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Music Research Tools: JSTOR

Search JSTOR

Find scholarly articles on many subjects in JSTOR (Journal Storage)


Search Tips

Search Tips

1. To retrieve results that include ALL of your search terms, use AND. 

Adams AND Lollapalooza

2. To retrieve results that include any of your search terms, use OR. 

"high voice" OR soprano 

3. To eliminate results that contain a term, use NOT.

"John Adams" NOT Luther

4. To write a highly focused search string, use AND, NOT, OR, and parentheses (and a few other search techniques).

(Schoenberg OR Schonberg) AND (Verklarte Nacht OR Transfigured Night) AND analys?s NOT Schenker)

To search for a phrase, place it in quotation marks.


"united states" 
"symphony orchestra"
"marriage of figaro"
"rite of spring"


To search for variants of a words, use wildcards.

1. To grab both singular and plural endings, use the pound sign [#].

saxophone# = saxophone AND saxophones

2. To vary a single letter in the middle of a word, use the question mark [?]

tr?mpet* = trumpet and trompete

3. To catch variant spellings of a person's name, use the tilde [~]

Rachmaninoff~ = Rachmaninov, Rachmaninof, etc.

4. To allow for variant endings of a word, use the asterisk [*]

accompan* = accompaniment, accompanist, accompany, etc.)

Look for multiple terms to occur within a limited distance of one another two ways:

1. Add the ~ (tilde) symbol + number to your search.

"dvorak iowa"~15 (dvorak and iowa must occur within 15 words of each other)



2. Use JSTOR's advanced search and select for terms to occur within 5, 10, or 25 terms of each other.


JSTOR Profile


was created to archive journal content. It's a tool that was meant to push print content online and into the digital age for purposes of not just access, but preservation. Unlike RILM, Music Index, etc., JSTOR was never an index that became a database. It was never a list of items, it was always a container for the actual items.


JSTOR has e-books.

However, the University of Iowa Libraries does not currently purchase e-book content from JSTOR, so narrowing your search to only look through Journal content will be a big time saver.


Whereas tools like RILM, Music Index, and IIMP rely on indexed terms, abstracts, and other data to provide you with search results, JSTOR simply searches the full text of every document in its archive when performing the same task.

This means if your keywords are too broad or your search is overly simple, your results will be many and their relevancy will be questionable.
In other words, before blaming JSTOR for returning useless results, learn more about effective keyword searching and try again.


JSTOR contains archival runs of journals, so instead of just having the most recent years available, it has ALL the years that the journal has been in publication.

There's a kind of information black hole in terms of full-text content availability for the first part of the 20th century.
Many databases contain full-text content that starts to disappear somewhere in the 1980s, and then their full-text coverage switches to just index entries. Not JSTOR. If that journal starting in 1902, then you'll be able to retrieve articles from 1902 to today (that is, if the journal is still in existence).


JSTOR's content is drawn from scholarly journals, so what you find there is peer-reviewed, juried, academic content.