I mentioned before how I am a pretty big fan of free on-line journals like AmeriQuests and World History Connected. It’s great that anybody with an Internet connection or a library and the ability to read (in English, mostly, but also French, Portuguese, and Spanish sometimes) can read these things. It’s just a shame that anybody without those forms of access is excluded from their content.
It’s also really disappointing to be kicked out of JSTOR for downloading too much knowledge. I think they called it “unauthorized use.”
I get access through my institution, ye olde Carleton (not the one in Minnie Soda). I should have taken a screen shot when I got locked out of JSTOR the other day, because I can’t remember the exact wording. Something about unauthorized use on my IP address. Whatever it was, I interpreted it as YOU’RE DOING TOO MUCH READING, MISSY.
If one were to have any interest in sharing some of these articles, I wondered what sort of trouble they would run in to. Apparently, I’m not the only one to love the idea of sharing information, and others have found themselves in quite a pickle (how did I get in this pickle?) for doing so. Take Aaron Swartz, for example (as someone apparently did for a cool one million dollars*), or his follow-up Greg Maxwell. [* Did you ever notice that Mountie in Austin Powers before you did 2.5 degrees in Canadian Studies?] (I’m not even going to get in to that whole Wikileaks thing, or copyright business, as those fall outside the scope of the present paper.) For me, this raises quite a few questions about the definition of “unpermitted use.” Aren’t articles there to… read? Share? Learn from?
Yes! Specifically, “Permitted Uses also may be undertaken remotely through secure access methods: on an ad hoc basis and without commercial gain or in a manner that would substitute for direct access to the Content via services offered by JSTOR, sharing discrete Textual Content or Specimens with an individual who is not an Authorized User for purposes of collaboration, comment, or the scholarly exchange of ideas.” I see what they did there.
For the record, I did not upload all of the articles I downloaded from JSTOR. I just put them in an ever-expanding (jk, it’s digital) file folder on my desktop labeled OMG DISSERTATOIN (keepin’ it real with typos). To be sure, I was downloading quite a bit. Sometimes you get on a roll with your search terms, and you keep finding scintillating bits of history-land that may come in useful for one of your varied research interests, and inevitably you want to read Everything Ever Written. But, as I said, I have institutional access, so I’m an “Authorized User.” Does this somehow make it legitimate for me to access and Use knowledge? Let’s argue that it does for the sake of this little rant.
Since I have legitimate institutional access to JSTOR, I should be able to read… well, everything. Right? Wrong! Shut down! NO MORE READING FOR YOU.
But, wait JSTOR is part of a “not-for-profit organization with a mission to help the scholarly community.” I’m in the scholarly community! Really! Legitimately! (Whatever that means.) I am not helped by getting locked out of the system. Granted, this lock out was apparently temporary, but why did it happen at all?
Carleton, with some of my tuition, pays “an Annual Access Fee and an Archive Capital Fee.” Does this top out at some point for individual users? Shouldn’t it average out that I did no (er, very limited) research all summer, and then did a whole bunch in a rush?
If the system is “aimed at furthering access to scholarly materials by the worldwide scholarly community,” how does limiting access work in favor of this supposed mission statement?
I find it all quite odd.
On the one hand, I kind of hope to make my living in the future by reading, thinking, writing, and publishing Lots of Words. Part of publishing is Getting Paid for it. However, I will tell you a story about how that is a Big Ole Lie.
I recently had a book review accepted for publication with a journal that will go nameless. To order the minimum 25 reprints (of something that I wrote – keep that in mind) from the journal, you know, so I use 24 of them to cover my mom’s fridge, will cost me just shy of $40.00. Or I could (please note the use of a non-committal verb) send the pdf proof to my mom, and she could look at it and archive it in her gmail, never to be seen again. (She is not BFFs with computers.) She could even print out 24 copies with the big ole PROOF stamp across it and stick them on the fridge herself. Where is the sense in any of this? All those staples are certainly not good for the fridge.
Sure, journals cost money to edit, maintain, produce, publish, distribute, and so forth. But if people are writing articles and book reviews for free (or as part of their job – and right now I am paying quite a lot of money for the privilege of having my job as an International Graduate Student), and other people are editing and peer reviewing those submissions for free, what seems to be the biggest expense is the publication part. And if you publish on-line, then your costs should be diminished quite a bit.
And if your journal costs less to publish, then you should probably not be charging $18 a pop for access on JSTOR.
But I’m sure I’ve got it all wrong.
If JSTOR prohibits “charging a fee-for-service for the use of JSTOR beyond reasonable printing or administrative costs,” then $18 must be reasonable.
I’m sure that if you write something (for free, or at your own personal expense, or for some future prestige) and it is published, you should pay $40.00 for copies of it (here I take issue with journal publication), and others should have to pay for access to it on the World Wide (*cough*) web (here I take issue with JSTOR distribution), and the system is not broken (here I take issue with capitalism, or democracy, or Girl Scout / Guide camp, or anything that is too complicated to do anything but sing about).
I’m sure that “the JSTOR Platform is a trusted digital repository.”
For reference, here is an excerpt of the utterly fascinating JSTOR terms and conditions of use (hopefully I don’t get busted for sharing this):
The JSTOR Platform is a trusted digital repository providing for long-term preservation and access to leading academic journals and other scholarly materials from around the world. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to help the scholarly community take advantage of advances in technology, and is supported by libraries, scholarly societies, publishers, and foundations.
These Terms and Conditions of Use apply to individuals and institutions accessing content through JSTOR and, where applicable, are subject to the agreement entered into between JSTOR and a user’s affiliated institution, such as a user’s college or university.
- 1. Definitions:
“Authorized Users” means
- individuals who are affiliated with an Institutional Licensee, as defined below. This includes
- for educational non-profit and for-profit Institutional Licensees (such as colleges, universities, and secondary schools): currently enrolled students (including distance education students); on an ad hoc basis, researchers affiliated and/or visiting under the terms of an agreement with the Institutional Licensee; full and part-time staff; and on-site users physically present on the Institutional Licensee’s premises (“Walk-In Users”);
- for museums; foundations; government agencies; corporate and for-profit organizations (other than for-profit educational organizations); and research center Institutional Licensees: full and part-time staff; on an ad hoc basis, researchers and lecturers affiliated and/or visiting under the terms of an agreement with the Institutional Licensee; and Walk-In Users;
- for public library Institutional Licensees: full and part-time staff; Walk-In Users; and off-site users accessing the Licensed Content through a sessions-based arrangement entered into between JSTOR and the library;
- individual members of scholarly societies that have entered into an agreement with JSTOR for access to specific Content via the JSTOR Platform (“Individual Access”); and
- other users of specified content agreed upon in writing by or on behalf of JSTOR, including users of (i) Data for Research; (ii) the Publisher Sales Service (a service through which JSTOR facilitates users purchase of articles from publishers); and (iii) individual researchers not affiliated with a JSTOR participating institution, publication, or scholarly society.
“Content” means journal Back Issues and Current Issues, as defined in Sections 10.1 and 10.2, below, as well as portions of such journals, including articles and book reviews (each independently “Textual Content”); manuscripts and monographs (each independently also “Textual Content”); Data for Research (defined below); spatial/geographic information systems (“GIS”) data; plant specimens (“Specimens”); and other materials made available by JSTOR.
“Data for Research” means data provided specifically for the purpose of textual extractions; describing and/or identifying content, usage, and operations; or cataloging information pertaining to the Content, to be used in research involving computational analysis rather than for purposes of understanding the intellectual meaning of such data.
“JSTOR Platform” means JSTOR’s integrated digital platform, which delivers and preserves Content and is aimed at furthering access to scholarly materials by the worldwide scholarly community.”Licensed Content” means the Content for which an Authorized User’s affiliated Institutional Licensee has entered into an Institutional Participation Agreement or other license agreement, or the Content available to an Authorized User through Individual Access, the Publisher Sales Service, or other programs. For more information about the JSTOR material licensed by your affiliated Institutional Licensee, please contact your librarian.
- 2.1 Permitted Uses: Institutional Licensees and/or Authorized Users may search, view, reproduce, display, download, print, perform, and distribute Licensed Content provided they abide by the restrictions in Sections 2.2 and elsewhere in these Terms and Conditions of Use, for the following Permitted Uses. Permitted Uses may be undertaken within the premises of an Authorized User’s affiliated Institutional Licensee. Permitted Uses also may be undertaken remotely through secure access methods:
- research activities;
- classroom or organizational instruction and related classroom or organizational activities;
- student assignments;
- as part of a scholarly, cultural, educational or organizational presentation or workshop, if such use conforms to the customary and usual practice in the field;
- on an ad hoc basis and without commercial gain or in a manner that would substitute for direct access to the Content via services offered by JSTOR, sharing discrete Textual Content or Specimens with an individual who is not an Authorized User for purposes of collaboration, comment, or the scholarly exchange of ideas;
- in research papers or dissertations, including reproductions of the dissertations, provided such reproductions are only for personal use, library deposit, and/or use solely within the institution(s) with which the Authorized User and/or his or her faculty readers are affiliated;
- linking (see Section 2.3, below); and
- Regarding Textual Content and Specimens, fair use under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act, educational exceptions, or other similar provisions of the copyright laws or other intellectual property right laws in the United States or in other countries.
Should an Institutional Participation Agreement terminate or expire, the Institutional Licensee’s affiliated Authorized Users may continue making use of Textual Content and Specimens that has been downloaded or printed out providing such uses comply with these Terms and Conditions of Use, which shall survive the termination of access under the Institutional Participation Agreement or other user agreement.
- 2.2 Prohibited Uses. Institutions and users may not:
- use or authorize the use of the JSTOR Platform or Content for commercial purposes or gains, including charging a fee-for-service for the use of JSTOR beyond reasonable printing or administrative costs. For purposes of clarification, “commercial purposes or gains” shall not include research whose end-use is commercial in nature.
- except as set forth in Section 2.1(e) and 2.4, provide and/or authorize access to the Content available through Individual Access, the Publisher Sales Service, or other programs to persons or entities other than Authorized Users;
- modify, obscure, or remove any copyright notice or other attribution included in the Content;
- attempt to override, circumvent, or disable any encryption features or software protections employed in the JSTOR Platform;
- systematically print out or download Content to stock or replace print holdings;
- undertake any activity such as computer programs that automatically download or export Content, commonly known as web robots, spiders, crawlers, wanderers or accelerators that may interfere with, disrupt or otherwise burden the JSTOR server(s) or any third-party server(s) being used or accessed in connection with JSTOR;
- make any use, display, performance, reproduction, or distribution that exceeds or violates these Terms and Conditions of Use; or
- incorporate Content into an unrestricted database or website, except that authors or other Content creators may incorporate their Content into such sites with prior permission from the publisher and other applicable rights holders;
- download or print, or attempt to download or print: an entire issue or issues of journals or substantial portions of the entire run of a journal, other than on an isolated basis because of the relevance of the entire contents of a journal issue to a particular research purpose; or substantial portions of series of monographs or manuscripts; or
- reproduce or distribute Content in bulk, such as by including Content in course packs, electronic reserves, repositories, or organizational intranets (but see Section 2.3, below).
- 2.3 Linking. JSTOR encourages the use of links to facilitate access to the Content by Authorized Users and Institutional Licensees, including but not limited to links to online syllabi, bibliographies, and reading lists. All Content has a stable URL that can be found in the Browse and Search interfaces of JSTOR’s website as well as on the Article Information page for each discrete Content item. Further information on establishing stable links to material in JSTOR may be obtained from User Support (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- 2.4 Interlibrary Loan. Institutional Licensees may wish to use the Content for the purpose of fulfilling occasional requests from other libraries, a practice commonly called Interlibrary Loan. Institutional Licensees may use Licensed Content that consists of Textual Content or Specimens for Interlibrary Loan provided that such use is not at a volume that would substitute for a subscription to the journal or participation in JSTOR by the receiving institution and is in accordance with United States or international copyright laws, guidelines, or conventions. By way of example, Institutional Licensees shall comply with the CONTU Guidelines, available at http://www.cni.org/docs/infopols/CONTU.html, unless the Institutional Licensee is subject to similar international guidelines or customary and usual practices regarding Interlibrary Loan. Transmission of Licensed Content that consists of Textual Content or Specimens from one library to another (but not directly to users) through post or fax, or secure electronic transmission, such as Ariel or its equivalent, may be used in Interlibrary Loan. To facilitate direct contact with publishers for the provision of Textual Content outside the allowable scope of Interlibrary Loan or for other permissions, Publisher contact information is available at http://www.jstor.org.proxy.library.carleton.ca/action/showJournals?browseType=publisherInfoPage.
- 3. Intellectual Property Rights
- 3.1 General Intellectual Property Rights. The JSTOR Platform and any trademarks, issued patents and patent applications, copyrights and copyright registrations and applications, rights in ideas, designs, works of authorship, derivative works, and all other intellectual property rights (collectively, “Intellectual Property”) relating to the JSTOR Platform and its participating libraries, universities, publishers, scholarly societies, and journals are proprietary to JSTOR or, as applicable, the aforementioned entities, subject to the rights of third parties. Institutional Licensees and Authorized Users’ use of JSTOR implies no rights to Intellectual Property except for the limited rights set forth in these Terms and Condition of Use.
- 3.2 Trademarks. Neither JSTOR nor Institutional Licensee may use the other’s name or trademark and Institutional Licensees and users may not use the name or trademarks of the above-noted entities in a way likely to cause confusion as to the origin of goods or services, or to endorse or show affiliation with the other, except as specifically approved. Notwithstanding the foregoing, (i) JSTOR may use Institutional Licensees’ names and/or the names of their libraries in brochures or other materials to identify Institutional Licensees as participants in JSTOR along with other participants, and (ii) Institutional Licensees are encouraged to use JSTOR’s name and logo to announce participation to Authorized Users and to train Authorized Users on the use of JSTOR.
- 3.3 Use of Software. JSTOR utilizes software and other electronic tools designed to permit Authorized Users to access, use, reproduce, display, and distribute Licensed Content (“Access Software”). Use of the Access Software and its related documentation is limited to the license granted herein. Institutional Licensees and users may not copy, distribute, modify, decompile, reverse engineer, circumvent, override or disable encryptions or other protections in, or create derivative works from the Access Software.
- 4. Access, Support, and Security
- 4.1 Responsibilities of JSTOR
- 4.1.1 JSTOR shall use reasonable efforts to provide continuous availability of the JSTOR Platform subject to periodic unavailability due to maintenance of the server(s), the installation or testing of software, the loading of journals as they become available, and downtime related to equipment or services outside the control of JSTOR, including public or private telecommunications services or internet nodes or facilities (“Maintenance Downtime”). If JSTOR fails to provide online availability to the JSTOR Platform for more than 72 hours during any period of 30 consecutive calendar days Institutional Licensee may, upon written request, (a) be granted its choice of a refund or a credit of a prorated portion of its annual access fee for each 30-day period so affected or (b) terminate its agreement by providing written notice to JSTOR.
- 4.1.3 JSTOR is committed to supporting and working with industry standards and best practices for online information delivery as these standards are developed.
- 4.1.4 Subject to constraints imposed by or in agreement with journal publishers, JSTOR shall use reasonable efforts to ensure that the journals contained in the JSTOR Platform are complete and faithful replications of the print versions of such journals.
- 4.2 Responsibilities of Institutional Licensees
- 4.2.1 Institutional Licensees shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that access to the Licensed Content is limited to Authorized Users and to protect the Licensed Content from unpermitted use. Institutional Licensees shall notify JSTOR of any such unpermitted use of which they learn or are notified and shall cooperate with JSTOR in resolving problems of unpermitted use. In the event of violation of these Terms and Conditions of Use by an Authorized User, (a) JSTOR may suspend or terminate, or, where practicable, request that Institutional Licensee suspend or terminate, such Authorized User’s access to the Licensed Content; (b) JSTOR may suspend or terminate the access of the Internet Protocol (“IP”) address(es) or other authorization and authentication mechanisms from which such unauthorized use occurred; and/or (c) JSTOR may request Institutional Licensee to consider the imposition of further reasonable restrictions on access to, and downloading and printing from, the JSTOR Platform. JSTOR shall make reasonable efforts to contact the Institutional Licensee prior to any suspension or termination of access and to restore access promptly following successful resolution of the matter.
- 4.2.2 Access to the Platform shall be controlled by JSTOR through the use of IP addresses, Shibboleth, and/or, at JSTOR’s sole discretion, passwords or other methods. Institutional Licensees shall be responsible for issuing and terminating passwords within its control, verifying the status of Authorized Users, providing lists of valid passwords or sets of IP addresses to JSTOR if applicable, and updating such lists on a regular basis.
- 4.2.3 The JSTOR Platform is intended to be accessible by telecommunications links between JSTOR’s storage locations and Institutional Licensees’ or Authorized Users’ workstations or devices approved in advance in writing by JSTOR. Institutional Licensees and/or Authorized Users are responsible for establishing and maintaining hardware and Internet access to provide access to, and to transmit, the JSTOR Platform to Authorized Users. Institutional Licensees understand and agree that Internet browser software is required to access the JSTOR Platform. The Hardware and Software Requirements page available at http://about.jstor.org.proxy.library.carleton.ca/support-training/help/system-requirements sets forth hardware platforms and browsing software required and/or recommended for accessing the JSTOR Platform. Institutional Licensees and Authorized Users understand and agree that from time to time the Content may be added to or modified by JSTOR, that portions of the Content may migrate to other formats, and that the terms of the Hardware and Software Requirements page may be updated in a manner consistent with evolving industry standards. Institutional Licensees and Authorized Users shall be responsible for all costs associated with the use of and with establishing access to the JSTOR Platform, including but not limited to any telecommunications or other charges imposed by carriers, proprietary network operators and Internet access providers, or licenses for browser software, if any, as well as for all costs associated with printing from the JSTOR Platform.
- 4.3 Responsibilities of Authorized Users
- 4.3.1 Authorized Users are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality and security of their username and/or password (if such are provided), and for all usage or activity by them of JSTOR. Except as permitted in Section 2.1(e), Authorized Users may not provide access to JSTOR to anyone else, including by setting up an anonymous remailer for purposes of allowing access to JSTOR.
- 4.3.2 Authorized Users promptly shall notify JSTOR and, where application, their affiliated Institutional Licensee, of any known or suspected unauthorized use(s) of their account or JSTOR, or any known or suspected breach of security, including loss, theft, or unauthorized disclosure or use of their username, password, and/or IP address. Any use of JSTOR beyond the scope or in violation of these Terms and Conditions of Use, knowing use of any password or username of another, or any fraudulent, abusive, or otherwise illegal activity, may be grounds for termination of an Authorized User’s account, or termination of access to JSTOR from their IP address, without notice and at JSTOR’s sole discretion.
- 5. Warranty; Disclaimers
- 5.1 Authorized Users recognize that JSTOR is an aggregator of third-party Content, not the creator of the Content. JSTOR represents and warrants under the laws of United States that to its knowledge use of the JSTOR Platform and Licensed Content by Authorized Users in accordance with the terms of this Agreement shall not infringe the copyright of any third party. The foregoing shall not apply, however, to modifications or derivative works of the Content created by Institutional Licensees, Authorized Users or by any third party, nor usage of the JSTOR Platform or Content by Institutional Licensees or Authorized Users in violation of these Terms and Conditions of Use. Please note that the foregoing further shall not apply to certain Collections. See Section 12 below for additional information.
- 5.2 JSTOR shall not be liable, and Institutional Licensees and Authorized Users agree that they shall not hold JSTOR liable for any loss, injury, claim, liability, damages, costs, and/or attorneys fees of any kind that result from the unavailability of the JSTOR Platform or Content, delays or interruption of the services provided hereunder, or arising out of or in connection with Institutional Licensee’s or Authorized Users’ use of the JSTOR Platform or Content in violation of these Terms and Conditions of Use. If the JSTOR Platform fails to operate in conformance with the terms of this Agreement, Institutional Licensee shall immediately notify JSTOR, and, subject to Section 4.1.1 above, JSTOR’s sole obligation shall be to repair the nonconformity. In no event shall JSTOR’s liability to an Institutional Licensee exceed the fees paid to JSTOR by that Institutional Licensee for the term of the agreement then in effect.
- 6. Withdrawing Content from JSTOR. JSTOR may withdraw Content from JSTOR for good cause shown. JSTOR would endeavor, to the extent practicable, to minimize any inconvenience to Authorized Users caused by such withdrawal by, for example, seeking to withdraw Content only at the conclusion of an academic semester. However, should JSTOR be unable to avoid such inconvenience, JSTOR in no way shall be held liable for the withdrawal of such Content from the JSTOR Platform. If JSTOR withdraws a material amount of Content, Institutional Licensee may, upon written request, (a) be granted its choice of a refund or a credit of a prorated portion of its annual access fee for the Agreement then in effect or (b) terminate its agreement without penalty by providing written notice to JSTOR.
- 8. Force Majeure. Neither JSTOR nor Institutional Licensees or Authorized Users shall be liable for failures or delays in performing their obligations pursuant to this contract arising from any cause beyond their control, including but not limited to, act of God, acts of civil or military authority, terrorism, fires, strikes, lockouts or labour disputes, epidemics, wars, riots, earthquakes, storm troopers, typhoons and floods and in the event of any such delay, the time for either party’s performance shall be extended for a period equal to the time lost by reason of the delay. If the conditions giving rise to the delay continue beyond thirty (30) consecutive days, either party may terminate its agreement with the other by giving written notice to the other party.
- 9.2 These Terms and Conditions of Use shall be interpreted and construed according to United States Federal law, excluding any such laws or conventions that might direct the application of the laws of another jurisdiction, and venue shall lie exclusively in the federal and state courts of the United States, excluding any such laws to the contrary.
- 9.3 If any provision or provisions of these Terms and Conditions of Use shall be held to be invalid, illegal, unenforceable, or in conflict with the law of any jurisdiction, the validity, legality, and enforceability of the remaining provisions shall not be in any way affected or impaired thereby. A waiver of any breach of these Terms and Conditions of Use shall not be deemed a waiver of other breaches of these Terms and Conditions of Use.
- 9.4 The English language version of agreements with JSTOR shall be controlling over any other version.
- Institutional Licensees typically pay two types of fees to JSTOR for Back Issue materials, an Annual Access Fee and an Archive Capital Fee.
JSTOR recognizes that preserving scholarly material requires those entities responsible to employ best practices in preservation as well as to provide assurances about the security of the material and the organization’s long term viability as a trusted archive. JSTOR pursues best practices and standards in the creation and maintenance of the JSTOR Platform, has established mirror sites and multiple back up files for all of the materials in the JSTOR Platform, and demonstrates its ability to provide continuing access on a daily basis. Additionally, for those Back Issue materials included in the JSTOR Platform that have print editions, JSTOR has established dedicated repositories at several participating institutions to house and preserve the print copies under archival-quality conditions. With the support of Institutional Licensees, JSTOR is also developing an endowment to ensure the long term operating viability of the JSTOR Platform.
- 10.2 Post Cancellation Access: Access to Current Issues shall be available to Institutional Licensees following the Institution’s cancellation or non-renewal of a subscription to the Current Issues of the applicable journal (“Post Cancellation Access”). Current Issues materials are those issues of journal(s) published online back to the Digital Availability Date. The “Digital Availability Date” is the year when issues of the Journal(s) initially were published online in digital format, subject to exceptions as determined by the publisher and JSTOR. For purposes of clarification, the Digital Availability Date does not refer to when digitized versions of print issues became available as a JSTOR archival product but rather refers to when “born digital” versions of the title became available.
- 11. Terms and Conditions Subject to Change. In the interest of managing the evolving needs of Institutional Licensees, Authorized Users, and Content providers, JSTOR reserves the right to modify these Terms and Conditions, or any aspect of JSTOR, at any time. The most updated Terms and Conditions of Use will be posted on the JSTOR website. JSTOR shall notify Institutional Licensees via email of material modifications.
Last Updated on July 1, 2011
Blah Blah Blah.
I added in the bit about storm troopers.
And thank goodness for librarians.