In a strategic effort to make academic journals more relevant to your average reader, JSTOR has launched an online daily magazine. The digital academic library offers full-text searches of 2,000+ journals, e-books, and primary sources. JSTOR Daily will serve to bring more context to current events by connecting readers to relevant scholarly publications found within the JSTOR library.
The site’s authors tackle various complex issues, such as stem cell research, marijuana and public health, world hunger, and more, by providing backstory using research from JSTOR’s wealth of scholarly publications.
“JSTOR is primarily a digital library, and we haven’t produced our own content before, so this is a real shift for the organization,” editor Catherine Halley told NiemanLab in a recent interview. Publishers of the new daily magazine selected WordPress to power the site, which currently publishes two to three short posts per day, interspersed with longer feature stories twice per week.
JSTOR Daily’s design uses a slightly modified version of SimpleMag, a magazine theme sold on Themeforest. Based on a quick view of the source, you can see that the site also utilizes common plugins, such as Jetpack to power subscriptions and stats, Gravity Forms, Add to Any, Google Analytics Dashboard for WP, and W3 Total Cache.
The site is currently still in beta, as JSTOR experiments with its content strategy. Ordinarily, JSTOR serves its library content via paid subscriptions, though access is licensed mainly to academic institutions and their students. However, content linked within JSTOR daily has to be freely available to readers, since the purpose of the publication is to maximize JSTOR’s academic archive. Therefore, the publishers opted to make any timely or otherwise compelling content available for free, when linked within one of the stories. If you’re interested in getting your news mixed with a healthy dose of in-depth academic research, subscribe to the JSTOR Daily bi-weekly newsletter or add the site to your favorite feed reader.