Starting this year, JSTOR will begin offering more multimedia services and expand its current journal content to include smaller publications.

With a mission rooted in preserving and archiving journals electronically, JSTOR is seeking to expand its services and offer students more access to academic journals. The new JSTOR features are part of its Current Scholarship Program and will include audio files, video and e-mail alerts. Instead of only archiving back issues of select journals, JSTOR will add 19 new publishers and more than 174 up-to-date journals.

According to Collections Librarian Joan Campbell, the push to diversify content stemmed from economic troubles afflicting university presses and small journals.

"I think it's a combination of economic pressure on the university presses and also the success and appeal of JSTOR," said Campbell. "It's the place to go; so many students and faculty know JSTOR as a name brand to go for good quality journal[istic] content."

The University of California Press and University of Illinois Press, which have traditionally provided their own platforms to upload online content, will move online versions of their current journals to the JSTOR database.

The JSTOR database covers a wide spectrum of disciplines, ranging from African American Studies to Zoology, and includes more than 1,978 journals.

"That's where everyone goes. People love JSTOR...[because it] has an established archival history where people feel pretty confident in their content," said Campbell.

Assistant Professor of Economics Eric Nelson, a frequent user of JSTOR, considered it a challenge to find any person who has gone through a graduate program without using JSTOR.

"It's so ubiquitous. I can't imagine finding any English Ph.Ds and biology Ph.Ds that haven't used it," Nelson said.

The changes will give smaller journals the ability to index their work online and achieve greater exposure.

"It's a great opportunity for smaller journals to be indexed and located with a site that everyone knows," said Nelson.

In a growing digital age, the move falls in line with many of the changes that have been taking place in the publishing world.

"There are some journals that have created podcasts that accompany their latest issues," said Nelson. "If there is an article they want to highlight then they'll have one of the lead authors give a podcast which is a good way to contextualize the article."

Nelson also alluded to the caveats that might face academic journals if they don't find new ways to reach students and scholars.

"Complex issues, especially in the sciences, are hard to communicate. If you can have these ingenious ways to present the data... it would really help. Many journals are stuck in an academic corner and they don't have visual representation," he added.