Economics and Usage of Digital Libraries: Byting the BulletSkip other details (including permanent urls, DOI, citation information)
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17.2 The Interdisciplinary Appeal of JSTOR
An additional variable that is likely to be a contributing factor to the increasing use of JSTOR is the addition of new content. Since 1997 JSTOR has been digitizing new journals and making them available to participating institutions. Content in new academic disciplines introduces new scholars and students to the resource. Additional content in existing fields broadens the appeal of the resource within that discipline.
As the resource has grown, it is evident that the cross-title and interdisciplinary appeal of the resource has grown as well. Pulling from the search logs of a recent week of JSTOR use reveals that approximately 68,000 searches were conducted. Of these, just under 62,000 (91%) specified more than one title. Because JSTOR offers the option to search by cluster (pre-defined discipline-specific collections), it is convenient for users to search across journals in a single discipline. Approximately 58,000 searches specified clusters. Of those cluster searches, 69% specified more than one cluster. This is quite significant because the JSTOR interface does not offer an option to select all clusters. Judging from this behavior, the ability to search across disciplines is important to users.