article, review, pamphlet). JSTOR also has links that help students find similar articles by topic or author using Google Scholar.
JSTOR is a great resource for students doing more advanced research in the humanities, social sciences, and science. Because its focus is on academic texts, it is probably best suited for older or more advanced high school students as the reading level of the articles is at or near university level. At my school, we use JSTOR to help 12th graders with their senior project, a year-long assignment that asks them to do college level research on a topic of their choosing. It is an ideal database for academic subjects (“Capturing the Public Imagination: The Social and Professional Place of Public History” is typical of the type of peer reviewed articles a student will find in JSTOR). The database is not as good for topics where currency is important (e.g. recent news stories) or for students reading below grade level.