Inspired in part by The Lean StartUp movement (simply and cleanly-as-a-squid asking and answering “how can we learn more quickly what works, and discard what doesn’t?”), JSTOR LABS already has one very magical project in production and at least two more in beta:
“At JSTOR Labs, we get up each day with one goal: to shape the future of research and teaching, one project at a time. Working with partner publishers, libraries and labs, we aim to create tools for researchers, teachers and students that are immediately useful – and a little bit magical”.
With Understanding Shakespeare, you choose your play from the digital version from the Folger Shakespeare Library and click from the primary source to any and every article in JSTOR that references the line you’re interested in reading criticism about.
Click on the magnifying glass on the right pane next to the article and you are whizzed to just where the line or passage is discussed in the JSTOR article. Very neat indeed.
JSTOR Sustainability is JSTOR’s new reaching out to a very different model of collection-building, making the most of its digitization over the years and now integrating that with new publications in a highly multi-disciplinary area where there are “considerable challenges in keeping abreast of current research”:
“To help meet research and teaching needs in this area, JSTOR has developed this new Sustainability research bench, which will include scholarly journals and research reports from respected think tanks. The collection, which will formally launch in 2016, is being designed to help researchers navigate, understand, and contribute to research across disciplines, and to introduce students to these emerging areas of study.”
The collection will launch in 2016; it is in beta now.
At another step of synchronicity is JSTOR Snap which takes on the idea research and the phone are mutually exclusive, so to normalize an oddity of our times, JSTOR Snap will let a user take a picture of any page of text (a page of a textbook, or a syllabus, or a class assignment) and “return research articles about the same topic. Users can then swipe through the articles to evaluate them and then save a list for reading later.” Just point the browser of your Android or IOS smart phone at http://labs.jstor.org/snap
Enjoy discovering more on the JSTOR LABS Blog.