JSTOR’s Journal Hosting Program (JHP) was founded in 2011 as a resource for publishers to host current journal issues — and archives — on JSTOR servers. It’s been an affordable way to distribute academic content to researchers and libraries, but JSTOR is closing the program as of December 31, 2021. What does this move mean for journals and journal publishers?
Why is JSTOR Closing JHP?
Don’t panic. JSTOR is eliminating the JHP, but it will keep journal archives on its servers and continue to add new content every year. In a statement to the academic publishing community, JSTOR says, “One of the program’s primary objectives was expanding readership of important titles via affordable and sustainable means.” The organization explored other options, but ultimately found the financial burden of continuing its current issue hosting program unsustainable.
So, what exactly is changing? Implications and important dates for journal publishers include:
- JSTOR will continue with existing services through December 31, 2021.
- Subscribers will not receive renewal notices, but JSTOR will provide data to publishers and their new fulfillment partners.
- JSTOR will extend JHP users a grace period through February of 2022.
- JHP content will not be available on JSTOR after March 1, 2022.
JSTOR has committed to supporting the Transfer Code of Practice for all its departing titles to facilitate a smooth transition for everyone affected — including journal readers.
What’s next for JSTOR?
JSTOR’s change is not likely to affect the long-term usage of this tool for the collection and distribution of published research. But any change to JSTOR raises concerns, in what could be considered a testimony to the importance of the service it provides. After all, public access to scholarship is the entire point. A journal without an audience is one destined to fail, but that’s not what is happening here.
JSTOR has been a highly trusted partner of the academic and research community for a decade, and that’s not expected to change. Each year, more than 262 million searches happen on JSTOR’s servers. In 2019 alone, viewers downloaded more than 230 million journal articles. JSTOR’s JHP move is yet another indicator of a publishing market in flux. Adaptability remains a top priority.