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Additional Resources: Student and Faculty

reCAPTCHA my reCAPTCHA, or why I'm seeing way more reCAPTCHA than normal

Robert Wesson

Why are you requiring reCAPTCHA

At JSTOR, we are constantly making modifications to the platform to enhance features, improve performance, and better understand our users’ behavior and needs. This use of Google reCAPTCHA before the download of your first PDF is a short-term test of our user verification functionality.

Is Google reCAPTCHA accessible? 

Yes, if you are using a screen reader make sure to select the "Get an audio challenge" prompt. You'll come across this option after the "Select all images with," and "Get another challenge" prompts. Once you hear "Get an audio challenge" you'll be directed to a pop-up that asks you to "Press play and enter the numbers you hear." Hit the "Play" button and enter the correct numbers into the field directly beneath it. Hit the "Verify" button to move to your PDF. If all else fails, please contact us.

How long will it last? 

We will be testing this functionality in various scenarios for some time, but most users won't encounter it more than once or twice. 

It's not working! Help!

Certain programs and settings on your computer can prevent reCAPTCHA from displaying or functioning properly. Below are some things to try when you need to troubleshoot.

1. Cache and cookies

A good first step is to clear your cache and delete your cookies, which will give your browser a new lease on life. This walk-through will show you how to do just that for the Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari.

2. Ad-blockers

Ad-blockers can be another source of reCAPTCHA frustration--most play nicely, but a few don't. Luckily, you can turn off ad-blocker for JSTOR without disabling your ad-blocker across the board. Since we don't show ads, this won't change your viewing experience. To do this in AdBlock:

  • Go to the AdBlock icon in the top right corner of your browser. It should look like a little stop sign.
  • Click on the icon and select "Don't run on pages in this domain" in order to disable AdBlock across all JSTOR pages.

3. Javascript

Javascript-blocking software (such as NoScript and JS Blocker) can also occasionally prevent reCAPTCHA from functioning as it should.  Opening up NoScript and choosing "Allow jstor.org" from the menu will whitelist all of JSTOR and may solve the problem.

Even if you're not using a blocking program, your browser could have Javascript disabled. This site will show how to check that Javascript is enabled in all the major browsers.

4. Browser versions

Google, which created and hosts reCAPTCHA, states that it supports the two most recent versions of the browsers below. If your browser is older than that, you'll want to download a newer version.

5. Still not working?

Other culprits can include your firewall or proxy settings, which are typically set by your institution's library IT department. If you've tried the above and are still experiencing issues, we recommend that you contact them. We'll be happy to work with them to troubleshoot further.

In the meantime, you can submit your PDF request to support@jstor.org