Finding journal articles might seem confusing - but it doesn't have to be!

There are a few ways to find journal articles: 

  • Searching for a known item - someone tells you about a journal article and you want to find a PDF and read that exact article.
     
  • Browsing a journal by title - maybe you want to see what's in the newer issues of Music Educators Journal.
     
  • Searching keywords, author names, subjects, etc. to explore the different articles that are out there on a topic.

 

Some relevant journals for choral conductors might include American Choral ReviewThe Choral Journal, Journal of Research in Music EducationMusic Educators Journal, and Journal of Singing: The Official Journal of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, but these are just a few examples!

 

There are different ways to go about all of these tasks, and reach out to Jessica at jabbazio@umn.edu if you need help!

Searching for a known journal article

This is actually the easiest of the ways to search for journal article content! Just enter as much information as you know about the article (usually the author and title will be enough) into the search box on the Libraries homepage (lib.umn.edu) and use the built-in limiters to narrow your search results to what you're looking for. If you want to enter more detailed information to ensure you get fewer search results to sift through, click the down arrow next to the search box and choose "Advanced Search":

 

 

 

Browsing the contents of a specific journal

Say you want to see what's in the most recent issues of a specific journal - the first step is to go to the Libraries homepage at lib.umn.edu and enter your journal's title in the search box. TIP: If the journal's title is more than one word long, search for it in quotation marks - "Music Educators Journal" - since this will tell the catalog that you want to search this exact phrase.

Once you see your search results, use the built-in limiters to narrow things down in case you don't see the title you need right away. This is the link to the Libraries catalog record for Music Educators Journal - this is what you'll see when you click on the relevant item in your list of search results.

Sometimes, there can actually a pretty hefty number of ways we have access to this title, but they don't all include the same years of coverage (e.g. JSTOR doensn't include the most recent 4 years of issues). When you go into the catalog record, read the descriptions of the coverage in each resource to make sure you'll be seeing the issues you really want. In the Music Educators Journal example, the best option is the link labeled "SAGE Premier 2009" - once you log in, this will lead to a landing page with access to issues from 1914 through June 2020 (it's a library mystery why the catalog says that clicking that link should only show from 1999 through the present, since it actually provides much more access than that). Once you're in the SAGE interface, you can browse, download PDFs of articles, search keywords within the entire journal, and filter by date:

 

An image of the landing page for the Libraries SAGE Journals access to Music Educators Journal. The places to click for searching this title by keyword and browsing by issue are highlighted.

Search keywords, author names, subjects, etc. to explore the types of articles that are out there on a topic

The Libraries subscribes to a number of resources that will allow you to search keywords across multiple journal titles at the same time - think of these like Google Chrome or Firefox: these browsers let you find other content, but they're not the publishers of that content. Some of the most useful journal databases for music-related research are:

  • RILM Abstracts of Music Literature with Full Text
  • Music Periodicals Database
  • Music Index
  • International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance
  • JSTOR (remember, the most recent issues of many journals won't be included in this database; but all the articles are available for immediate PDF download!)
  • Project Muse

TIP: Several of these resources (RILM, Music Index, and International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance are all made available by the same vendor, EBSCO. Because of this, you can actually search all three of these resource at ONE TIME! Once you're logged into any of these resources, click "Choose Databases" at the top of the screen and select the checkboxes for the other resources you'd like to include in your search. This is save you time!!!

A screenshot of the interface that provides access to a number of databases like RILM, Music Index, International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance, and more. The link that provides the option to choose multiple databases to search simultaneously is circled.
 

Each of these journal resources have different levels and dates of coverage, and some records in them have full-text PDFs available to download (look for the PDF icon) while others may require you to place an interlibrary loan request to have the item sent to you digitally (look for the red and gold M-Find It button - this is a link to our ILL service). If you need help, contact Jessica at jabbazio@umn.edu.

 

The list above represents some music-specific suggestions, but the Libraries subscribes to many other journal article resources that search a wider range of disciplines and subjects. See the list below for additional resources and visit the Music Related Databases Guide for even more.

 

Find relevant journals online and in print through the Music Library

Interested in browsing vocal performance-specific journals? Use the instructions above to search for individual journal titles in the catalog, or, when the Music Library is open again, browse physical copies in our Current Periodicals and Print Periodicals sections (new issues are just past the circulation desk in the rack on the wall, and older issues of print periodicals are located to your right when you first enter the Music Library):

American Choral Review

  • Available online through Music Periodicals Database and in print at the Music Library


The Choral Journal

  • Available online through several different Libraries databases and in print at the Music Library


Journal of Research in Music Education

  • Available online through several different Libraries databases and in print at the Music Library


Music Educators Journal

  • Available online through several different Libraries databases and in print at the Music Library


Journal of Singing: The Official Journal of the National Association of Teachers of Singing

  • Available online through several different Libraries databases and in print at the Music Library
Last Updated: May 11, 2021 12:51 PM