You can now access digital libraries JSTOR, Scribd and Filipino creatives’ works for free. Here’s how.

March 20, 2020 - 1:12 PM
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A photo of a laptop surrounded with books from Unsplash

Several digital libraries made their journals, textbooks and other reading materials for free amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

These announcements came days after the Philippine government placed the entire Luzon under enhanced community quarantine to lessen the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Many countries with high cases of the disease have also imposed quarantine directives following health organizations’ advisory on social distancing to prevent further transmissions.

JSTOR, a long-running large academic database, announced on social media that some of its electronic books and journals are now accessible for free.

“You can search all open access content on JSTOR without a login,” the tweet read.

Not all of its content are entirely free, though. JSTOR attached a link where people can find its free electronic books and journals.

Scribd, considered the world’s largest digital library, also made available over 60 million electronic books and audiobooks for free for 30 days.

The subscription service firm also announced this on the social media, with the link to the 30-day free access.

Its CEO and founder Trip Adler hoped that the initiative will help readers cope with the month-long quarantine period and prevent further infections of COVID-19.

“Today, with millions of people around the globe staying close to home to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, access to books and information is more important than ever before. Reading can offer incredible comfort: it reduces anxiety and makes us feel more accomplished and even happier,” Adler wrote.

For researchers and students, the Cambridge University Press previously allowed a free access feature to its textbooks and journal articles.

However, the unprecedented surge of demand caused performance issues on the website.

“Due to performance issues caused by unprecedented demand and reported misuse, we have had to temporarily suspend this free access to textbooks,” it said on Twitter.

“We apologize for this inconvenience and are working to reinstate access ASAP,” it added.

Science Direct, a subscription-based database of medical research, allowed free access to its Novel Coronavirus Information Center, a site dedicated to peer-reviewed journal articles about the new pathogen.

Upon visiting the site, users have to create an account to gain access to this portal.

Local creatives

On Twitter, Filipino writer Mina Esguerra also shared links of free access to her novels “Kiss and Cry,” “The Future Chosen” and “What a Day.”

Comic book creator Hulyen also shared a Google Drive of digital copies of her comic series “Ugh” and “April and May Forever: Without Seeing the Dawn.”


The “Tabi Po” series from award-winning artist Mervin Malonzo can also be read for free on its official website.

Independent comic group Point Zero likewise released its new series called “Pasig Unbound” online for free.

Meanwhile, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines made its historical documentaries available for free viewing on YouTube.

Matuto ng kasaysayan sa panahon ng enhanced community quarantine!Libre pong mapapanood sa YouTube channel ng National…

Posted by NHCP Museums on Thursday, March 19, 2020

Some local production companies such as TBA Studios and Cinema One as well as film directors and producers also earlier released their critically acclaimed films and series for free on YouTube.