What's in this article:
- Does JSTOR have a thesaurus?
- How does the JSTOR thesaurus work?
- Is the JSTOR thesaurus available for the public to see?
- How can I make suggestions for changes to the thesaurus?
Does JSTOR have a thesaurus?
Yes! JSTOR has an internally designed and maintained thesaurus that helps organize all of the information on JSTOR according to their subject matter.
The JSTOR Thesaurus launched in January of 2017. JSTOR created this thesaurus because there is currently not another controlled vocabulary that covers the breadth of the disciplines represented in our database.
The thesaurus is visible to the public via "Topic Cards," and you can see them on JSTOR in two places:
- You will see "topics" listed beneath the item title and author. You'll see this in both search results and when you're viewing the item information page directly (in other words, the page you see after you've clicked on a title from search results).
- Sometimes you will see suggested "topics" at the top of the page after you download a JSTOR article PDF. (Note, for these topic cards to appear you must click into the article. Downloading an article directly from the search results will not display topic cards.) These topic cards reflect the top four most frequently mentioned topics in the document you just downloaded.
How does the JSTOR thesaurus work?
It's a living thesaurus; our taxonomy librarians regularly comb through multiple sources, searching for new scholarly concepts to add. They also work closely with subject matter experts in various fields to add additional topics not already covered. As scholarly dialogue progresses, the JSTOR Thesaurus will continue to grow.
If a term is present in an article at least three times, it is recognized by the thesaurus software and triggers the application of a topic. Each item on JSTOR can have up to 10 topics assigned to it. Relevance is determined by how frequently the term appears in the piece of content.
When you click into a topic, you will see a brief description of the term and have the option to explore other JSTOR content that is similarly categorized. You can also search within a topic to refine your results even further.
Is the JSTOR thesaurus available for the public to see?
The full thesaurus is not available online, but if you would like to learn about how we use it, you can do that by signing up for this past webinar on the topic of the thesaurus.
The only way to access topics within the thesaurus is to click them from within search results or on an article page. Once you have clicked into a topic, then you can complete a search that will be limited to that topic.
How can I make suggestions for changes to the thesaurus?
We would love to hear your feedback! You can leave feedback directly on JSTOR topics by clicking on "give feedback" directly beneath the list of topics on the article view page.
We are also always happy to talk to Subject Matter Experts about particular vocabularies. If you have suggestions or want to talk to us about the thesaurus, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.