Skip to Main Content

Music Research Tools: More about Finding Articles

Selecting an article database for your research

How can I determine which resource to use when searching for articles?

This chart can either help you select the database that best fits your information need, or to remind you of what to content you can expect to find when you start searching in the database of your choice. 

Article Databases Comparison Chart

 = No    = Yes      = Some     = Linked content 


  Full-text? Indexed? Abstract? Magazines? Reviews?* Coverage?
RILM    1967-present
Music Index    1949-1970 (print)
1970-present (online)
Music Periodicals Database 1874-present (index)
1995-present (some full-text)
JSTOR 1844-current** (for music titles)
RIPM 1800-1950


*reviews of musical performances and recordings
**Many titles in JSTOR have current content, except for the most recent couple of years. It's called a "moving wall". So while you will find some current journal content in JSTOR, there are some titles for which our current online subscription is housed elsewhere. See the Music E-Journals list for what years of a given title are available on which online platform.

Why would I need to consider whether or not a database is or contains...

Full-text: If you need content in a hurry, then looking for articles in a full-text database is probably a good place to start.

Indexed: If you aren't sure of your search terms and would like to be able to cross-reference between articles on your topic, then select an indexed database.

Abstracts: Select databases that contain abstracts if you'd prefer reading a short paragraph first to see if an article is relevant to your research before reading the entire article.

Magazines: All of the databases listed below contain or index some amount of scholarly content, but not all contain trade and popular magazine content. And sometimes, a magazine will have the type of content that you need for your research.

Music Reviews: If you need performance or recording reviews, then this category identifies the databases you should search.

Coverage: This column is especially helpful if you are looking for contemporary documentation on your topic, but also because many resources just don't contain literature from the early 20th century or preceeding centuries.